Shock detected in the ice core in the Arctic – the most remote water

Microscopic pieces of plastic have been found in ice cores drilled in the Arctic, revealing a growing pollution to marine life in even the most remote waters on the planet.

The researchers used helicopters to land on ice sheets and take samples during an 18-day icebreaker expedition through the Northwest Corridor, the treacherous route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. .

“We spent weeks looking for ancient white sea ice floating in the ocean,” Jacob Strock, a researcher at the University of Rhode Island who performed the initial analysis of the cores, told Reuters.

Shock detected in the ice core in the Arctic - the most remote water
Microplastics were found in ice core samples taken from the Northwest Corridor during an 18-day icebreaker expedition in July and August. (Photo: Reuters).

“When we looked closely at it, we found dirt that could be seen with the right tool. We were quite surprised,” says Strock.

Strock and colleagues found material trapped in ice taken from Lancaster Sound, an isolated stretch of water in the Canadian Arctic, which they think may be relatively sheltered from drift plastic pollution.

The team pulled 18 ice cores up to 2 meters long from four locations and detected visible plastic particles and fibers of various shapes and sizes.

The scientists’ panic is reminiscent of explorers’ outrage when they found plastic waste in the Pacific’s Marianas Trench, the deepest place on Earth, during a deep-sea dive earlier this year. now.

The Northwest Corridor project mainly focuses on investigating the impact of anthropogenic climate change on the Arctic, as the cooling system of the planet, which is threatened by rapid disappearance. of summer sea ice.

Pieces of plastic – known as microplastics – also show how horrifying the waste problem has reached. The United Nations estimates that 100 million tons of plastic have been dumped into the oceans to date.