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Microplastics in the atmosphere and cryosphere in the circumpolar North: a case for multicompartment monitoring

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  • Bonnie M. Hamilton, University of Toronto
  • ,
  • Liisa Jantunen, Environment Canada
  • ,
  • Melanie Bergmann, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
  • ,
  • Katrin Vorkamp
  • Julian Aherne, Trent University
  • ,
  • Kerstin Magnusson, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
  • ,
  • Dorte Herzke, Norwegian Institute for Air Research
  • ,
  • Maria Granberg, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
  • ,
  • Ingeborg G. Hallanger, Norwegian Polar Institute
  • ,
  • Alessio Gomiero, Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE)
  • ,
  • Ilka Peeken, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

The atmosphere and cryosphere have recently garnered considerable attention due to their role in transporting microplas-tics to and within the Arctic, and between freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments. While investigating either in isolation provides valuable insight on the fate of microplastics in the Arctic, monitoring both provides a more holistic view. Nonetheless, despite the recent scientific interest, fundamental knowledge on microplastic abundance and consistent monitoring efforts are lacking for these compartments. Here, we build upon the work of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme’s Monitoring Guidelines for Litter and Microplastic to provide a roadmap for multicompartment monitoring of the atmosphere and cryosphere to support our understanding of the sources, pathways, and sinks of plastic pollution across the Arctic. Overall, we recommend the use of existing standard techniques for ice and atmospheric sampling and to build upon existing monitoring efforts in the Arctic to obtain a more comprehensive pan-Arctic view of microplastic pollution in these two compartments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArctic Science
Pages (from-to)1116-1126
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Research areas

  • air, Arctic, atmospheric deposition, atmospheric transport, ice cores, sea-ice

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