Algae Growing Under Arctic Sea Ic

Microplastics Were Found in Algae Growing Underneath Arctic Sea Ice!

In Melosira arctica, a species of algae that develops beneath sea ice in the Arctic, microplastic quantities have been found, according to a recent study. Scientists are worried about the wildlife that consumes the infected algae since it serves as a nutrition source at the base of the food chain.

In the study, which was directed by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, researchers discovered 10 times more microplastics in the Melosira arctica samples than they did in the nearby saltwater.

In addition to potentially endangering creatures that consume the algae, dead algal clumps have been seen to break free from Arctic sea ice and sink to the ocean floor while carrying microplastic pollution. This, according to scientists, may assist to explain why microplastics have been discovered in the deep sea.

We have now identified a credible explanation for why, even in deep-sea sediment, we always record the highest concentrations of microplastics around the ice edge. According to a statement from Melanie Bergmann, a biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

The alga descends at such a rapid rate that it nearly falls in a straight line beneath the ice’s edge. On the other hand, marine snow descends farther out because it is slower and is driven laterally by currents. It helps to explain why we measure increased microplastic numbers under the ice edge if the Melosira transports microplastics directly to the bottom.

Algae Growing Under Arctic Sea Ic

The species of algae, which is at the base of the food chain, grow in clumps along the underside of sea ice during the spring and summer. Microplastic particles were discovered to be nearly ten times more prevalent in samples of Melosira arctica and the adjacent water, according to research.

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This might be a result of the algae’s ability to attract and hold plastic debris from nearby waterways, melting sea ice, and other sources as it passes by. The algae are subsequently consumed by wildlife, which could be problematic given the high levels of microplastics present.

Algae Growing Under Arctic Sea Ice

According to the researchers’ study, which was published in Environmental Science & Technology, ice algae could be a vector into under-ice food webs because they are centers of biological activity and a significant source of food for grazing creatures. In fact, grazing zooplankton from the Fram Strait was recently found to contain MPs.

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The plastics used to make the microplastics ranged from nylon and acrylic to nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), with PET being the most prevalent. 94% on average of the microplastic particles were 10 m or less. The ability of algae to store carbon may be impacted if these minute particles get inside and harm the Melosira arctica, according to scientists.

Arctic biota is already under significant stress as a result of global warming, which advances there four times more quickly than elsewhere in the world. The study came to the conclusion that plastic pollution needs to be effectively addressed because it probably makes this pressure worse.

Deepak Grover

Deepak works on enviro360 as a senior content editor. He reports on the latest events and changes in the technology, climate, and entertainment industry. Moreover, he is quite interested in knowing every single piece of information about celebrity's lifestyles and daily updates. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports, as well as spending time with his family.

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