30 May '14, 2pm

From The Beacon: #Arctic ice melt could unlock trillions of frozen microplastics:

From The Beacon: #Arctic ice melt could unlock trillions of frozen microplastics:

Ironically, the authors did not intend to study microplastics; instead, they set out to search for sediments and diatoms in sea ice cores from two different National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA studies, and unintentionally discovered these synthetic particles in varying locations throughout the Arctic Ocean. Their prevalence encouraged the researchers to examine the remaining ice cores, adhering to strict sampling and handling protocols as to not introduce their own plastic particles into the samples. The pieces observed were mostly blue, black, green, and red in color, with rayon being the most prevalent material (which the authors point out is technically not a plastic, but a manmade semi-synthetic material used in cigarette filters and hygiene products). Other materials included polyester, nylon, polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylic, and polyethylene, according to ...

Full article: http://oceana.org/en/blog/2014/05/arctic-ice-melt-could-u...

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grist.org 31 May '14, 12am

After 300 years of fruitless (and sometimes deadly) attempts to find the fabled Northwest Passage, a sea route to connect ...