Typhoon redistributed microplastics in coastal areas

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Typhoon redistributed microplastics in coastal areas

The surfaces of most tropical oceans have experienced warming of 0.25 to 0.5 degrees Celsius over the past few decades. The intergovernmental panel on climate change believes that the main cause of the global increase in the average temperature on the surface of the oceans over the past 50 years is the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases, with a direct consequence on the number of tropical cyclones.

The global community of tropical cyclone researchers has released a statement on the links between man-made climate change and the origin of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons. This statement is in response to a greater focus on tropical cyclones and their causes, predicting a 2–11% increase in tropical cyclone intensity by 2100 and a 20% increase in related precipitation.

In the Typhoon-induced turbulence redistributed microplastics in coastal areas and reformed plastisphere community, is a study published on the Water research, the scientists explain: "The increasing microplastic pollution together with the plastisphere-associated ecological threats in coastal areas have aroused global concern.

Tropical cyclones have been increased in both frequency and intensity under global warming, causing intense impact on the microplastics distribution and the structure of coastal ecosystems. , until most currently, the extent to which typhoon impacts the microplastics and plastisphere community remains poorly known.

This study analyzed the effects of Typhoon Wipha on microplastics abundance and composition in surface water and sediment crossed coastal areas of Shenzhen. Here we found a significant typhoon-induced increase in microplastics abundance in surface water, whereas an opposite trend was observed in sediment.

Despite the evident transportation of microplastics from sediment to surface water by agitation, a possible microplastics influx was introduced by typhoon as evidenced by the large attribution of unknown force in source tracking analysis.

Furthermore, typhoon had adeptly uniformed the plastisphere community in the sediment along the 190 km costal line overnight. A significant increase of nitrogen fixer, Bradyrhizobiaceae, was observed ubiquitously after typhoon, which might alter the nitrogen cycling and increase eutrophic condition of the coastal ecological system.

Together, this study expanded the knowledge about the impact of typhoon-induced influx of the microplastics on coastal biogeochemical cycling. Moreover, the microplastics and the plastisphere compositional pattern revealed here will underpin future studies on adsorption behavior, interfacial processes and ecotoxicity of the coastal microplastic pollution."