More than 4 MILLION pounds of microplastic is stored in coral skeletons worldwide each year, causing bleaching and tissue necrosis in marine animals, study finds 

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  • Corals store four million pounds of microplastic worldwide each year
  • Scientists exposed corals to microplastics in a lab and found that after 18 months the pollutants are sitting inside the skeletons of the corals instead of the tissues.
  • The team says between 6 billion and 7 quadrillion microplastic particles may be permanently in corals worldwide annually

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Microplastics are a threat to marine life, as pollution contains traces of metals and toxic chemicals, and a new study reveals their effects on coral.

A team of scientists from the Universitt Giesen in Germany found that up to four million pounds of microplastics could be stored in coral skeletons every year.

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And the research determined that about three percent of the toxic pollutant is estimated to be in the shallow, tropical waters where coral thrives.

Corals consume microplastics thinking they are food, which can cause bleaching and tissue necrosis in living organisms.

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Microplastics are a threat to marine life, as pollution contains traces of metals and toxic chemicals, and a new study reveals their effects on coral. The right is coral and the left shows its skeleton with small plastic pieces attached to it

Lead author Jessica Reichert said Statement: ‘Our study clearly indicates that microplastics are yet to be a man-made stressor for corals and that they are very likely to contribute to further deterioration of coral reefs on our planet.’

There are an estimated 24.4 trillion microplastics in the world’s upper oceans, weighing up to 578,000 tons.

And previous studies have shown that 80 percent of man-made material comes from just 1,656 rivers worldwide, with Asia and West Africa producing the most.

It is known that corals are affected by pollution, but studies from the University of Giesen give little indication of just how much.

A team of scientists from the Universitt Giesen in Germany found that up to four million pounds of microplastics could be stored in coral skeletons every year.  Black areas are microplastics attached to the skeleton of corals

A team of scientists from the Universitt Giesen in Germany found that up to four million pounds of microplastics could be stored in coral skeletons every year. Black areas are microplastics attached to coral skeletons

Corals consume microplastics thinking they are food, which can cause bleaching and tissue necrosis in living organisms

Corals consume microplastics thinking they are food, which can cause bleaching and tissue necrosis in living organisms

Reichert and his colleagues exposed corals to microplastics in the laboratory to determine where the marine animals store the tiny bits of plastic, as well as how much is kept inside the animal. science news Report.

After 18 months of exposure, the team found that most of the contaminant is sitting inside the skeleton of the coral, rather than in the tissues, according to the study, published in the journal Science. Global Change Biology,

“In our study, particles were found to be 15 times more likely to be found in coral skeletons than in corals,” the study said.

‘This suggests that coral tissue is likely to be only a temporary sink before particles move out or be permanently transferred to the skeleton.’

After counting the number of trapped particles, the researchers estimate that between 6 billion and 7 quadrillion microplastic particles could be permanently stored in corals worldwide each year.

‘We don’t know what the outcome will be’ [storage] may be for coral creatures, [or for] Reef stability and integrity,’ Reichert told ScienceNews. This ‘could pose an additional threat to coral reefs around the world.’

Coral reefs are important to the oceans and to humans, as marine invertebrates protect shorelines from storms and erosion, but many studies have shown that these creatures are slowly disappearing from Earth.

Coral reefs are important to the oceans and to humans, as marine invertebrates protect shorelines from storms and erosion, but many studies have shown that these creatures are slowly disappearing from Earth.

Coral reefs are important to the oceans and to humans, as marine invertebrates protect shorelines from storms and erosion, but many studies have shown that these creatures are slowly disappearing from Earth.

Another recent study published in September, found that since the 1950s, coral reef cover has decreased in size by more than half due to excessive fishing, pollution and other human impacts.

The team found that loss of coral reef coverage resulted in similar reductions in ecosystem services, and a 60 percent reduction in fish biodiversity and biomass.

They warn that the continued degradation of global reef systems will threaten the well-being and development of coastal, reef-dependent communities.

Urban flooding is flushing microplastics into the ocean more than previously thought

According to scientists looking at pollution in rivers, microplastics are increasingly flowing into our oceans due to urban flooding.

Waterways in Greater Manchester are now so heavily contaminated with microplastics that particles are found in every sample – even the smallest of streams.

This pollution is a major contributor to pollution in the oceans, the researchers found as part of the first detailed catchment-wide study anywhere in the world.

This debris – which includes microbeads and microfibers – is toxic to ecosystems.

Scientists tested 40 sites around Manchester and found that every waterway contained these tiny toxic particles.

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic debris including microbeads, microfibers, and bits of plastic.

It has long been known that they enter river systems from many sources, including industrial effluents, stormwater drains and domestic wastewater.

Although about 90 percent of microplastic contamination in the oceans is believed to originate from land, not much is known about their activities.

According to researchers from the University of Manchester who conducted the detailed study, most of the rivers examined contained about 517,000 plastic particles per square metre.

After a period of major flooding, the researchers re-sampled at all sites.

They found that contamination levels had dropped in most of them, and the floods had removed about 70 percent of the microplastics deposited on the river bed.

This shows that flood events can transfer large amounts of microplastics from urban rivers into the oceans.

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