Microplastics and nanoplastics in the marine-atmosphere environment

Allen et al. 2022


The global oceans present a significant expanse where ~25 metric tons of micro and nano plastic (MnP) may be exchanged between air and sea.

Supported by the United Nations (UN) Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 33 international scientists came together to address the importance of the atmosphere in the global marine MnP cycle and to propose a future research and monitoring strategy. The proposed global strategy would create a cohesive set of long-term atmospheric MnP concentration and flux observations, enabling the quantification of the ocean-atmosphere MnP flux and its influence on ecosystem and human health. It would also lead to more effective prevention and/or management of MnP pollution. The work highlights the need to act now to initiate this global observation network, with operational procedures that will lead to globally comparable long-term observation datasets.

Reference: Allen, D., Allen, S., Abbasi, S., et al. (2022). Microplastics and nanoplastics in the marine-atmosphere environment. Nature Reviews Earth and Environment. https://doi.org/10. 1038/s43017-022-00292-x.

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