Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arctic Beach Microplastic Pollution Exposed By Tourists


The scourge of microplastic pollution on Arctic beaches has been exposed by citizen scientists in the form of tourists.

Tourists visiting the remote Svalbard archipelago have brought back data and samples that show the extent of microplastic pollution in the Arctic.

The work was published in Frontiers in Environmental Science and is the work of Dr. Bruno Walther, who is associated with the Alfred Wegener Institute at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Sadly, the cruises did not just detect the presence of microplastics but also large plastic debris ranging in size from 1 inch/2.5cm to 4 inches/10cm. Although, as the researchers have pointed out, previous work has shown that the bulk (80%) of microplastics are small (less than 1 cm). That indicates that the problem in the Arctic may be more significant than we think.

You can find out more here.

Closeup shot of a piece of ice floating in the ocean and reflected. Generative AI (Adobe Stock)
Closeup shot of a piece of ice floating in the ocean and reflected. Generative AI (Adobe Stock)
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for