Airborne and marine microplastics from an oceanographic survey at the Baltic Sea: An emerging role of air-sea interaction?
Microplastics pollution is an emerging problem on the whole Earth as they spread in all the natural environments. In this study, the airborne and marine microplastics were investigated along a research cruise over the Baltic. Airborne microplastics concentrations decreased from the Gdansk harbour till the middle of the Baltic Sea where they become closer to the ones measured in the sea. The microplastics composition was similar (polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalates, polyurethane, polystyrene) in the two environmental compartments (atmosphere and sea) suggesting a linkage between the two compartments. The microplastics sea emission fluxes and the study of back-trajectories showed the contemporary presence of atmospheric transport together with a continuous emission from the sea enabling a grasshopper long-range transport across the sea.
Reference: Ferrero, L., Scibetta, L., Markuszewski, P., et al., (2022). Airborne and marine microplastics from an oceanographic survey at the Baltic Sea: An emerging role of air-sea interaction? Science of The Total Environment, 824, 153709. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153709.