Scientists have found Microplastic was found in Antarctic fresh Snow
The most common micro-plastic found in the study was PET plastic, which is used in beverage bottles and clothing, among other things. PET was present in almost 80% of the samples.
Scientists have found microfiber in fresh, fresh snow in Antarctica for the first time, says BBC.
Scientists at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand collected samples from 19 locations in Antarctica and found microplastic to be abundant in all of them.
On average, the finds were 29 plastic particles per liter of melted snow. They identified 13 different types of plastics. The most common was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used in beverage bottles and clothing, among other things. PET was present in almost 80% of the samples.
- The most likely source for this microplastic is local scientific research stations, comments researcher Alex Aves in Cryosphere.
However, according to modeling, the origin of plastic can be up to 6,000 kilometers away.
In the past, microplastic has been found in Antarctic sea ice and surface water, this is the first case to be found in fresh snow.
Microplastic travels around the globe
According to previous studies, microplastics travel around the globe with wind and ocean currents, for example.
Microplastics can have local and wider effects.
"Heavy metals and algae, for example, can stick to the surface of microplastics," says Laura Revell, an assistant professor at the University of Canterbury, to the BBC.
“They can provide a way for harmful species to reach a remote and sensitive area they would not otherwise be able to reach,” Revell describes.
The effect of microplastics on human health has been little studied. For example, a study by the University of Hull says that if swallowed, large amounts of microplastics can cause an allergic reaction or cell death in the human body, for example.
Microplastic can also increase the effects of global warming. Glaciers and Snowfields are already melting fast. Scientists say dark microplastics in these places could make the situation worse, as they absorb sunlight and raise the temperature locally.
Rapidly melting glaciers make the mountains dangerous, causing landslides, avalanches, and flooding of glacial lakes.