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Arctic expedition discovers microplastics in ice cores

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 15, 2019 12:42

Arctic expedition discovers microplastics in ice cores

Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in ice cores drilled in the Arctic by a U.S.-led team of scientists, underscoring the threat the growing form of pollution now poses to marine life in even the remotest waters on the planet.The researchers used a helicopter to land on ice floes and retrieve the samples during an 18-day icebreaker expedition through the Northwest Passage, the hazardous route linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.Strock and his colleagues found the material trapped in ice taken from four locations in Lancaster Sound, an isolated stretch of water in the Canadian Arctic, which they had assumed might be relatively sheltered from drifting plastic pollution.The scientists’ dismay was reminiscent of the consternation felt by explorers who found plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean’s Marianas Trench, the deepest place on Earth, during submarine dives earlier this year. The Northwest Passage Project is primarily focused on investigating the impact of manmade climate change on the Arctic, whose role as the planet’s cooling system is being compromised by the rapid vanishing of summer sea ice.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor August 15, 2019 12:42

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