Scientists have discovered microplastics from Africa and North America on top of one of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees. They say this proves that plastic particles can travel across continents and oceans.
Researchers at CNRS, France’s national research institute, took samples of the air between June and October at the Pic du Midi Astronomical Observatory, the highest peak in the middle of the mountain range that separates France from Spain.
At an altitude of 2877 meters, far from any source of pollution, microplastics were found in every sample, mainly from the packaging.
Troposphere as a high-speed train
Based on the weather and wind data, they were able to calculate that many wind samples came from places in Africa and North America. According to scientists, this is evidence that microplastics can travel long distances using air currents in a type of high-speed train called the “free troposphere”.
The Free Troposphere, located between 3 and 9 kilometers from the Earth’s surface, is a layer in the atmosphere in which weather events occur. Research suggests that due to the strong ventilation in that layer, microplastics can travel thousands of kilometers.
Until now, science considers these microplastics to have moved regionally. At the same time, scientists have discovered that even the distant seas around Antarctica, The The tallest mountain in the world And this The deepest point of the oceans Contaminated with small plastic particles.
A new study published in the journal Nature Communications “provides an explanation for their existence at the poles, Mount Everest or other distant parts of our planet.” Thus Researchers.
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