New study: Plastics, a “self-reinforcing” petroleum pollution feedback loop: Rapid degradation in warmer temperatures, demands frequent replacement, further contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. “Typically viewed as unrelated problems, global warming and plastic pollution are instead inextricably trapped in a ‘vicious circle’ where one feeds the other.”

Global Warming and Plastic Pollution Are Inextricably Trapped in a “Vicious Circle” by KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, March 27, 2024, SciTechDaily

Research from Sweden has uncovered a “vicious circle” linking global warming and plastic pollution, where each problem exacerbates the other, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, faster deterioration of plastics, and greater environmental pollution. This cycle is fueled by the rapid degradation of plastics in warmer temperatures, necessitating their frequent replacement and thus, further contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The study calls for comprehensive efforts across all sectors to address these interconnected challenges effectively. “Effective” mitigation for anything human related is near impossible given our species’ greedy selfish lazy arrogant over populating over consuming “me me me and only me” nature. To “effectively” mitigate the endless problems with petroleum and petroleum’s plastics, the human species needs to be redesigned to give it a bit of selfless capacity to care about others, notably our air, water, land, other species and climate. This is a challenging design problem given that many humans do not give a shit about anything other than self, not even caring about the futures of their children, while wanting and buying ever bigger vehicles. What when human greed and pollution drives up heat to where tires disintegrate?

Plastics that we rely on every day will deteriorate more rapidly because of rising global temperatures, and one effect will be a demand for more plastics. The petroleum industry’s wet dreamXinfeng Wei, a researcher in polymeric materials at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, says meeting that demand will further compound greenhouse emissions that drive up the global temperature.

“A self-reinforcing cycle is formed, creating a vicious circle between climate change and plastic pollution,” Wei says.

In 2019, plastics generated 3.4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or about 1.8 billion tons, mostly on account of their production and conversion from fossil fuels, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By 2060 that amount is expected to more than double.Will our species still exist then? Doubtful, if yes, the suffering for many caused by our cumulative green, stupidity and pollution will be horrific.

Feedback Loop

The researchers describe a feedback loop linking these emissions with heat, moisture, and the weakening structural bonds that lend a wide range of advantageous properties to polymers, the term for materials—like plastic and rubber—which are formed from long chains of large molecules.

“The higher the increase in temperature, the more the materials’ properties are compromised,” Wei says. The stiffness of commonly used plastics like polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride decreases by more than 20 percent as temperatures climb between 23 and 40°C, he says.Fucking wow! Imagine sewer and water lines disintegrating everywhere as cities and homes get hotter and hotter and grids fail resulting in useless heat pumps and failed air conditioning. To prepare for the hell humans are creating on earth, I don’t use air conditioning or heat pump, I had manually controlled rolltop shutters (use no electricity to open and close) installed decades ago on the outsides of my windows to keep heat out in summer, and warmth in in winter. But, I never planned for or expected to get illegally frac’d by Encana/Ovinvtiv ruining what used to be my fantastic high volume water supply.

This deterioration means more frequent replacement of polymer products—everything from clothing to auto parts and appliances—and consequently greater manufacturing volumes and rates.Humanity is Satan.

Knock-on effects range from rendering food packaging unreliable to the fouling of waterways and fish habitats by an increase in microplastics, he says.

Environmental Impact

The researchers draw attention to the combined effects of heat and moisture, which rise together due to global warming. “A warmer atmosphere increases the evaporation of moisture and can also hold more water vapor,” Wei says.

That’s bad news for many materials, but it wreaks particular havoc on plastics when combined with heat.

“The combined effects of rising temperature and moisture create very challenging conditions for these polymers,” Wei says.

To tackle the challenge of plastic pollution and climate change, Wei and the co-authors urged attention and mobilization of efforts across all sectors involved in the plastic lifecycle.

Reference: “Plastic pollution amplified by a warming climate” by Xin-Feng Wei, Wei Yang and Mikael S. Hedenqvist, 6 March 2024, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-46127-9

Refer also to:

Overlooked feedback loop: As fossil fools frac Alberta to dried up hell, drought causes soils to crack, releasing more CO2 and other greenhouse gases, escalating climate chaos.

Human pollution (and over breeding) is taking the breath of trees away: “Trees in warmer, drier climates are essentially coughing instead of breathing,” sending CO2 right back into the atmosphere so they no longer serve as solution to our carbon pollution while earth continues heating and humans continue making more carbon pollution. Stupidest species on earth.

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