Norway: projects/activities

Directory entires that have specified Norway as the primary or lead country for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. To see the full list of countries, see the countries list. The specified country may not be the geographic region where the activity is taking place - to select a geographic region, see the list of regions.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 24 Next
1. Radnett – a national network for monitoring radioactivity in the environment

The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority is responsible for a nationwide network of 33 stations that continuously measure background radiation levels. The network was established in the years following the Chernobyl accident in 1986, and was upgraded to a new and modern network in the period 2006-2008. Additional stations were added in 2009. The purpose of the monitoring network is to provide an early warning if radioactive emissions reach Norway.

Arctic Atmosphere Long-range transport Monitoring Radionuclides
2. 129I in Arctic seawater

Anthropogenic 129I discharged from European reprocessing plants has widely dispersed in the Nordic waters including the Arctic. Due to the high solubility and long residence time of iodine in seawater, anthropogenic 129I has become an ideal oceanographic tracer for investigating transport pathways and the exchange of water masses.

129I Long-range transport Climate change Central Arctic Ocean Radionuclides Arctic Ocean currents
3. Whole body measurements on reindeer herders in Finnmark, Norway

Elevated levels of 137Cs caused by previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests fallout and the Chernobyl accident have been observed in Finnmark, Northern Norway. Due to the large consumption of potentially contaminated reindeer meat, whole body measurements of 137Cs levels in reindeer herders have been performed since 1965.

Radioactivity Indigenous people Long-range transport Radionuclides Exposure Arctic Reindeer 137Cs Whole body measurements Human health Human intake
4. Contaminants in Polar Regions – Dynamic Range of Contaminants in Polar Marine Ecosystems (COPOL)

The IPY-project ‘COPOL’ has a main objective of understanding the dynamic range of man-made contaminants in marine ecosystems of polar regions, in order to better predict how possible future climate change will be reflected in levels and effects at higher trophic levels. This aim will be addressed by 4 integrated work packages covering the scopes of 1) food web contaminant exposure and flux, 2) transfer to higher trophic levels and potential effects, 3) chemical analyses and screening, 4) synthesis and integration. To study the relations between climate and environmental contaminants within a project period of four years, a “location-substitutes-time”-approach will be employed. The sampling is focussed towards specific areas in the Arctic, representing different climatic conditions. Two areas that are influenced differently by different water masses are chosen; the Kongsfjord on the West-coast of Spitzbergen (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 22 E). The main effort is concentrated in the Kongsfjord. This fjord has been identified as particularly suitable as a study site of contaminants processes, due to the remoteness of sources, and for influences of climatic changes, due to the documented relation between Atlantic water influx and the climatic index North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The water masses of the Rijpfjord have Arctic origin and serves as a strictly Arctic reference. Variable Atlantic water influx will not only influence abiotic contaminant exposure, but also food web structure, food quality and energy pathways, as different water masses carry different phyto- and zooplankton assemblages. This may affect the flux of contaminants through the food web to high trophic level predators such as seabirds and seals, due to altered food quality and energy pathways.

Biological effects Organochlorines Heavy metals Fish Climate variability Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Seabirds Food webs Ecosystems
5. Study of the ice phase in Arctic mixed-phase clouds and its influence on the cloud-radiation interaction (EPOPEE) within the international atmospheric research project ASTAR (Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation)

The project EPOPEE is embedded in the international project ASTAR to study direct and indirect climate effects of aerosols and clouds in the Arctic. The particular goals of the project EPOPEE are to experimentally characterize the ice phase in Arctic clouds (including the ice phase) in situ, to study the aerosol-cloud as well as cloud-radiation interactions, and to develop adequate methods to validate remote sensing cloud parameters. In 2004 the project EPOPEE is mainly organized around in situ observations of detailed microphysical and optical cloud properties onboard the Polar-2 aircraft during the transition from polluted Arctic haze (observed especially in late winter, early spring months) to clean summer aerosol conditions. The transition from Arctic haze to clean summer conditions is quite sharp (a large amount of aerosols coming from Eurasian industrial areas accumulate over the Arctic and cover the Arctic by a layer of a smog-like haze of the size of the continent of Africa) due to a radical change in atmospheric transport patterns and is, thus, easy to identify. During Arctic summer, the high latitudes are then more or less “protected” from long-range transport of air masses from lower latitudes. The principal scientific objective of the project EPOPEE in 2004 will focus on studying the aerosol-cloud interactions with particular attention given to the ice phase nucleation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The interpretation of the instrumental observations will broadly benefit from a very close cooperation with the LaMP modelling group for theoretically coupling small-scale processes (cloud particle nucleation) with meso-scale dynamics. Furthermore, the project will focus on cloud-radiation interaction and the development of adequate methods to validate cloud parameters retrieved from remote sensing techniques. Therein, we will experimentally answer the question of how the different ice crystal shapes govern the scattering phase function of respective crystals. Moreover, the in situ cloud measurements will allow to develop an adequate strategy for the interpretation of remote sensing data from a depolarisation Lidar onboard the same aircraft (Polar-2).

