Microplastic contamination of sea water more on eastern coast: Study

micro plastic

New Delhi: The concentration of microplastics has been increased along the east coast during the monsoon. The stations nearer to the river mouth had higher numbers of microplastics concentrations. This has come out in a study carried out by National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) recently.

The NCCR, a research wing of the Ministry of Earth Science (MoES), has been collecting the real-time information on coastal water quality by deploying water quality buoys at 10m water depth in coastal waters. NCCR is also undertaking research activities in quantifying litter (mainly meso, macro and microplastics) in the beach, in the water column and sediment on the sea floor.

The beach litter survey carried out by the NCCR, revealed that the maximum accumulation occurs in the backshore than in the intertidal zone. Moreover, urban beaches have higher accumulation rates than rural beaches. Under beach clean-up program/activity, it was found that the majority of the waste composition was contributed by single use plastics.

Based on scientific studies and the recent climate assessment report of MoES, it was also observed that the tropical Indian Ocean is warming rapidly over the recent decades. The average basin-wide sea surface temperature (SST) is warming at a rate of 0.15oC/decade during 1951-2015.

During the same period, globally averaged SST warmed at a rate of ~0.11oC. Owing to this rapid warming, the sea level in the Indian Ocean was observed to be rising at a rate of 1.06-1.75 mm/year during the last century (1874–2004) and ~3.3 mm/year in the recent decades (1993-2015), which is in a similar range of the global mean sea level rise.

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