Ecologists have explained why the Arctic gets so much garbage

Ecologists have explained why the Arctic gets so much garbage

Despite the fact that on the coast of the Arctic ocean lives very few people, its sea is heavily polluted with debris from plastic. The causes of this phenomenon, an international team of biologists, ecologists and oceanographers explained in an article in the journal Science Advances.

During an expedition on the French schooner Tara in 2013, scientists were surprised at how much debris they found in the Northern parts of the Atlantic ocean East of Greenland and North of Scandinavia. Researchers estimate that in these areas, swim hundreds of tons of debris.

In order to trace the movements of the objects on the surface of the ocean, environmentalists used 17 thousands of buoys with sensors that allow them to track their movements by satellite. As a result, the movement of waste in the Arctic seas, scientists have accused the thermohaline circulation currents generated due to the difference in temperature and salinity. In addition, indirect signs, such as the type of debris (various films), suggests that it comes from remote areas of the ocean, from the shores of Northern Europe, the UK and the US East coast.

According to the authors, the results “point to the need to properly handle the plastic where it is used, because if it falls into the ocean, the direction of movement can be unpredictable.” Researchers estimate floating on the ocean surface plastic debris is less than 3% of the total number of such debris on the Ground, however, they predict an increase in volumes in the coming years.