The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
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 (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 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.
The project aims at establishing a long-term Arctic-Antarctic network of monitoring stations for atmospheric monitoring of anthropogenic pollution. Based upon the long and excellent experiences with different scientific groups performing air monitoring within the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), an expanded network will be established including all AMAP stations and all major Antarctic “year-around” research stations. As an integrated project within the “International Polar Year 2007-08” initiative, the ATMOPOL co-operation intend to • Establish a long-term coordinated international Arctic-Antarctic contaminant programme. • Develop and implement a joint sampling and monitoring strategy as an official guideline for all participating stations. • Support bi-polar international atmospheric research with high-quality data on atmospheric long-range transport of contaminants (sources, pathways and fate). • Support future risk assessment of contaminants for Polar Regions based on effects of relevant contamination levels and polar organisms Based upon the well-established experiences of circum-Arctic atmospheric contaminant monitoring in the Arctic under the AMAP umbrella, a bi-polar atmospheric contaminant network will be established and maintained. In conjunction with the polar network of atmospheric monitoring stations for air pollution, surface-based and satellite instrumentation will be utilised to provide the characterization of the Arctic atmospheric-water-ice cycle. Together with numerical weather prediction and chemical transport model calculations, simultaneous measurements of pollutants at various locations in the Arctic and Antarctic will enhance our understanding of chemical transport and distribution as well as their long-term atmospheric trends. In addition to investigating the importance of atmospheric transport of pollutants an understanding of the transference and impact of these pollutants on both terrestrial and marine environments will be sought. A secretariat and a “scientific project board” will be established. During this initial phase of the project (2006), a guideline on priority target compounds, sampling strategies, equipment and instrumentation, analytical requirements, as well as quality assurance protocols (including laboratory intercalibration exercises) will be developed and implemented. The ATMOPOL initiative aims to address highly relevant environmental change processes and, thus, will strive to answering the following scientific questions: • How does climate change influence the atmospheric long-range transport of pollutants? • Are environmental scientists able to fill the gaps in international pollution inventories and identification of possible sources for atmospheric pollution in Polar Regions? • What are the differences in transport pathways and distribution patterns of various atmospheric pollutants between Arctic and Antarctic environments? Why are there such differences? What is the final fate of atmospherically transported pollutants and how does this impact on the environment and indigenous people?In order to understand the underlying atmospheric chemistry of pollution, e.g. atmospheric mercury deposition events, routine surface measurements of UV radiation as well as campaign related measurements of UV radiation profiles will also be included.The project will establish a cooperative network on atmospheric contaminant monitoring in Polar Regions far beyond the IPY 2007/08 period and is, thus, planned as an “open-end” programme. All produced data will be available for all participating institutions for scientific purposes as basis for joint publications and reports from the ATMOPOL database to be developed.
In addition to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) analysed in former monitoring projects, other compounds of concern have been identified by the international community (e.g. OSPAR, AMAP), and analytical methods have been developed. These compounds include brominated flame retardants (BFRs), phthalates, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and synthetic musk compounds. The aim of this project is to screen the marine environment of East and West Greenland and the Faroe Islands for these compounds. The analyses will be based on existing samples of pilot whale and fulmars from the Faroe Islands as well as marine sediments, shorthorn sculpins, ringed seals, minke whales from West Greenland and shorthorn sculpins, ringed seals and polar bears from East Greenland. As several trophic levels of the marine Arctic food chain are taken into account, the project will also result in information on the bioaccumulation of these compounds.
The primary scope of the project is to investigate the long-term time trend of brominated flame retardants for the contamination and possible effects in relation to the contamination of peregrine falcon eggs. The contamination by the conventional POP compounds will also be identified. Totally 36 out of 53 collected eggs will be analysed. Time trend analysis will be performed based on a multi-variant methodology for a period of 18 years. The result will contribute to the assessment of organic pollutant contaminationm in Greenland including the effect on vulnerable wild life.
Polar bears are at the top of the arctic marine food chain. Owing to the high lipid content of their diet, polar bears appear particularly prone to bioaccumulate organochlorines. Polar bears from East Greenland and Svalbard have higher contaminant levels than polar bears elsewhere in the Arctic. Levels of PCBs in these areas might negatively affect reproduction and survival. So far more than 130 polar bear samples have been collected since 1999. These samples are being analysed for organochlorines and pathological effects.
The project includes analyses of PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, chlordanes and brominated flame retardants in seals, birds and fish from Greenland. The programme covers a period of five years to investigate temporal trends in the concentration levels of organic pollutants in Greenland.
Organochlorines (OCs) concentrate through the arctic marine food webs and are stored in the adipose tissue due to their high lipophilic and persistent characteristics. The polar bears receive high doses of POPS through their diet and a controlled experimt was need to resolve effect on the immune system and effects on internal organs. Such a controlled experiment on sledge dogs as a replacement test organism for the polar bear was conducted from 2004-2006 to investigate dose-response effects.
