Last week, scientists learned that 40-foot piles of compacted sea ice — some of the oldest and most durable clusters in the Arctic — are breaking away from the coast of Greenland and drifting out to sea. One meteorologist called… Read More ›
More than five trillion pieces of plastic are estimated floating on the surface of the world’s oceans. It has been claimed that there is now enough plastic to form a permanent layer in the fossil record.
Ted Scambos, the lead scientist at NSIDC, said: “Antarctic sea ice really went down the rabbit hole this time.” His colleague Walt Meier, who also works at Nasa, added: “The Arctic has typically been where the most interest lies, but this month, the Antarctic has flipped the script and it is southern sea ice that is surprising us.”
The majority of the pieces, 54 percent, were rayon, a manmade material created out of cellulose and used to make clothing, cigarette butts, disposable diapers and other personal-hygiene products, among other consumer goods. The rest were pieces of various other types of polymers — polyester, nylon, polypropylene, polystyrene, acrylic and polyethylene. Identifying the tiny pieces fell largely to Thompson, whose research has focused on marine debris, Obbard said.
Seals wearing special tags are playing a vital role in collecting temperature and salinity measurements from the polar oceans, delivering insights for weather forecasters, climate scientists and biologists, according to a new review. Polar seas play a critical role in… Read More ›