Large amounts of microplastics found in the snow in the Arctic

This undated photo provided by the 'Helmholtz centre for polar and marine research the Alfred Wegener institute' shows snow samples from Tschuggen, Switzerland, locked and ready for transport to Davos. Scientists of the institute say they proved plastic in the snow of the Alps and the Arctic. (Juerg Trachsel/WSL-Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung SLF via AP)

Scientists have found large amounts of microplastics in the snow in the Arctic. This indicates that the plastic is sucked up and blown with the wind to the farthest places of the globe.

Researchers examined snow that had been collected from the Arctic, including Svalbard, and from northern Germany, the German and Swiss Alps and the North Sea island of Helgoland.

“We expected to find microplastics, but we are surprised by the huge quantities,” says Melanie Bergmann at the Alfred-Wegener Institute in Germany.

Their research shows that microplastics are absorbed into the atmosphere in the same way as dust, pollen and exhaust particles and transported over long distances to the most remote regions of the globe.

Bergmann says they found the highest concentration of microplastics in the snow in the Bavarian Alps, where a sample showed 150,000 particles per liter. Although the concentration was lower in the Arctic, a sample from Greenland showed a concentration of 14,000 particles per liter.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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