if there were no need for 'engineers from the quantum plenum' then we should not have any unanswered scientific questions.
Started by Recusant, December 22, 2021, 07:45:23 PM
QuoteSynthetic compounds known as "forever chemicals" because they never break down in the environment can actually be destroyed — by beheading. Scientists discovered a simple destruction technique that works on 10 types of these chemicals, known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Researchers hope that the method will expose weaknesses in even more PFAS-class substances, leading to paths for removing these chemicals from drinking water easily and cheaply.The researchers published their findings in the journal Science on Aug. 18.[Continues . . .]
QuoteConsider the plastic foam cup. Every year, Americans throw away 2.5 billion of them. And yet, that waste is just a fraction of the 33 million tons of plastic Americans discard every year. Less than 10 percent of that total gets recycled, and the remainder presents challenges ranging from water contamination to animal poisoning.Enter the mighty mealworm. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored by Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. Microorganisms in the worms' guts biodegrade the plastic in the process – a surprising and hopeful finding."Our findings have opened a new door to solve the global plastic pollution problem," Wu said.[Continues . . .]
QuoteConsider the plastic foam cup. Every year, Americans throw away 2.5 billion of them. And yet, that waste is just a fraction of the 33 million tons of plastic Americans discard every year. Less than 10 percent of that total gets recycled, and the remainder presents challenges ranging from water contamination to animal poisoning.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PMIn Asmo's grey lump, wrath and dark clouds gather force.Luxembourg trembles.
QuoteThe largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth ingest the tiniest specks of plastic in colossal amounts, Stanford University scientists have found.ublished in Nature Communications, the study focuses on blue, fin, and humpback whales and their consumption of plastic fragments no bigger than a few grains of sand, which are commonly called microplastics. The authors combined measures of microplastic concentrations up and down the water column off the coast of California with detailed logs of where hundreds of whales carrying tracking devices foraged for food between 2010 and 2019.They found the whales predominantly feed 50 to 250 meters below the surface, a depth that coincides with the highest concentrations of microplastic in the open ocean. The planet's biggest creature—the blue whale—ingests the most plastic, at an estimated 10 million pieces per day as it feeds almost exclusively on shrimplike animals called krill."They're lower on the food chain than you might expect by their massive size, which puts them closer to where the plastic is in the water. There's only one link: The krill eat the plastic, and then the whale eats the krill," said study co-author Matthew Savoca, a postdoctoral scholar at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford's marine laboratory on the Monterey Peninsula.[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:Microparticles, such as microplastics and microfibers, are ubiquitous in marine food webs. Filter-feeding megafauna may be at extreme risk of exposure to microplastics, but neither the amount nor pathway of microplastic ingestion are well understood. Here, we combine depth-integrated microplastic data from the California Current Ecosystem with high-resolution foraging measurements from 191 tag deployments on blue, fin, and humpback whales to quantify plastic ingestion rates and routes of exposure. We find that baleen whales predominantly feed at depths of 50–250 m, coinciding with the highest measured microplastic concentrations in the pelagic ecosystem. Nearly all (99%) microplastic ingestion is predicted to occur via trophic transfer. We predict that fish-feeding whales are less exposed to microplastic ingestion than krill-feeding whales. Per day, a krill-obligate blue whale may ingest 10 million pieces of microplastic, while a fish-feeding humpback whale likely ingests 200,000 pieces of microplastic. For species struggling to recover from historical whaling alongside other anthropogenic pressures, our findings suggest that the cumulative impacts of multiple stressors require further attention.
Quote from: Asmodean on November 03, 2022, 01:50:04 PMI've been reading about India's ban on single use plastics having failed. Shall see if I can find the article in English.We have most certainly failed here, as while I cannot get a straw that doesn't taste like cardboard with my soft drink, I cannot get a single use package of butter or the like without a plastic box.As Tom Macdonald once put it, "No more plastic straws wrapped in paper, just paper straws wrapped in plastic." Seen a little broadly and metaphorically, it certainly looks precisely like that.
Quote from: Asmodean on November 03, 2022, 06:24:35 PMI... May hereby be admitting to having a bunch of plastic straws and like... Washing them.
Quote from: Icarus on November 04, 2022, 03:21:56 AMDrilling down to the root cause of the problem: it is caused by people. Too damned many people who use too many straws, plastic bottles, containers, packaging, and even clothing and paints, whiskey bottles, automotive components, and a plethora of other things containing polymeric molecular components. Those Jesus people were right about the need to refrain from copulation, but they do not preach this need for the reasons that we are herewith confronted.
QuoteThere are few places on Earth as isolated as Trindade island, a volcanic outcrop a three- to four-day boat trip off the coast of Brazil.So geologist Fernanda Avelar Santos was startled to find an unsettling sign of human impact on the otherwise untouched landscape: rocks formed from the glut of plastic pollution floating in the ocean.Santos first found the plastic rocks in 2019, when she traveled to the island to research her doctoral thesis on a completely different topic—landslides, erosion and other "geological risks."She was working near a protected nature reserve known as Turtle Beach, the world's largest breeding ground for the endangered green turtle, when she came across a large outcrop of the peculiar-looking blue-green rocks.Intrigued, she took some back to her lab after her two-month expedition.Analyzing them, she and her team identified the specimens as a new kind of geological formation, merging the materials and processes the Earth has used to form rocks for billions of years with a new ingredient: plastic trash."We concluded that human beings are now acting as a geological agent, influencing processes that were previously completely natural, like rock formation," she told AFP."It fits in with the idea of the Anthropocene, which scientists are talking about a lot these days: the geological era of human beings influencing the planet's natural processes. This type of rock-like plastic will be preserved in the geological record and mark the Anthropocene."...[Santos] found similar rock-like plastic formations had previously been reported in places including Hawaii, Britain, Italy and Japan since 2014.But Trindade island is the remotest place on the planet they have been found so far, she said.She fears that as the rocks erode, they will leach microplastics into the environment and further contaminate the island's food chain.[Continues . . .]
QuoteAbstract:Continuous input of plastic litter in ocean and coastal environments achieved alarming levels that are exposing new settings in natural systems. While novel plastic debris pollution, with rock-like appearance, has been reported worldwide, fundamentally geological analyses are still lacking. We surveyed the first occurrence of multiple associated plastic debris on a single outcrop located in a remote site (Trindade Island, SE Atlantic Ocean). Even though all plastic debris forms consisted of polypropylene and polyethylene, through a sedimentary approach (cross section, macro, and micro analyses) distinct types were identified. We detected plastiglomerates, geogenic analogous to conglomerates, divided into in situ and clastic types, and formed over beach sediment. We identified plastistones as a new type with homogeneous composition (lacking incorporated materials), geogenic-looking igneous rocks, divided into in situ and clastic types, and formed over rock surfaces. We linked pyroplastics, geogenic analogous to clasts, to clastic plastiglomerates/plastistones, therefore representing clastic types of plastic debris forms. This association was correlated in a depositional system model, which suggests that plastic debris forms are rock synthetic equivalents in which humans act as depositional and post-depositional agents.