The project studies the development through time of contaminants (heavy metals and organic pollutants) in animals in Greenland.
Arctic animals utilize periods with high food availability for feeding and lipid deposition, whereas they rely on stored lipids during unfavorable periods. Hence, many arctic inhabitants exhibit profound seasonal cycles of fattening and emaciation. In the Arctic, feeding is associated with fat deposition and contaminant accumulation. When lipids are mobilized, accumulated contaminants are released into the circulation. Consequently, blood contaminant concentrations may increase markedly and result in a redistribution of the contaminant(s) from “insensitive”, adipose tissues to sensitive organs, and increased contaminant bioavailability. Such variations complicate interpretations of pollutant toxicity, both in effect studies and in monitoring programs, and remains an important future reseach area. In the present study, we will use arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) as a model species for investigating tissue distribution and bioavailability of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in relation to natural variations in lipid status (field study). These data will be supplemented and validated through a contamination study with blue fox (A. lagopus), where the seasonal changes in lipid status of wild fox are simulated in the laboratory. In both the field and laboratory study, possible effects of OCs on steroid hormone synthesis, and plasma levels of hormones, vitamin E and retinol will also be assessed.
The 2003 field activity will be mainly dedicated to coring activity which includes: 1. the sampling of snow and ice cores from a Ny-Ålesund nearby glacier (midre Lovenbreen). 2. the collection of near coast (Kongsfjorden) and lakes sediments (maximum under pack depth 30 m). Sampling collection of ice and sediment cores will be performed using a portable, electric operated, sampling corer. The transport of all materials up to each sampling station should be performed with snowcats.
In order to evaluate the capacity of mussels to accumulate pollutants and to enhance growth and physiological effects, an investigation was carried out in the Faroe Islands and in the Skagerrak. In March 2000, about 1500 mussels of proper dimensions (length ranging between 5 and 6 cm) were collected in the Kaldbak Fjord (Faroe Islands) on a 10m water column. Selected mussels were divided in 4 groups (320 each) and deployed in 4 different stations (one at the Faroe Islands and three in the Skagerrak). Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were also deployed in the same stations for the preconcentration of lipophilic pollutants. One month later (end of April-beginning of May) mussels and SPMDs were recollected and sent to different laboratories for the determination of various parameters.
In the present time, we have lack of information and knowledge as far as the fate of presistent organic compounds in the Arctic environmet including ice.
Effects of POPs on the immune system in the glaucous gulls
Examine temporal and spatial variation in trace metal concentrations in the western Arctic through the analysis of Black Guillemot feathers. Temporal trends being examined using study skins collected as early as 1897. Spatial variation examined in conjunction with carbon isotope signatures in feathers and by sampling both winter and summer plumages. Regional climate change monitored through examination of annual variation in breeding chronology and success in relation to snow and ice melt.
Contaminants were examined for trends over time, spatial variation based on disparate breeding areas, and relationships with measures of productivity. Most organochlorines and metals declined over time. Mercury was the only contaminant with possibly increasing concentrations in eggs. Egg and feather samples collected in 2000 will provide more information on mercury trends and effects. This study embodies 20 years of data on environmental contaminants in peregrine falcons nesting in Alaska.
The overall project outlined in this proposal represents a series of interrelated studies designed to answer questions regarding the effects of disturbance on distribution and abundance of waterfowl and marine birds. The primary studies (i.e., aerial surveys) are directly related to the objectives identified in the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Statement-of-work regarding Monitoring Beaufort Sea Waterfowl and Marine Birds near the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Alaska. Additionally, we plan to include the ‘optional’ studies on eiders using off-shore barrier island habitats. Finally, we propose to conduct ground based studies designed to enhance and expand the interpretation of the aerial surveys. The specific objectives of this study are: 1. Monitor Long-tailed Duck and other species within and among industrial and control areas in a manner that will allow comparison with earlier aerial surveys using Johnson and Gazeys’ (1992) study design. a) Perform replicate aerial surveys of five previously established transects based on existing protocol (OCS-MMS 92-0060). b) Expand the area from original surveys to include near-shore areas along Beaufort Sea coastline between the original “industrial” (Jones-Return Islands) and “control” (Stockton-Maguire-Flaxman Islands) areas. c) Define the range of variation for area waterfowl and marine bird populations. Correlate this variation with environmental factors and oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities. 2. Expand aerial monitoring approximately 50 km offshore. Surveys will target Spectacled, Common and King eiders. The goal is to sample areas potentially impacted by oil spills from the Liberty, Northstar, and/or Sandpiper Units. 3. Develop a monitoring protocol for birds breeding on barrier islands, particularly Common Eiders. These data will be compared to historic data summarized by Schamel (1977) and Moitoret (1998). 4. Examine relationships between life-history parameters (e.g., fidelity, annual survival, productivity) and ranges of variation in Long-tailed Ducks and Common Eider distribution and abundance to enhance interpretation of cross-seasonal effects of disturbance. That is, the combination of aerial and ground based work has the potential to both document changes in abundance/distribution and describe those changes in terms of movements of marked individuals. Parameters will be examined in relation to disturbance using the two-tiered approach developed by Johnson and Gazey (1992). 5. Recommend cost-effective and feasible options for future monitoring programs to evaluate numbers and species of birds potentially impacted by oil spills involving ice-free and ice periods in both inshore and offshore waters.
