Microplastics increasingly found in Colorado’s snowpack

Independence Pass without snowpack.
Independence Pass without snowpack.(Chris Guevara | KKCO 11 & KJCT 8)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 12:11 PM MDT
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DENVER, Colo. (AP) — Researchers in Colorado have identified tiny pieces of plastic in a snowpack sample from the pristine high country — a finding that may confirm suspicions that an invisible layer of microplastics blankets the Rocky Mountains.

The Colorado Sun reports that the researchers suspect the plastic comes from distant sources, and they plan follow-up studies on more samples. They will be looking for any dangers for downhill cities that reply on snowpack for water, impacts on wildlife and on the snowpack itself.

Much like dust that blows onto the snowpack from the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin, the microplastics may absorb sunshine and speed up snowmelt.

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