Researchers from Japan have identified microplastics within the clouds hovering over Mount Fuji, as detailed in a paper from Environmental Chemistry Letters.
The team conducted an analysis of cloud water collected from Mount Fuji, Mount Oyama, and other Japanese peaks ranging from 1300 to 3776 meters high. These findings are deeply concerning.
Over recent decades, the surge in plastic pollution has been associated not only with cancer, immune disorders, and infertility but also with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.
Furthermore, traces of plastic have been found in the fish and various foods we consume. Detecting microplastics in the clouds further underscores the extent of our environmental impact.
Given the massive amounts of plastic entering the oceans annually, it makes sense that a significant portion of the microplastics found in clouds trace back to marine sources.
A major worry is that these airborne microplastics might exacerbate climate shifts, pushing the world towards even greater climate alterations. These tiny plastic fragments can then disperse globally, influencing diverse habitats and potentially impacting various species.
Alongside these, a significant presence of hydrophilic polymers was noted, which might significantly influence swift cloud generation, leading to more profound impacts on climatic patterns.
In their study, the scientists noted between 6.7 to 13.9 plastic fragments per liter of cloud water examined. Discovering such a high concentration of microplastics in a single water liter, particularly one that rains down on our world, is alarming.