Although the Arctic samples were less contaminated, the third highest concentration in the samples analysed - 14, particles per litre - came from an ice floe in the Fram Strait off eastern Greenland.
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On average, the researchers found 1, particles per litre in the samples taken from that region. Dr Martin Wagner, a biologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology who was not involved with the study, said the extremely high concentrations could be partly attributed to the methods the researchers used, which let them identify microplastics as tiny as 11 micrometres, or 0.
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He added: "Snow may be an important reservoir storing microplastics and releasing it during snow melt, something that has not been looked at before. The study suggested that the airborne distribution of microplastics has been neglected as a source of contamination and should be accounted for in standard air pollution monitoring schemes. In a separate study, a US-led team of researchers also found plastic in ice cores drilled in the Arctic.
Znaczenie IT'S AN ILL WIND (THAT BLOWS NOBODY ANY GOOD), definicja w Cambridge English Dictionary
The researchers used a helicopter to land on ice floes and retrieve the samples during an day icebreaker expedition through the Northwest Passage, the hazardous route linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The team drew 18 ice cores of up to 2m long from four locations, and saw visible plastic beads and filaments of various shapes and sizes.
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