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Record levels of plastic discovered in Arctic sea ice

CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG

Mankind sucks.



https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/24/record-levels-of-plastic-discovered-in-arctic-sea-ice

Scientists have found a record amount of plastic trapped in Arctic sea ice, raising concern about the impact on marine life and human health.

Up to 12,000 pieces of microplastic particles were found per litre of sea ice in core samples taken from five regions on trips to the Arctic Ocean – as many as three times higher than levels in previous studies.

Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) found fragments of packaging, paints, nylon, polyester and cellulose acetate which is commonly used in making cigarette filters in every sample they took in 2014 and 2015.

The findings come amid growing concern about the scale of plastic pollution which experts have warned risks the near-permanent contamination of the planet.

Previous research estimated that at least 1tn pieces of plastic had been frozen into the Arctic ice over past decades, making it a major global sink for plastic pollution, many times more concentrated than the well-known great Pacific garbage patch.

But Dr Gunnar Gerdts, whose laboratory made the measurements, said his studies showed the problem was even more severe, with some of the particles only 11 micrometres across.

“That’s roughly one-sixth the diameter of a human hair, and also explains why we found concentrations of more than 12,000 particles per litre of sea ice – which is two to three times higher than what we’d found in past measurements.”

The study was able to identify not only a record amount of plastic but also its potential source – from degraded fishing equipment to plastic pollution that has travelled thousands of miles on ocean currents.

One of the study’s authors, Dr Ilka Peeken said: “The high microplastic concentrations in the sea ice can not only be attributed to sources outside the Arctic Ocean. Instead they point to local pollution in the Arctic.”

The scientists warned that the implications of this level of plastic pollution – for marine life and human health – were unknown.

Peeken said: “No one can say for certain how harmful these tiny plastic particles are for marine life, or ultimately also for human beings.”

Marine plastic pollution is a huge problem, with an estimated 5tn pieces of plastic now floating in the world’s oceans. The plastic is frequently mistaken for food by fish and birds, causing damage to life throughout the seas and entering the human food chain.

AWI scientist Julia Gtermann analyses an Arctic sea-ice core for microplastic particles
AWI scientist Julia Gütermann analyses an Arctic sea-ice core for microplastic particles. Photograph: Tristan Vankann/Alfred-Wegener-Institut

Today’s study found record levels of polyethylene in one area thought to come from the massive “garbage patch” in the Pacific Ocean. In another it found high levels of paint and nylon particles pointing to increased shipping and fishing.

The study also found that so much plastic is now stored in Arctic sea ice, which then moves and melts, that it has become a significant system for transporting plastic particles around the region.

Dr Jeremy Wilkinson, sea ice physicist at the British Antarctic Survey, described it as a “benchmark study”.

“Microplastic particles were found throughout all cores sampled ... It suggests that microplastics are now ubiquitous within the surface waters of the world’s ocean. Nowhere is immune.”


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Replies

  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 11,197 AG
    Fake news.

    Everyone knows all the Arctic sea ice melted.  
    Warning Level 2
  • Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral

    "Record amounts"?  Like they have been keeping records of such things?  I bet I could find a chunk of ice up there that doesn't have those levels.

    The fact that the plastic has degraded to particles only 11 microns shows that plastic cannot possibly last 10,000 years in the environment.

    Also, I am sure there were even smaller particles, so why do they use that number?  Probably because the rest passed through the filter.  Or perhaps the smaller particles are disintegrating even faster and have disappeared?

    By the way, 11 microns is about the thickness of a coat of paint.

    23895.gif
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    You happy with plastic becoming an integral and seemingly permanent part of the worlds food chain?

    I certainly am not. It is not healthy, and it signals that worse things are to come.


    Plastics getting to Humans Impacting Health

    Different plastics spread throughout the ocean. As Styrofoam breaks into smaller parts, polystyrene components in it sink lower in the ocean, so that the pollutant spreads throughout the sea column.

    In fact, not only do the toxins in plastic affect the ocean, but acting like sponges, they soak up other toxins from outside sources before entering the ocean. As these chemicals are ingested by animals in the ocean, this is not good for humans. We as humans ingest contaminated fish and mammals.

    For more information on this topic on toxins in the ocean, see this article by National Geographic. National Geographic

    There are different types of ways that plastic is dangerous for humans. Direct toxicity from plastics comes from lead, cadmium, and mercury. These toxins have also been found in many fish in the ocean, which is very dangerous for humans. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) contained in some plastics, is a toxic carcinogen. Other toxins in plastics are directly linked to cancers, birth defects, immune system problems, and childhood developmental issues. To learn more on effects of plastics on humans visit the Ecology Center

    Other types of toxic plastics are BPA or health-bisphenol-A, along with phthalates (mentioned above). Both of these are of great concern to human health. BPA is used in many things including plastic bottles and food packaging materials. Over time the polymer chains of BPA break down, and can enter the human body in many ways from drinking contaminated water to eating a fish that is exposed to the broken down toxins. Specifically, BPA is a known chemical that interferes with human hormonal function.