Atmospheric processes Arctic haze Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Modelling Arctic Atmosphere Ecosystems
6. Mobilisation and Consentration of Natural and Anthropogenic nuclides in a high Arctic Fjord

This year the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority hope to conduct marine biota, water and terrestrial sampling in the area of Kongsfjord. Such samples as are obtained will be analysed for a suite of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides, the resulting data contributing towards NRPA’s marine and terrestrial monitoring program and research efforts in the area of Arctic radioecology. These research efforts are currently focused on two areas: Arctcic marine radioecology and Arctic terrestrial radioecology. The marine component of this years field work will provide samples allowing for the study of variability in the uptake of radioactive marine contamination in a High Arctic fjord. Samples will also be taken, where possible, of such species as constitute prey for seabirds in the area. The terrestrial component shall be concerned with factors pertaining to the clarification of the situation regarding elevated levels of radionuclides at certain sites within the Kongsfjord area, most pertinent being those associated with detrital accretions close to bird colonies.

Radioactivity Long-range transport
7. RADNOR - Radioactive dose assessment improvements for the Nordic marine environment: Transport and environmental impact of technetium 99 (99Tc) in marine ecosystems

Radioactivity in the Arctic environment is a central topic within environmental pollution issues. Increased discharges of technetium-99 (99Tc) from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Sellafield to the Irish Sea has caused public concerns in Norway. This project (acronym “RADNOR”) includes model and monitoring assessments and improvements, assessment of current and novel abiotic and biotic dose parameters and dose calculations and use of realistic climatic background scenarios in order to assess corresponding consequences for transport of radioactive pollutants. RADNOR consists of three main components: part 1, the determination of levels and time series of 99Tc in benthic and pelagic food webs; part 2, containing working packages on improvements to the understanding of site-specific and time-dependent sediment-water interactions (KD), kinetics of accumulation (CF) and body distribution in marine organisms, including contaminated products for the alginate industry and part 3, dealing with model hindcasts and observations for spreading of 99Tc from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant during the 1990s and improvement of the NRPA dose assessment box model. From the model outputs, doses to man and environment will be calculated resulting in a valuable database for use within environmental management and for decision makers.

distribution coefficients (KD) RADNOR Long-range transport Spatial trends Contaminant transport concentration factors (CF) Radionuclides Modelling Oceanography Arctic Food webs Sediments Temporal trends Human intake Technetium 99
8. Monitoring POPs and heavy metals in the merlin (Falco columbarius)

To monitor levels of pollutants in merlin by analysis of POPs and heavy metals in eggs and feathers. /Feathers and addled eggs of merlin were collected in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999 and 2000 for chemical analysis of POPs and heavy metals. Comparisons with eggs from museum collections show that there has been a significant shell thinning in eggs of Norwegian merlins. From 1947 up to 1990 the eggs were on average ca. 15% thinner than normal and after 1990 the thinning has been ca. 10%. There are still high concentrations of DDE to reduce reproductive output in some cases. The PCB levels are low compared to the DDE levels and the concentrations of other chlorinated hydrocarbons are also low. Results from mercury analyses indicate possible effects on breeding performance in some adults.

Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Long-range transport Spatial trends Contaminant transport merlin Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Food webs Pesticides Temporal trends terrestrial birds
9. Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) on the Immune Response of Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

