Gallery

Microplastics: A truly colourful pile

Scientists define microplastics as collection of small and large fragments, pellets, fibers, sheets, and other objects smaller than five millimeters. They come in different shapes and colors - a diversity that it actually breathtaking, as this gallery shows.

The photos are provided by our colleagues from the Chesapeake Bay Program. The images were taken by Will Parson at the laboratory of Dr. Lance Yonkos in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology at the University of Maryland. Find more images on the Chesapeake Bay Program Flickr page.

News

From River Weser to the North Sea

Microplastics

From River Weser to the North Sea

Around the globe, the pollution of rivers, lakes and seas with plastic litter is on the rise. A new project jointly coordinated by the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is the first to approach the problem from a holistic perspective. In the model region Weser – Wadden Sea National Park the participating researchers will use e.g. empirical and model-assisted analyses to discover how minute plastic particles (microplastics) make their way from land to sea, which input and transport routes are involved (and to which extent), and what risks this contamination

Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected

From Pole to Pole

Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected

Where is marine litter concentrated, and which species and ecosystems does it affect? Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute have for the first time compiled all scientific data published on marine litter in a single, comprehensive database, now accessible from the online portal AWI Litterbase (www.litterbase.org).

Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise

Arctic Ocean

Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise

The Arctic has a serious litter problem: in just ten years, the concentration of marine litter at a deep-sea station in the Arctic Ocean has risen 20-fold. This was recently reported in a study by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).