Persistent organic pollution is a global problem. This fact is especially apparent in the Arctic where pesticides currently used in distant environments accumulate, in some cases to higher levels than those observed in the source region. This pollution threatens the well-being of the aboriginal inhabitants of these regions. Most of the traditionally harvested animals in the Arctic are long-lived and from the higher trophic levels of the food chain, thereby providing an opportunity for considerable bioaccumulation and biomagnification of persistent contaminants. This has prompted a growing concern by the Alaska Inupiat that pollutants in the environment might be contributing to their unique morbidity and mortality rates, especially of their children. Our studies are currently focused on two specific organic pollutants found in the Arctic environment; 1}hexachlorobenzene (HCB), a byproduct during manufacture of several different chlorinated compounds and consistently detected in the Arctic and, 2} dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE), a chlorinated environmental breakdown product measured in the Arctic population at significantly higher concentrations than the parent pesticide, DDT. We hypothesize that mammalian embryonic cell exposure to these chemicals, individually or as mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations and ratios, will alter the cell cycle and/or cause death by apoptosis, rather than by necrosis. We also predict synergistic cytotoxicity of the chemical mixture because of an accumulation of deleterious effects at different cellular target sites by each chemical. We further hypothesize that while some chemicals target non-genetic cellular components (such as a cell membrane or cytosolic component), other chemical effects will occur primarily at the genetic level, directly or indirectly. Our experiments have been designed as a set of sensitive cellular and molecular assays to compare levels and types of cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of the above chemicals (individual and mixture), at environmentally relevant concentrations, upon embryonic cells in culture. Our experimental evidence thus far is that these chemicals, separately or as a mixture at concentrations and molar ratios relevant to that measured in the Arctic environment, do have cytotoxic and/or genotoxic effects that could result in profound consequences to exposed tissues of a developing embryo or fetus. We have further experimental evidence that exposure to both chemicals at environmentally relevant concentrations is more toxic to the cell than the sum of effects by exposure to the individual chemicals. Experimental results indicate this is due to different cellular target sites for each chemical (Appendix A: Preliminary Results).
The aim of this project is to assess the deposition of HM/POP over Europe and to evaluate models. Within the framework of UN-ECE, EMEP Meteorological Synthesising Centre-East (MSC-E Moscow) organised in co-operation with RIVM, a model intercomparison for operational transport models on HM in 1995. In this intercomparison the RIVM will participate with the TREND-model. Results of the intercomparison will also be reported to the OSPAR commission. A model comparison for POPs will follow later. The RIVM/EUROS model is extended with soil and surface water modules in order to improve the description of the exchange process of POPs (deposition and re-emission). With the model, long-term averages of the deposition and accumulatation of POPs are described and scenario-studies can be carried out. In the first instance, Lindane and B(a)P will be taken as examples of POPs dominantly present respectively in the gas phase and attached to particles. When emissions are available the calculations are extended to other POPs.
The 'NAR-2000' expedition was performed during August-September 2000. The overall programme of work includes: - monitoring of pollution in air, waters and bottom sediments of freshwater lakes, soils and terrestrial vegetation - soil/botanical studies - visual and remote sensing (aerial photos and video surveys) studies of damage to soil and vegetation cover. Samples of river water and bottom sediments from 25 freshwater bodies and samples from 16 terrestrial sites in the area of the Varandey and Toravey oil fields were taken for chemical analyses.
Stationary systematic observations of pollution in atmospheric air and precipitation. During 2000, observations of contaminant levels in atmospheric air in the cities of Murmansk, Nickel, Monchegorsk, Salekhard and Norilsk were conducted. Monitoring of sulphur and nitrogen compounds in air and precipitation was continued at the above locations and also at Yaniskosky (Kola peninsula) and Pinega (Arkhangelsk region) under the EMEP programme framework. Observations of CO2 were continued at the Teriberk station. Observations of the chemical content of atmospheric precipitation were carried out at 5 stations in the Arctic network of stationary observations: in the Krasnoshelye settlement area (Kola peninsula), Naryan-Mar (Pechora river area), Dikson Island, Turuhansk (Yenisey river area), and Kusyur settlement area (Lena river). Under a joint Russian-Canadian-AMAP project, monitoring of POPs and (from 2001) mercury in air at the Amderma site is conducted.