Giving Compass' Take:
- Research indicates that by 2040 there could be 80 million metric tons of plastic pollution in the ocean coming from the atmosphere.
- How can this research help inform donor investment aimed at addressing ocean pollution?
- Read more about the fight against ocean plastic pollutants.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
According to estimates, by 2040 the level of plastic pollution could reach 80 million metric tons per year. Plastic particles have now been detected in virtually all spheres of the environment, e.g. in water bodies, the soil and the air. Via ocean currents and rivers, the tiny plastic particles can even reach the Arctic, Antarctic or ocean depths. A new overview study has now shown that wind, too, can transport these particles great distances – and much faster than water can: in the atmosphere, they can travel from their point of origin to the most remote corners of the planet in a matter of days. In the journal Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, an international team of researchers – including experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel – describes how microplastic finds its way into the atmosphere and how it is subsequently transported.
Today, between 0.013 and 25 million metric tons of micro- and nanoplastic per year are transported up to thousands of kilometres by ocean air, snow, sea spray and fog, crossing countries, continents and oceans in the process. This estimate was arrived at by an international team of 33 researchers, including experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam (IASS) and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel.
Read the full article about plastic pollution in the ocean at Environmental News Network.