Plastic pollution has reached one of the most remote places on Earth: the Arctic. That is according to two separate studies released last week which found tiny plastic particles, known as microplastics, in Arctic snowfall and frozen within the sea ice.
A study by German and Swiss scientists found that snow falling in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard contained as many as 14,400 particles of plastic per litre.
They said it was likely the particles were being blown in from populated areas thousands of miles away, before being trapped in snow and falling to Earth.
Meanwhile, a US-led team of researchers discovered plastic particles frozen within arctic sea ice, after spending 18 days collecting ice core samples in the remote Northwest Passage.
“We’re seeing plastics of different colours, different geometries, these beads and the filament,” said Brice Loose, chief scientist of Northwest Passage Project, which led the study.
“For us it was kind of a punch to the stomach to see what looked like a normal sea ice core in such a beautiful pristine environment but just chock-full of this material which is completely foreign to the environment.”
Microplastics are plastic fragments less than 5 mm in length, produced by the breakdown of larger plastic debris.
They have been found in the soil, air, oceans and even bottled drinking water, though scientists say more research is needed to determine their effects on health and the environment.
Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems
Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.
Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."
Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.
Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau's Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.
Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.
The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.
A veteran teacher explains why Trump is incapable of learning
While dyslexia has been mentioned now and then as one of the reasons Donald Trump is so ignorant of what it takes to govern in a free society, I want to explore it as foundational to his inability to learn and grow while in office—and also as a way to link disparate troubling elements in his makeup.