Plastics can affect air-sea CO2 exchange: new paper out from our experiment in Crete

We are very glad to announce that a new paper from our mesocosms study in Crete, at the CretaCosmos facility, has just been published.  It was an international team’s effort between Italy (University of Siena), Greece (Hellenic Center for Marine Research) and Germany (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel).

Our research shows that marine microplastics in almost realistic concentration can actually influence the chemical composition of the marine boundary layer, the layer that represents the very ocean’s surface and connects the ocean and the atmosphere, regulating all gas exchange processes between the two. Such effect of microplastics has important repercussions on the exchange of carbon dioxide at the air-sea interface, posing the question on how much, in the long term, plastic pollution can alter the ocean’s ability to capture anthropogenic CO2 and mitigate climate change. 

The full published paper can be read in Science of the Total Environment.

The accepted manuscript can be viewed here.