Microplastics found 8,440m up in Mount Everest's 'Death Zone'
Not really shocking considering the amount of plastic clothing left on dead bodies/abandoned tents + UV degradation.
unfortunately would only be surprising if they weren't there
The NatGeo expedition was the same time as all the summit queues made the headlines. I dropped a link to one of the articles into this thread. My girlfriend has connections with the weather station scientists and their paper has just been published, I guess the micro plastics news is falling out of the same expedition. Theres a documentary in the pipeline which will be a good watch, there were all kinds of different studies going on.
I either read (in article linked) or heard that they struggled to get an ice core sample off the balcony because of how contaminated it was with litter and sh*t. Sad!
> Not really shocking considering the amount of plastic clothing left on dead bodies/abandoned tents + UV degradation.
Wouldn't it be more from suspended particles in the atmosphere?
That Sky article was unsurprisingly thin on anything other than fitting the term 'death zone' into it, so I wonder if other +8000m peaks in other areas like the Karakorum have been tested. Is this an indicator of pollution across the planet, or the pollution of Everest, or simply the South Col route etc.
Edit; apologies that sounds like I've made you Devil's Advocate, just musing out loud.
I expect so, I've just become involved in some work on microplastic transport in an ocean context and was staggered at the proportion thought to be transported in the atmosphere (e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17201-9). I don't know specifically in a Himalayan context but I can't off the top of my head think why it should be different.
Edit: Also work on transport to mountain areas https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0335-5
Just wanted to post this from last year about Pyrenees and noticed Beeb cited one of the Nature paper authors:
Here's the actual research paper that the link in the OP is referring to, for those that don't want it via the Rupert Murdoch press.
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