Deep Dives
Thought-provoking research providing extensive learning opportunities

Marine unProtected Areas: A case for a just transition to ban bottom trawl and dredge fishing in offshore Marine Protected Areas

Frith Dunkley & Jean-Luc Solandt, Marine Conservation Society Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution

The study examined fishing effort in all Marine Protected Areas (Special Areas of Conservation, Marine Conservation Zones and nature conservation Marine Protected Areas, hereafter collectively referred to as MPAs) in UK offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) designated to protect the seabed, and the implications for biodiversity recovery and carbon storage.

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Seagrasses provide a novel ecosystem service by trapping marine plastics

Anna Sanchez-Vidal et al., Scientific Reports, Nature Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution

There is strong evidence that the seafloor constitutes a final sink for plastics from land sources. There is also evidence that part of the plastics lying on the shallow seafloor are washed up back to the shoreline. However, little is known on the natural trapping processes leading to such landwards return.

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Pervasive distribution of polyester fibres in the Arctic Ocean is driven by Atlantic inputs

Peter S. Ross, et al., Nature Plastics & Pollution

Microplastics are increasingly recognized as ubiquitous global contaminants, but questions linger regarding their source, transport and fate. We document the widespread distribution of microplastics in near-surface seawater from 71 stations across the European and North American Arctic - including the North Pole.

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Net Zero Carbon Cities: An Integrated Approach

Jacob Corvidae et al., World Economic Forum Energy Solutions

Cities cover 3% of the earth’s land surface yet they create more than 70% of all carbon emissions. To keep global temperature increases to 1.5°C or below, cities have to achieve net-zero. This report provides a global framework and recommends an integrated energy approach, defined as “systemic efficiency”, as a solution to the current environmental, economic, health and social crises.

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Sustainable Fishing, Higher Yields and the Global Food Supply

Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries & Aquaculture

Fisheries across the globe are already demonstrating that fishing sustainably is not only achievable but more productive too, contributing to a food-secure future.

To accelerate this change, industry, retailers, governments and consumers need to prioritise and support sustainably sourced seafood.

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Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution

The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ Plastics & Pollution

“Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution” presents a first-of-its-kind model of the global plastics system. It is an evidence-based roadmap that describes how to radically reduce ocean plastic pollution by 2040 and that shows there is a comprehensive, integrated, and economically attractive pathway to greatly reduce plastic waste entering our ocean.

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Aligning Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals With an Innovation Systems Roadmap for Renewable Power

Rebecca R. Hernandez, et al., Frontiers in Sustainability Energy Solutions

In this study, we use an innovation systems approach to construct a comprehensive roadmap for solar and wind energy to anticipate and improve impacts of a transition to a low carbon future in a manner ensuring climate goals and SDGs are mutually reinforcing.

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Airborne microplastic particles detected in the remote marine atmosphere

Miri Trainic, et al., Nature Plastics & Pollution

The ubiquity of AMP from terrestrial sources, and the ubiquity of MP in the world’s oceans raise the question whether AMP are present in the remote marine atmosphere. We searched for marine AMP during the Tara Pacific expedition, a 2.5 year research project that investigates coral reefs and plankton communities.

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Water pollution by plastics and microplastics: A review of technical solutions from source to sea

IWMI and CGIAR, UN Environment Programme Plastics & Pollution

From source to sea, our waters are contaminated by a plastics scourge. A new study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) offers a number of technological solutions aimed at tackling one of the world’s most pressing issues.

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Arctic Report Card: Update for 2020

Thoman, R.L. et al., NOAA Arctic Program

The Arctic Report Card (ARC) provides an annual update on the state of the Arctic's climate and environment as well as highlights of Arctic science news of the past year. ARC2020 features 16 essays, 11 of which provide updates on a wide range of Arctic science topics, from the past year's air temperatures and sea ice conditions to the latest in bowhead whale research.

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Amazon’s Plastic Problem Revealed

Oceana Plastics & Pollution

How Amazon is flooding our communities, environment, and oceans with hundreds of millions of pounds of plastic packaging and how they can stop.

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Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass

Emily Elhacham et al., Nature Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

Here we quantify the human-made mass, referred to as ‘anthropogenic mass’, and compare it to the overall living biomass on Earth, which currently equals approximately 1.1 teratonnes. 

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Synthesis of 14C-labelled polystyrene nanoplastics for environmental studies

Maya Al-Sid-Cheikh et al., Nature: Communications Material Plastics & Pollution

Available analytical methods cannot detect nanoplastics at environmentally realistic concentrations in complex matrices such as biological tissues. Here, we describe a one-step polymerization method, allowing direct radiolabeling of a sulfonate end-capped nano-sized polystyrene (nPS; proposed as a model nanoplastic particle representing negatively charged nanoplastics).

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Plastic pollution is killing marine megafauna, but how do we prioritize policies to reduce mortality?

Lauren Roman, et al., The Society for Conservation Biology Plastics & Pollution

Pollution by plastic and other debris is a problem affecting the world's oceans and is increasing through time. The problem is so large that prioritizing solutions to effect meaningful change may seem overwhelming to the public and policy makers.

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Human Health and Ocean Pollution

Philip J. Landrigan et al., Annals of Global Health Plastics & Pollution

The purpose of this review is to examine the impacts of ocean pollution on human health and well-being, identify gaps in knowledge, project future trends, and offer scientifically based guidance for effective interventions.

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Message in a bottle: Open source technology to track the movement of plastic pollution

Emily M. Duncan et al., Plos One Plastics & Pollution

Here we undertook a proof of concept study by applying open source tracking technology (both GPS (Global Positing System) cellular networks and satellite technology), which have been successfully used in many animal movement studies, to track the movements of individual plastic litter items (500 ml PET (polyethylene terephthalate) drinks bottles) through the Ganges River system (known as the Ganga in India and the Padma and Meghna in Bangladesh, hereafter known as the Ganges) and the Bay of Bengal.

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The Brand Audit Report 2020

Multiple Authors, Break Free From Plastic Plastics & Pollution

BRANDED Volume III: Demanding Corporate Accountability for Plastic Pollution” is out, revealing the Top 10 Corporate Plastic Polluters of 2020.

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Hydrogen Vs. Natural Gas For Electric Power Generation

ISTJ Investor, Seeking Alpha Energy Solutions

In this article, we are going to focus primarily on the net-zero carbon grid issue; can and will hydrogen replace natural gas for the U.S. electric grid? We will also concentrate on the most likely scenario, the use of utility scale solar power to generate hydrogen by electrolysis.

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Ocean Solutions That Benefit People, Nature and the Economy

Martin R. Stuchtey et al., The Ocean Panel Energy Solutions Fisheries & Aquaculture Plastics & Pollution Shipping & Ports Tourism

This report lays out the contours of a new relationship between the ocean and humanity. Building on the latest scientific research, analyses and debates from around the world, the report showcases a balanced model for ocean management that simultaneously achieves effective ocean protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity.

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Navigating Plastic Alternatives In a Circular Economy

Hannah Friedman, Closed Loop Ventures Group & Internal Research Lead Plastics & Pollution

As part of our Advancing Circular Systems for Plastics & Packaging Initiative, Closed Loop Partners published Navigating Plastic Alternatives in a Circular Economy to demystify the rapidly growing and evolving landscape of plastic alternatives, with a focus on bio-based plastics, biopolymers and compostable products and packaging.

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