    Rolf Halden, associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and Arizona State University has studied plastics adverse effects on humans and has thus far concluded that and exact outline of health effects of plastics on humans is almost impossible to determine. This is due to the fact that the problem of plastic contamination in humans is globally spread; there are almost no unexposed subjects. That being said, it is evident that the chemicals are not healthy for humans. To learn more about Halden's studies on plastic at Arizona State University see Impacts of plastics on human health and ecosystems

     https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/plastics.html

  • Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral

    Most of the plastic is polyethylene and polypropylene - no different than candle wax.  I know a hippy chick that freaks out when I burn plastic in my trash fire, yet she fills her house with scented candles.  She also thinks the government uses airlines to spread mind control chemicals.

    Just like microwaving things in Saran wrap will shrink you gonads.  A bunch of nonsense.  If plastic was deadly, we'd all be dead already.

    Most of this trash is just 1 to 2 years old.  The earlier stuff (from the 60's 70's 80's and 90's) bio-degraded years ago.  Where do you think mercury, cadmium, and lead come from?  It is all 100% natural to begin with.  It is in the earth since before mankind was here.

    Just as mother nature provides us with many "natural" medicines to cure disease, she also makes her share of bad things, but the tree-huggers never mention those.

    23895.gif
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    edited April 2018 #6
    I don't think we're using lead, cadmium, or mercury in our plastic drinking bottles or grocery bags, which is why they aren't pertinent when discussing the effect of plastics....and "tree-huggers" has nothing to do with it except, perhaps, to demean those who express concern.
  • Florida Ex-patFlorida Ex-pat Posts: 586 Officer
    I wonder if there is any correlation between that and the record number of humans that currently exist on planet Earth.
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    Another interesting result from the world wide switch to plastics is the resulting increase in malaria and disease carrying mosquitoes.
  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG
    The increase in malaria and disease carrying mosquitos can be absolutely and directly linked to the decreased use of DDT due to hyperbole. 

    It has resulted in the deaths of millions of human beings. 
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    fins4me said:
    The increase in malaria and disease carrying mosquitos can be absolutely and directly linked to the decreased use of DDT due to hyperbole. 

    It has resulted in the deaths of millions of human beings. 
    DDT is still  being used across the world, and mosquito diseases continue to increase with DDT use. Due to DDT resistant mosquito and plastic trash. In fact, disease carrying mosquitoes were nearly eliminated on some islands until the advent of copious amounts of plastic trash started washing up on beaches.


  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG
    The use of DDT is miniscule compared to the need.
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    Who needs birds and insects anyway?

    What we really need is more plastic and insecticides!
  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG
    Who needs birds and insects anyway?

    What we really need is more plastic and insecticides!
    So the millions who have died at the alter of the insect and some birds, ,, well they do not matter.
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    edited April 2018 #14
    Who said they do not matter?

    There are other ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria, Fins, that don't kill birds and insects or stack up in the environment like DDT....or are likely human carcinogens.

    How big of a problem is malaria in the USA again?  How long has DDT been banned?
  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG
    Who said they do not matter?

    There are other ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria, Fins, that don't kill birds and insects or stack up in the environment like DDT....or are likely human carcinogens.

    How big of a problem is malaria in the USA again?  How long has DDT been banned?
    It isn't a big deal here. In other areas of the world it is one of the leading killers of human beings. The forced curtailment of DDT use due to political pressure applied has resulted in the deaths of millions. There is no product as effective as DDT. It is estimated that every 12 seconds a human being dies from mosquito borne disease. The vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented with DDT use.

    It is estimated that DDT has saved over 500 million human lives. Now because of misguided political environmental movements  millions are at risk needlessly. 
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    edited April 2018 #16
    fins4me said:
    Who said they do not matter?

    There are other ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria, Fins, that don't kill birds and insects or stack up in the environment like DDT....or are likely human carcinogens.

    How big of a problem is malaria in the USA again?  How long has DDT been banned?
    It isn't a big deal here. In other areas of the world it is one of the leading killers of human beings. The forced curtailment of DDT use due to political pressure applied has resulted in the deaths of millions. There is no product as effective as DDT. It is estimated that every 12 seconds a human being dies from mosquito borne disease. The vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented with DDT use.

    It is estimated that DDT has saved over 500 million human lives. Now because of misguided political environmental movements  millions are at risk needlessly. 
    Yeah, that pesky thing called science drives politics....at least in most parts of the globe.

    You're right in that it's probably the cheapest answer, but it's hardly the only effective response, and it has significant drawbacks.

  • tjensentjensen Posts: 359 Deckhand
    How would an increase in plastic litter mean an increase in skeeter numbers other than another place for rain to pool. Yet trees have plenty of cavity's as well as leaves etc. Now old tires are the biggest hatcheries for mosquitos but there were no shortages of them before autos. I hate plastic litter as much as anybody but plastics are modern miracles that help our lives and save lives in a myriad of ways.
  • fins4mefins4me Posts: 14,487 AG
    fins4me said:
    Who said they do not matter?

    There are other ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria, Fins, that don't kill birds and insects or stack up in the environment like DDT....or are likely human carcinogens.

