Plastic pollution in the oceans is harming bacteria that create 10% of the oxygen we need to breathe, study finds

Plastic pollution in the oceans is harming bacteria that create 10% of the oxygen we need to breathe, study finds
Fonte: Daily Mail
Researchers took fragments of a thin plastic carrier bag and PVC matting
Experts from Macquarie University left them in artificial seawater for five days
Bacteria called Prochlorococcus were then exposed to the artificial ‘seawater
This changed their growth pattern and triggered genes linked to stress
Plastic pollution in oceans could be harming the bacteria humans need to help us breathe.

A tenth of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one type of ocean bacteria, through photosynthesis.

But a study has found chemicals which leach from plastic waste can stop the bacteria producing oxygen and harm its growth.
Scientists took fragments of a thin plastic carrier bag and PVC matting, which were left in artificial seawater for five days.

When their chemicals had leached out, the bacteria called Prochlorococcus were exposed to the ‘seawater’, which changed their growth pattern and triggered genes linked to stress.

The findings raise significant concerns, with plastic in the ocean set to outweigh fish by 2050 and the bacteria it affects so vital to the air we need to survive.

Dr Lisa Moore, a co-author of the study from Macquarie University in Australia, said: ‘These tiny micro-organisms are critical to the marine food web, contribute to carbon cycling and are thought to be responsible for up to 10 per cent of the total global oxygen production.

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