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Scientists Found Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice

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By: Dianna Parker

Arctic sea ice regularly makes the news because, well, it’s declining to record lows, but this month scientists discovered another alarming observation. According to a new study, microplastics were found frozen in the ice, and there are a lot of them.

Rachel Obbard, an engineering professor at Dartmouth, and her colleagues wrote in the journal Earth’s Future that, “Arctic sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre.”

That leaves us wondering: if Arctic sea ice acts as a “sink” for microplastics, what will happen when the ice melts and what are the potential ecosystem impacts?

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

3 thoughts on “Scientists Found Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice

  1. Pingback: Scientists Found Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice | Environmental News Bits

  2. Pingback: Illinois Bans Plastic Microbeads from Personal Care Products | NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

  3. Pingback: How Beach Cleanups Help Keep Microplastics out of the Garbage Patches | NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

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