July 23, 2024

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Microplastics pollute every place on earth

Microplastics pollute every place on earth

Those who think they are safe from this pollution are mistaken by not using plastic or living far from this waste in nature. This is a problem for all of humanity, everywhere on earth. Scientists have determined that microplastics from Africa and North Africa circulate in the air in the Pyrenees.

Scientists have found microplastic particles from Africa and North America above the highest peaks of the Pyrenees. This proves that plastic particles can travel across continents and oceans, they say.

Microplastics are small grains of plastic that are created by decomposing plastic products. Its age is estimated to be between 450 and 1,000 years (Ed.

Researchers from the CNRS National Research Center in France took air samples between June and October 2021 at an astronomical observatory atop Pic du Midi, a high peak in the middle of the mountain range that separates France and Spain. At an altitude of 2,877 metres, far from any source of pollution, they found that each sample taken contained microplastics, mainly from packaging.

Troposphere acts as a high-speed train

Based on weather and wind data, they were able to calculate that many of the air samples came from places in Africa and North America. According to these scientists, evidence proves that microplastics can travel long distances using air currents in the so-called “free troposphere” as a type of high-speed train.

The view south from the observatory on the Pic du Midi. Photo: Binh Liu Song/CC BY-SA 3: 0

The free troposphere, between 3000 and 9000 meters above the Earth’s surface, is the layer in the atmosphere above that in which meteorological phenomena occur on Earth. Due to the strong air currents in that layer, microplastics can be transported over a distance of thousands of kilometers.

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So far, science has assumed that microplastics are only moving on a regional scale. At the same time, scientists have proven in recent years that even the far seas around Antarctica, around Chomolungma (formerly Mount Everest), the highest mountain in the world at 8,849 meters and in the Challenger Deep, at a depth of 10,924 meters at the deepest point of all oceans, are polluted With small plastic particles.