Microplastics found in waters off Svalbard, raising more concerns about Arctic Ocean pollution

Alaska Dispatch News

October 13, 2015

By Yereth Rosen

Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.

The study, published in the open-access journal Nature Scientific Reports, is the first documentation of microplastics in those waters, raising concerns that the tiny pieces of plastic litter are entering the Arctic food web...

...While this was the first measurement of microplastics in waters off Svalbard, other studies have found such plastic litter in far-flung sites.

A Dartmouth scientist examining tiny marine organisms dwelling in sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean was surprised to find numerous types of bright-colored plastic bits also embedded in the ice. Dartmouth’s Rachel Obbard described her findings in a study published last year in the journal Earth’s Future.

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