05 Sep '11, 11am

Plastic Arctic

Plastic Arctic

For many people the Arctic is seen as one of the last wilderness regions left where there has been limited human impact. However, sampling of marine plastic debris over the past few days shows that the far reaching effects of mankind is clearly present even in the Arctic ocean. Plastics remains in the ocean for a long time due to the low temperatures and low UV light levels, making it harder to degrade compared to on land. This means it affects everything that depends on the ocean for survival. Wildlife can become entangled or eat the debris mistaking it for food, and birds have been observed using plastic material to build nests. The addition of plastic to beach sediment can alter its temperature, which in turn can affect animals such as turtles which require a specific temperature range for egg development. Alien species can be transported into new areas by attaching the...

Full article: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/plastic-arctic-2...

Tweets

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