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6:35 PM  April 9, 2019

TSU scientists will track the migration of microplastics across the Ob

Трепова Ольга
© РИА Томск. Елена ПаутоваTSU scientists will track the migration of microplastics across the Ob

TOMSK, Apr 9 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of Tomsk State University (TSU) joined the international project QIMAIYA, devoted to the problem of water pollution; Tomsk residents will track the migration of microplastic across the Ob, is reported on Tuesday on the website of the university.

QIMAIYA (Quantification of Microplastics in and under sea Ice and pathways in Arctic food web) is dedicated to the problem of pollution of the seas and the World Ocean. Since the transfer of pollutants is carried out primarily by rivers, it is necessary to trace the path of migration of microplastic. Scientists of the "BioClimLand" Centre of Excellence of Tomsk State University will be engaged in work on the Ob at the invitation of the international program MOSAiC.

"It is easy to estimate the concentration of large plastic, it can be collected. Concerning a microplastic which sizes are thousands of times smaller, everything is different, it can only be seen with the help of special equipment, it is almost unreal. It causes significant damage to reservoir ecosystems, especially entering the organism of animals, because microplastic - is a powerful sorbent that is able to accumulate heavy metals and harmful compounds", - the Director of the BioClimLand Centre of Excellence Sergey Kirpotin is quoted in the message.

According to him, the problem of water pollution with microplastics is particularly acute for the northern regions, because due to low temperatures and short summers, the process of self-cleaning of ecosystems is difficult there.

“We want to devote a separate block to studying the process of plastic decomposition under permafrost conditions. A series of experiments is planned: during the study, scientists will work with plastic wrap, plastic bottles and other types of plastic. After a threefold freeze, they will find out how synthetic materials are subject to cryodestruction”, - says Kirpotin.

As it is reported on the website, the choice of the Ob and its tributaries as an object of study is due to the significant influence of the river on the global ecosystem. It is added that according to the UN, waste in the oceans for 80% consists of plastic. Every year, about eight million tons of synthetic material are released into the World Ocean, which is equivalent to the volume of a garbage truck per minute.

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