Accumulation of Microplastics in Ice Algae

The abstract of an April 21, 2023 Environmental Science and Technology article by researchers in Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom advises that “… Ice algae growing underneath sea ice are released upon melting and can form fast-sinking aggregates. In this pilot study, we sampled and analyzed the ice algae Melosira arctica and ambient sea water from three locations in the Fram Strait to assess their microplastic content and potential as a temporary sink and pathway to the deep seafloor … The high concentrations of microplastics found in our pilot study suggest that M. arctica could trap microplastics from melting ice and ambient sea water. The algae appear to be a temporary sink and could act as a key vector to food webs near the sea surface and on the deep seafloor, to which its fast-sinking aggregates could facilitate an important mechanism of transport …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #MicroPlastics #IceAlgae