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Plastic input into the Arctic Ocean

Marine plastic debris and microplastics (< 5 mm) make up around 75 per cent of the litter in the world’s oceans. They are damaging marine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world, with adverse impacts on societies and economies. Land-based activities produce most of the plastic in the oceans. Once in the ocean, current can transport plastic far away from its source. Some of this plastic ends up in Arctic waters. However, in the Arctic, fisheries are a bigger source of plastic than debris from the land. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program; Arctic Great Rivers Observatory, Woods Hole Research Center; Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), 2017; A. Cózar et al., The Arctic Ocean as a dead end for floating plastics in the North Atlantic branch of the Thermohaline Circulation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017; Laurent Lebreton, The Ocean Cleanup; J. F. Provencher, Quantifying ingested debris in marine megafauna: a review and recommendations for standardization, Analytical Methods, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017; Convention on Biological Diversity.

Year: 2019

From collection: Global linkages – a graphic look at the changing Arctic (rev.1)

Cartographer: Philippe Rekacewicz, Riccardo Pravettoni, and Nieves Lopez Izquierdo

Tags: Arctic Climate Change vital graphics

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