Microplastics found in Arctic sea ice

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Researchers aboard the Swedish Icebreaker Oden as part of the Northwest Passage Project, an 18-day expedition through the Northwest Passage, have found microplastics polluting ice from the Arctic Ocean.

The researchers first used a helicopter to land on ice floes, Reuters reports. They then used a drill to obtain a total of 18 ice core samples from four locations. The team shared images of the sampled ice containing visibly different shapes and sizes of plastic beads and filaments.

The team plans to analyze the ice samples to get a better understanding of how plastic particles in ice could affect fish, seabirds and large ocean mammals in the Arctic.

The Northwest Passage Project's main aim is to make assessments on how climate change is impacting the Arctic.

According to the project's website, the mission specifically focused on four research areas. Scientists gathered data on water mass and circulation inside the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to analyze how the water column chemistry affects greenhouse gas accumulation.

They also examined how microscopic habitats are transitioning because of climate conditions and monitored marine bird distribution in the Arctic region.

The expedition took place between July 18 to August 4.

In a separate study published in the journal Science Advances, scientists found microplastics present in Arctic sea ice, as well as the Arctic water column and its surface waters. Researchers in the study assessed that the plastic particles found in the Arctic are transported by the wind.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Icebreaker Oden and microplastics in Arctic ice
2. Scientists obtaining ice core samples
3. An ice sample with plastic particles in it, being analyzed to find out its effects on fish, seabirds and whales
4. How microplastics could be transporting to the Arctic

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Researchers aboard the Swedish Icebreaker Oden as part of the Northwest Passage Project, an 18-day expedition through the Northwest Passage, have found microplastics polluting ice from the Arctic Ocean."

"Reuters reports the researchers first used a helicopter to land on ice floes. They then used a drill to obtain a total of 18 ice core samples from four locations."

"The team shared images of the sampled ice containing visibly different shapes and sizes of plastic beads and filaments."

"The team plans to analyze the ice samples to get a better understanding of how plastic particles in ice could affect fish, seabirds and large ocean mammals in the Arctic."

"In a separate study published in the journal Science Advances, scientists found microplastics present in Arctic sea ice, as well as the Arctic water column and its surface waters."

"Researchers in the study assessed that the plastic particles found in the Arctic are transported by the wind."

SOURCES: Phys.org, Reuters, Science Advances
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-arctic-sea-ice-microplastics.html
https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/08/17/scientists-find-microplastics-deep-in-ar?videoId=587718020
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-arctic-plastic/punch-in-the-gut-as-scientists-find-micro-plastic-in-arctic-ice-idUSKCN1V41V2
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/8/eaax1157