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Scientific journal publication

Sources and fate of atmospheric microplastics revealed from inverse and dispersion modelling: From global emissions to deposition

Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Tichý, Ondřej; Eckhardt, Sabine; Zwaaftink, Christine Groot; Brahney, Janice

Publication details

Journal: Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 432, 128585, 2022

Arkiv: hdl.handle.net/11250/2986408
Doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.128585

We combine observations from Western USA and inverse modelling to constrain global atmospheric emissions of microplastics (MPs) and microfibers (MFs). The latter are used further to model their global atmospheric dynamics. Global annual MP emissions were calculated as 9.6 ± 3.6 Tg and MF emissions as 6.5 ± 2.9 Tg. Global average monthly MP concentrations were 47 ng m-3 and 33 ng m-3 for MFs, at maximum. The largest deposition of agricultural MPs occurred close to the world’s largest agricultural regions. Road MPs mostly deposited in the East Coast of USA, Central Europe, and Southeastern Asia; MPs resuspended with mineral dust near Sahara and Middle East. Only 1.8% of the emitted mass of oceanic MPs was transferred to land, and 1.4% of land MPs to ocean; the rest were deposited in the same environment. Previous studies reported that 0.74–1.9 Tg y-1 of land-based atmospheric MPs/MFs (