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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Project • CRRP2020-01MY-Wang

Transboundary transport of microplastics through atmospheric and oceanic currents in East Asia

Microplastics (MPs) are of emerging concern in the environment. As evidence regarding MPs long-distance transmission grows, it becomes crucial to study their cross-border transport characteristics. However, transport paths and transboundary transport fluxes of MPs are still unknown. Chinese team have established novel methods based on the mass spectrum to quantify environmental MPs, making it possible to investigate and assess the mass flux of typical MPs. Researchers will work on the atmospheric transport of MPs among China, Japan, and Mongolia, and the oceanic transport between China and Japan. MPs in atmospheric suspended particulates, fallen dust, seawater and marine sediments, collected from different locations in different seasons and climate events, will be characterized and quantified. Finally, the impact of atmospheric and oceanic currents on MPs transboundary transport flux in East Asia will be assessed. This project will, for the first time, systematically study transboundary transport of MPs considering the impact from both atmospheric and oceanic currents. It will help understand the role of climate change in MPs transboundary transport since climate change affects meteorological factors, which may affect MPs transport fluxes and deposition patterns in both atmosphere and ocean. The findings will provide insightful knowledge of MPs in large-scale transport, and contribute from the science perspective, to the development of control and mitigation policy options.

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