Scientists have discovered microplastics – plastic pieces considerably smaller than a grain of rice – in freshly fallen Antartic snow for the first time, which according to their view is likely to have impacts on climatic conditions by escalating melting of ice.
The discovery, issued recently in The Cryosphere journal, throws light on a significant threat to the Antarctica region.
Earlier studies have  discovered that microplastics have negative  effects  on the environment, it limits growth, reproduction, and on general biological functions in organisms, in addition to that it also has negative effects on humans.
In the later part of 2019, Alex Aves, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, collected snow samples from the Rose Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
During that period, there had been few studies investigating the of existence of microplastics in the atmosphere, and it was unrevealed how widespread this problem was, the researchers narrated.
“When Alex traveled to Antarctica in 2019, we were positive that she wouldn’t discover any microplastics in such a viginal and isolated location,” said Laura Revell, Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury.
Once back in the lab, the scientists discovered that there were plastic particles in all the samples from the isolated sites on the Rose Ice Shelf too, and that the findings would be of global importance.
“It is sad that microplastics are found in such isolated areas of the earth. This reflects the extent of plastic pollution in the world,” Aves stated. 
“We collected snow samples from 19 sites across the Rose Island area of Antarctica and discovered microplastics in all of them,” she added.
On a larger scale, the presence of microplastic particles in the atmosphere influences the climatic conditions by increasing melting of snow and ice, the founders stated.
The researchers discovered an average of 29 microplastic particles per litre of melted snow, which is higher than marine concentrations reported by the scientists.
Following Rose Island, Scott Base, and McMurdo Station, the largest station  in Antarctica, the density of microplastics was nearly three-times larger, which were identical to those found in Italian glacier debris, they said.
After analyzing the samples, they found out that there were different types of plastic, with the most common being PET, which is commonly used in soft drink bottles and clothing.
The origination of the sources of microplastics were reveled; Atmosphere modelling indicates that microplastics may have  travelled thousands of kilometers through the air, nevertheless the existence of humans in Antarctica has in some way ingrained microplastic in Antarctica, the analyzers added.

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