The present project includes one pilot study of wild adult glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) and one experimental study of glaucous gull chicks raised in captivity. The pilot study of adult gulls gave us enough blood and tissue samples to develop the methods needed for immune system analysis in the laboratory experiment. In the experimental study a total of 39 glaucous gull chicks were hatched and raised in captivity in Svalbard, Norway. The chicks were divided into two groups. One experimental group (20 chicks) was given food that mimicked the “natural” food found in the marine environment. The control group (19 chicks) was given “clean” food. After 56 days the chicks were sacrificed in order to collect samples for analyses of organochlorines (OCs) and immunocompetence measurements. The experimental group had 2.8, 3.9, 5.0, and 6.1 time’s higher concentrations of HCB, Oxychlordane, ?DDT, and ?PCB, respectively, compared to the control group at day 56. All chicks used in the experiment were immunised with various vaccines and sera in order to test their ability to respond against foreign antigens. The experimental chicks produced low levels of virus neutralising antibodies when tested against the herpes virus and reovirus. They produced higher levels of neutralising antibodies when tested to tetanus toxoid. There was, however, no difference between the experimental groups with regard to the mean antibody titres. The chicks in both groups also responded to the influenza virus by increasing the production of specific antibodies. However, the mean antibody titre in the exposed group was significantly lower than in the control group. The mitogen-induced response of blood lymphocytes to PHA and LPS was significantly higher in the exposed group compared to the control group. The specific response of blood lymphocytes to Con A, PWM, KLH, TET, and PPD was higher in the exposed group compared to the control group. However, do to high variance in the exposed group there was no significant difference between groups with regard to the lymphocyte response to these mitogens. The results from the present study indicate a toxic effect of OCs on the glaucous gull chicks, which induced a systematic activation of the immune system. Further work on data will be performed.

effects Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Fish Long-range transport glaucous gull Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds immune system Pesticides
10. Bird monitoring in Dividalen and Børgefjell

Population monitoring of Gyrfalcon, Golden Eagle, Willow Grouse and Passerine birds

Biological effects Populations Heavy metals Long-range transport Climate change Radionuclides Reproduction Temporal trends
11. Heavy metals in Grouse species

Study changes in liver concentrations of Cd, Pb, Hg, Cu and Zn in Lagopus lagopus and Tetrao tetrix between the time periods 1990/91 and 2000/01

Heavy metals Long-range transport Pollution sources Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Emissions Exposure Temporal trends
12. Persistent organic pollutants in marine organisms in the marginal ice zone near Svalbard: Bioconcentration and biomagnification

Due to the high organochlorine concentrations reported in Arctic top predators, and the potential transport of contaminants with the drifting sea-ice in the Arctic, organisms constituting lower trophic levels living in association with sea-ice have been proposed as susceptible of uptake of high loads of organic pollutants. The present project studies the organochlorine occurrence in organisms living in the marginal ice zone north of Svalbard and in the Fram Strait. This includes both ice fauna (ice-amphipods), zooplankton, polar cod and different seabird species foraging in the marginal ice zone. Our objectives are to investigate: *The bioaccumulation of organochlorines in ice-associated amphipods in relation to diet preference, spatial variation due to sea ice drift route, size, sampling year, uptake and distribution within the body. *Comparison of organochlorine contamination in pelagic and ice-associated organisms at the similar trophic position, to investigate the effect of sea ice as a transporter and concentrator of pollutants. *Spatial variation in zooplankton species, related to differences in water masses and exposure to first year or multi year sea ice. *The contamination load in different seabirds feeding in the marginal ice zone, in relation to diet choice and estimated trophic position, taxonomically closeness and the induction of hepatic CYP P450 enzymes.

habitats Biology sea ice drift route Organochlorines PCBs Fish Long-range transport Spatial trends Sea ice Contaminant transport Ice trophic positions Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds Food webs metabolism Pesticides ice-associated organisms Diet zooplankton
13. Terrestrial monitoring programme. Studies in vegetation ecology of boreal birch forests in Børgefjell National Park, N Norway

In 1990, the Directorate for Nature Management (DN) established an area for integrated monitoring within Børgefjell National Park, Røyrvik, N Trøndelag. Studies of vegetation-environment relationships in the area was performed by NINA. The area includes both subalpine birch forest and low alpine heath. The new established vegetation investigation included all together 80 different species. This material was processed numerically by using multivariate methods. Indirect gradient analyses were performed using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and Local Nonmetric Multidimentional Scaling (LNMDS). Direct gradient analyses were performed by using rescaled hybrid Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Non-parametric correlation analyses, Kendall’s , were performed between environmental parameters and DCA axis values. The results of the numerical and statistical processing were used partly to provide a description of the vegetational structure in the material and partly to quantify how much each ecological parameters contributed to determination of vegetational structure. This work shows the species distribution along various complex gradients; moisture, nutrient conditions, light etc. The investigation is primarily designed to study vegetation dynamics along these gradients and whether changes in the number of species can be related to changes in physical, biotic and, not least, chemical parameters. Variance analysis was performed to assess to what extent the sample plots tends move in a determined direction from 1990 to 1995. The variation between the years were not significant along the primary complex gradients, but there were a significant displacement of species along the following gradients. The most important species were: Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Melampyrum sylvaticum and Hylocomium splendens), which showed an increase and some cryptogams like Brachythecium reflexum, B. salebrosum and Cladonia ecmocyna which declined.