    How big of a problem is malaria in the USA again?  How long has DDT been banned?
    It isn't a big deal here. In other areas of the world it is one of the leading killers of human beings. The forced curtailment of DDT use due to political pressure applied has resulted in the deaths of millions. There is no product as effective as DDT. It is estimated that every 12 seconds a human being dies from mosquito borne disease. The vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented with DDT use.

    It is estimated that DDT has saved over 500 million human lives. Now because of misguided political environmental movements  millions are at risk needlessly. 
    Oh Jesus you surely aren't promoting the use of DDT are you. I know you are a little off your rocker but **** man that's just crazy!!
    Tell that to some father in a malaria plagued area as he watches his child die.
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    I notice no one is saying where most of this litter is coming from? 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,009 Admiral
    I wonder if there is any correlation between that and the record number of humans that currently exist on planet Earth.

    THAT'S IT !!
    Send the Grant Money to Fl. x pat .
    Just think Pete , the Earth is becoming way over populated and we all know it.
    We're killing it off slowly.
    NOW , How do we fix the problem ? Lot's of us need to die , Any other suggestions ?
    Let's just cut to The Chase here for the sake of Brevity...

    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • tjensentjensen Posts: 359 Deckhand
    I notice no one is saying where most of this litter is coming from? 

    The first article states that there was lots of local sources apparently. The First Nations villages have some really serious environmental problems that are endemic ( littering etc) Seen it.
  • NewberryJeffNewberryJeff Posts: 7,447 Admiral
    edited April 2018 #22
    I wonder if there is any correlation between that and the record number of humans that currently exist on planet Earth.

    THAT'S IT !!
    Send the Grant Money to Fl. x pat .
    Just think Pete , the Earth is becoming way over populated and we all know it.
    We're killing it off slowly.
    NOW , How do we fix the problem ? Lot's of us need to die , Any other suggestions ?
    Let's just cut to The Chase here for the sake of Brevity...

    Banning DDT is one of the methods.  The people who wanted DDT banned are/were your typical environmentalists with elitist mindsets.  Most are depopulationists.  Notice how environmentalism doesn't kill 1st world populations or cause them to suffer?
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,426 Admiral

    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 12,590 AG
    edited April 2018 #24
    DDT is bad.  Malaria is just a way of keeping the greatest pollution offenders population down. Nature is amazing with it's checks and balances.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • FinfinderFinfinder Posts: 9,999 Admiral
    I don't think we're using lead, cadmium, or mercury in our plastic drinking bottles or grocery bags, which is why they aren't pertinent when discussing the effect of plastics....and "tree-huggers" has nothing to do with it except, perhaps, to demean those who express concern.
    Very telling since you probably have used the tern gut nut a couple hundred times in the last few months.     insert troll icon 


  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    fins4me said:
    Who said they do not matter?

    There are other ways to combat mosquitoes and malaria, Fins, that don't kill birds and insects or stack up in the environment like DDT....or are likely human carcinogens.

    How big of a problem is malaria in the USA again?  How long has DDT been banned?
    It isn't a big deal here. In other areas of the world it is one of the leading killers of human beings. The forced curtailment of DDT use due to political pressure applied has resulted in the deaths of millions. There is no product as effective as DDT. It is estimated that every 12 seconds a human being dies from mosquito borne disease. The vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented with DDT use.

    It is estimated that DDT has saved over 500 million human lives. Now because of misguided political environmental movements  millions are at risk needlessly. 
    Not so much forced curtailment....overuse worldwide for everything under the sun including mosquitoes caused insects to become resistant thus mandating reduction in use. Like I side, many many countries still use in small and appropriate amounts....seemingly appropriate.

    Kinda like your use of antibiotics in cows is causing antibiotic resistant bacteria that is killing Americans.
  • Fish HaidFish Haid Posts: 8,417 Admiral
    Umm... It was the original article that said these plastics contain the heavy metals.
    23895.gif
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    So it's frozen in ice, Nothing is eating the ice, so isn't that a good thing? 
    How did it get in the ice. Critical thinking!!!!!
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    I wonder if there is any correlation between that and the record number of humans that currently exist on planet Earth.

    THAT'S IT !!
    Send the Grant Money to Fl. x pat .
    Just think Pete , the Earth is becoming way over populated and we all know it.
    We're killing it off slowly.
    NOW , How do we fix the problem ? Lot's of us need to die , Any other suggestions ?
    Let's just cut to The Chase here for the sake of Brevity...

    Pandemic. Not if, but when.....

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    edited April 2018 #30
    Finfinder said:
    I don't think we're using lead, cadmium, or mercury in our plastic drinking bottles or grocery bags, which is why they aren't pertinent when discussing the effect of plastics....and "tree-huggers" has nothing to do with it except, perhaps, to demean those who express concern.
    Very telling since you probably have used the tern gut nut a couple hundred times in the last few months.     insert troll icon
    Of course it's telling because I was using the term to demean.

    However I've only used the term a half dozen times.  Perhaps the echo between your ears has you confused again.  :)
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,009 Admiral
    Another Black Death..
    The Earth needs it real soon. Hate to see folks die off ..but..
    That's why only Fools send money to starving African children.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
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