News

More than 1000 rivers account for 80% of global riverine plastic emissions into the ocean

Abstract.

"Plastic waste increasingly accumulates in the marine environment, but data on the distribution and quantification of riverine sources required for development of effective mitigation are limited. Our model approach includes geographically distributed data on plastic waste, land use, wind, precipitation, and rivers and calculates the probability for plastic waste to reach a river and subsequently the ocean. This probabilistic approach highlights regions that are likely to emit plastic into the ocean. We calibrated our model using recent field observations[...]".

 

Source: Science Advances 
Authors: LOURENS J. J. MEIJER et al.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5803

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Floating macrolitter leaked from Europe into the ocean

Abstract.

"Riverine systems act as converging pathways for discarded litter within drainage basins, becoming key elements in gauging the transfer of mismanaged waste into the ocean. However, riverine litter data are scarce and biased towards microplastics, generally lacking information about larger items. Based on the first ever database of riverine floating macrolitter across Europe, we have estimated that between 307 and 925 million litter items are released annually from Europe into the ocean[...]"

 

Source: Nature
Authors: Daniel González-Fernández et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00722-6

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Marine Litter Windrows: A Strategic Target to Understand and Manage the Ocean Plastic Pollution

Abstract.

"Windrow is a long-established term for the aggregations of seafoam, seaweeds, plankton and natural debris that appear on the ocean surface. Here, we define a “litter windrow” as any aggregation of floating litter at the submesoscale domain (<10 km horizontally), regardless of the force inducing the surface convergence, be it wind or other forces such as tides or density-driven currents. The marine litter windrows observed to date usually form stripes[...]"

 

Source: Frontiers
Authors: Andrés Cózar et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.571796

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Pervasive distribution of polyester fibres in the Arctic Ocean is driven by Atlantic inputs

Abstract.

"Microplastics are increasingly recognized as ubiquitous global contaminants, but questions linger regarding their source, transport and fate. We document the widespread distribution of microplastics in near-surface seawater from 71 stations across the European and North American Arctic - including the North Pole. We also characterize samples to a depth of 1,015 m in the Beaufort Sea. Particle abundance correlated with longitude, with almost three times more particles in the eastern Arctic compared to the west. Polyester comprised[...]"

 

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Peter S. Ross et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20347-1

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Pelagic microplastics in surface water of the Eastern Indian Ocean during monsoon transition period: Abundance, distribution, and characteristics

Abstract.

"Microplastics (MPs) have been documented in almost all marine environments, including coastal regions, the open ocean, and the deep sea. However, relatively little knowledge was available about MP pollution in the open ocean, especially the Indian Ocean. We conducted field observations at 36 stations in the Eastern Indian Ocean (EIO), using a typical manta trawl with a mesh size of 330 μm for surface water sampling. Ours is the first study to obtained comprehensive and comparable baseline data about MPs in the EIO, including abundance, spatial distribution and characteristics[...]"

 

Source: Science Direct 
Authors: Changjun Li et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142629

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Ocean Optimism: Moving Beyond the Obituaries in Marine Conservation

Abstract.

"While the ocean has suffered many losses, there is increasing evidence that important progress is being made in marine conservation. Examples include striking recoveries of once-threatened species, increasing rates of protection of marine habitats, more sustainably managed fisheries and aquaculture, reductions in some forms of pollution, accelerating restoration of degraded habitats, and use of the ocean and its habitats to sequester carbon and provide clean energy. Many of these achievements have multiple benefits[...]"

 

Source: Annual Reviews
Authors: Nancy Knowlton
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-marine-040220-101608

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The influence of plastic pollution and ocean change on detrital decomposition

Abstract.

"Plastic pollution and ocean change have mostly been assessed separately, missing potential interactions that either enhance or reduce future impacts on ecosystem processes. Here, we used manipulative experiments with outdoor mesocosms to test hypotheses about the interactive effects of plastic pollution, ocean warming and acidification on macrophyte detrital decomposition. These experiments focused on detritus from kelp, Ecklonia radiata, and eelgrass, Zostera muelleri, and included crossed treatments of (i) no, low and high plastic pollution, (ii) current/future ocean temperatures, and (iii) ambient/future ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2). High levels of plastic pollution significantly reduced[...]"

 

Source: Science Direct
Authors: Sebastian G. Litchfield et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111354

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Can microplastics pose a threat to ocean carbon sequestration?

Abstract.

"Global climate change has attracted worldwide attention. The ocean is the largest active carbon pool on the planet and plays an important role in global climate change. However, marine plastic pollution is getting increasingly serious due to the large consumption and mismanagement of global plastics. The impact of marine plastics on ecosystem responsible for the gas exchange and circulation of marine CO2 may cause more greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, in this paper, threats of marine microplastics to ocean carbon sequestration are discussed. Marine microplastics[...]"

 

Source: Science Direct
Authors: Maocai Shen et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110712

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Sea urchin chronicles. The effect of oxygen super-saturation and marine polluted sediments from Bagnoli-Goroglio Bay on different life stages of the

sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus

Abstract.

"In marinas and harbours, the accumulation of pollutants in sediments, combined with poor exchange of water with the open sea, poses a major environmental threat. The presence of photosynthetic organisms and the related oxygen production, however, may alleviate the negative effects of environmental contamination on heterotrophic organisms, enhancing their physiological defences. Furthermore, possible transgenerational buffer effects may increase the ability of natural populations to face environmental[...]"

 

Source: Science Direct
Authors: Antonia Chiarore et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.104967

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Greenhouse gas cycling by the plastisphere: The sleeper issue of plastic pollution

Abstract.

"Plastic is an allochthonous material to marine ecosystems but is rapidly colonized by marine microbial communities, with an as yet unclear contribution to biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we investigated the influence of an active microbial community grown on microplastic particles (the plastisphere) on CO2 and N2O recycling and its potential role in greenhouse gas inventories and air-sea exchange. Microplastics were collected during two cruises (Cimar 21 and FIP Montes Submarinos) from the surface layer (5 m depth) from several contrasting trophic regions of the South Pacific Ocean, i.e., from a transition zone off the eutrophic coastal upwelling of Chile, to a mesotrophic transition area of oceanic seamounts and, finally, to an oligotrophic zone in the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre. [...]"

Source: Chemosphere
Authors: MarcelaCornejo-D’Ottone et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125709

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