Biological effects Biology Populations Soils Mapping Heavy metals Long-range transport Acidification Spatial trends Environmental management Climate change Forest damage Modelling Emissions Exposure Biodiversity Local pollution GIS Data management Temporal trends Ecosystems
14. Monitoring terrestrial ecosystems: Ecological investigation of vegetation in the boreal birch forest of Dividalen National park, county Troms, Norway.

In 1993, the Directorate for Nature Management (DN) established a new area for the monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems in Dividalen National Park in Troms County. This report presents the reanalysis of vegetation and soil from this terrestrial monitoring area. The area in Dividalen is located in the northern boreal birch forest, in a relatively continental section where the dominant type of vegetation is bilberry-mountain crowberry birch forest (A4c). The structure of the vegetation is analysed by multivariate methods (ordination). In Dividalen all together 131 species were found; 75 vascular plants, 18 mosses, 14 liverworts and 24 lichens. This is a decrease from the number of species recorded in 1993 when 141 species were found in the same mesoplots: 74 vascular plants, 24 mosses, 18 liverworts and 25 lichens. The decrease was not significant for the total number of species or for the total number of vascular plants. However the total number of cryptogames showed a slight significant decrease in number between 1993 and 1998. This may be due to increased cover of several ericoid species. In Dividalen we found no significant changes in vegetation composition for the periode 1993 – 1998 along the first four ordination axes. However, there were changes in mesoplots with high DCA1 values. The changes were in the direction towards lower species richness. Species like Myosotis decumbens, Poa alpina, Solidago virgaurea, Cerastium fontanum and Rumex acetosa ssp. lapponicus showed the largest decrease in these mesoplots. Species that showed the largest increase were Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Mnium spinosum and Polytrichum juniperinum. We have found no relations between these changes and acidification due to deposition of pollutans. Lack of disturbance factors in the area in the last years, which favours an increase in ericoid vegetation, is the probable explanation for the changes.

Biological effects Populations Long-range transport Acidification Spatial trends Environmental management Climate change Forest damage Biodiversity GIS Temporal trends Ecosystems
15. Simulation Scenarios for Potential Radioactive Spreading in the 21st century from Rivers and External sources in the Russian Arctic Coastal Zone (RADARC)

1) To perform simulation scenarios for the 21st century, including global warming scenarios, of potential radioactive spreading from sources in the Russian Arctic coastal zone and its impact on Barents, Greenland and Norwegian Seas and the Arctic Ocean; 2) To update the environmental and pollution data base of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP); 3) To assess, select and define the most probable simulation scenarios for accidental releases of radionuclides; 4) To implement a Generic Model System (GMS) consisting of several nested models designed to simulate radionuclides transport through rivers, in the Kara sea and in the Arctic ocean / North Atlantic; 5) To carry out simulation studies for the selected "release" scenarios of radionuclides, using various atmospheric forcing scenarios; 6) Assess the impact on potential radioactive spreading from sources as input to risk management.

Shelf seas Pathways Sources Hydrography Catchment studies Radioactivity Long-range transport Pollution sources Sea ice Contaminant transport Radionuclides Modelling Ice Oceanography River ice Arctic Local pollution GIS Sediments
16. Study of influence of land-based sources of radionuclides on radioactive contamination of Kara sea through Ob- and Yenisey river systems

To assess potential levels of radionuclides input into the Kara sea from existing and potential sources of technogenic radioactivity, located on the land in the Ob- and Yenisey rivers watersheds. Specific Objectives * To reveal and estimate a) most hazardous technogenic sources of radioactive contamination in the Ob- and Yenisey watersheds and b) the most possible and dangerous natural and technogenic (antrophogenic) situations (in the regions of these sources) that may result in release of radionuclides into the environment and may lead to significant changes in the radioactive contamination of the Kara sea * To estimate parameters of radionuclides (potential amount, composition, types etc.) under release to the environment from chosen sources as a result of accidents as well as during migration from the sources to the Kara sea through river systems * To set up a dedicated Database and a Geographic Information System (GIS) for modelling transport of radionuclides from the land-based sources to the Kara sea * To develop and create a dedicated model tool for simulation of radionuclides transport from land-based sources through Ob- and Yenisey river systems to the Kara sea

Pathways Hydrography Catchment studies Radioactivity Long-range transport Pollution sources Sea ice Contaminant transport Radionuclides Modelling Ice Oceanography River ice Arctic Local pollution GIS Data management Ocean currents
17. Contaminants in marine sediments, Svalbard 1997

