Scientific Adventure

Pollution reaches the Mariana Trench

The amphipods were contaminated with PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — toxic chemicals used for decades in industry, as well as other industrial pollutants known as persistent organic pollutants.

“Every sample we had,” Jamieson says, “had contaminants in it at very high or extraordinarily high levels.”

Science Continues Melting Sea Ice Studies

In the vast and chaotic climate systems that govern our atmosphere and oceans, making sense of how one change — diminished sea ice — affects places or people thousands of miles away is a task of such extraordinary complexity that it strains even the most sophisticated supercomputers.

Plastics in Great Lakes Research

What’s more concerning is that plastic has been found to act like a sort of sponge, concentrating toxic chemicals that are diluted in oceans and lakes. Such toxins include heavy metals and chemicals that have long been banned, such as DDT or PCBs, that can have severe environmental effects and are known to cause cancer and birth defects.