Surface samples collected around Svalbard in 1997 have been analysed for total content of heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and a selection of pesticides. Sample localities have been selected to include areas not covered by previous investigations. Based on the data set and results from previous expeditions in the area, contamination levels as well as potential sources for the pollutants are discussed. The PAH levels for most stations are moderately elevated with a high contribution of aromatic hydrocarbons associated with petrogenic sources. Hence the dominant sources for the PAHs is most likely derived from petroleum seepage and or coal mining. Long-range transport of aromatics associated with anthropogenic input is a minor component of the observed PAH levels. The highest concentration of PAH is found in Storfjorden with a value higher than the elevated concentrations earlier reported from the south-eastern Storfjorden and over the Central Bank. The concentration levels of the metals arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel were moderately elevated. Because of sparse information on the natural geomorphology, background metal concentrations are not known for this area. Hence, no quantitative comparison of natural and anthropogenic inputs for metals can be made. However, the most dominant source is assumed to be natural and related to the geological conditions in the area. All PCB levels were low, suggesting a dominant influence of long-range transport of these compounds to the area. Pesticide data showed low contamination of all compounds and suggests a predominant long-range atmospheric source for these pollutants.

Pathways Sources Organochlorines PCBs Mapping Heavy metals PAHs Long-range transport Pollution sources Contaminant transport Petroleum hydrocarbons Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Sediments Pesticides Oil and Gas
18. Monitoring the Atlantic Inflow toward the Arctic (MAIA)

The overall objective of MAIA is to develop an inexpensive, reliable system based on coastal sea-level data for monitoring the inflows of Atlantic Water to the northern seas. Available observation systems, including stan-dard tidal stations, will be used to obtain transport estimates with a time resolution of less than a week and show that the method is generic and can be applied to a similar monitoring of other regions.

Long-range transport Climate Sea ice Ice Oceanography Arctic Ocean currents
19. Ellasjøen, Bear Island - A mass balance study of a highly contaminated Arctic area

In 1994, analyses of sediments and fish from Lake Ellasjøen on Bear Island revealed a surprising scenario. The analytical results indicated some of the highest values of the contaminants PCB and DDT in freshwater sediments and fish ever found in the Arctic. The 1994 results were based on limited amounts of samples. During 1996 and 1997 there were carried out new sampling and analyses of several samples. These results verify the results found in 1994. Since the POP-patterns found deviate considerably from the typical patterns expected for local contamination, no local source can be assumed to be responsible for the high POP values found. Thus, the questions that need to be addressed include the source of these contaminants, the transport pathways that deliver these contaminants to this site, total deposition and finally contaminant fate including biological uptake and effects. Previous investigations from the early 80’s on high volume air samples carried out at Bear Island revealed several long-range transport episodes from Eastern Europe. The overall objective of this project is to contribute significant new information to the understanding of contaminant pathways in the Arctic hydrosphere and to provide a better understanding of contaminant focusing in a sensitive polar environment. This will be accomplished through the development of a comprehensive mass balance study of the atmospheric loadings of PCBs and other contaminants to the Lake Ellasjøen watershed to determine the seasonal importance of atmospheric deposition on a remote polar island. Further, effort will be directed at assessing the relative importance of various source regions of contaminants to the island through an evaluation of contaminant signatures and back trajectories of pollution events.

Pathways Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Pollution sources Contaminant transport Modelling Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Pesticides Atmosphere
20. Transfer of organic pollutants from the abiotic environment to the lowest tropic levels of the ice associated food chain

The aim of the project is to detrmine the content of organic contaminants in sea ice (including dirty ice), sea water (particulate and dissolved), snow, ice algae and phytoplankton collected in the marginal ice zone of the Barents Sea and in Fram Strait, and to calculate bioconcentration factors from the abiotic compartments to the lowest trophic levels of the food chain. Silicate measurements were included in the Fram Strait as water mass tracer. The Barents Sea represents an area influence mainly by first year ice with sea ice formed in the area and or in the Kara Sea, and and strongly influenced by the inflowing two branches of water of Atlantic origin. Samples were collected on a transect along the ice edge and at two transects into the ice. The stations across the Fram Strait were taken in regions affected by water masses and sea ice from differents regions and age. In the western sector, the upper water column was influenced by the inflowing west Spitsbergen current of Atlantic origin and mainly with first-second year ice, while the easter station was influenced by outflowing water from the Arctic Ocean and multiyear sea ice of more eastern origin.

Pathways Organochlorines PCBs PAHs Long-range transport Pollution sources Sea ice Contaminant transport Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Ice cores Food webs Pesticides Ecosystems