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The project is a continuation of the monitoring activities of the AMAP POPs and Heavy metals programme in marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments of the Faroe Islands. The aims of the programme is to establish data for timetrend and spatial assessments as well as providing data of importance in human health risk assessment on mercury and POPs. The programme incorporates analyses on pilot whale, cod, black guillemots from the marine environment, sheep and hare from the terrestrial environment and arctic char from the freshwater environment. The compounds analysed are "legacy" POPs and mercury, cadmium and selenium. In addition, a retrospective analyses of PFOS in pilot whale tissues going back as far as possible (ie.1986) is part of the project.
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 Greenland lead contamination of the edible parts of seabirds, particularly eiders, is high because the birds have been killed with lead shot. Therefore bird-eaters are exposed to a high lead intake, probably often exceeding safe limits. In this study we will compare the lead level in human blood in a group of people from Nuuk, Greenland eating many birds with the level in a group eating few. This will enable us to assess if the high lead exposure is reflected in people and constitutes a health risk. The project is conducted in cooperation with The Medical Clinic in Nuuk and The Center for Arctic Environmental Medicine, Aarhus University.
Peat samples from Greenland already collected and dated will be analysed for mercury in order to assess term time trends of mercury deposition during this century.
In Greenland the human intake of mercury and cadmium from local diet is high. In an autopsy study, mercury and cadmium concentrations in humans has been analyzed. This study will make it possible to assess to what extent the high intake of mercury and cadmium is reflected in human tissue.
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.
The present study will establish a link between the mercury levels in the abiotic environment (e.g. historical records of mercury data in peat bogs, the ice sheet or marine sediments) with levels in carnivore species (polar bear, birds of prey). These results can be used in a model for predicting past and future development of the mercury loads in high trophic biota. This in turn will enable us to evaluate if changes in mercury levels in the atmosphere are reflected in species at higher trophic levels of the Arctic ecosystem. The project will expand the longevity and certainty of the biotic time series of mercury to about 150 years by analyzing museum samples of bird feathers and polar bear hair and teeth. The project is part of the project “Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)”.
The aim of the project is to describe and model mercury accumulation up the Arctic food chain. Based on existing knowledge from old projects and new measurements made on frozen tissue samples. This project will contribute to a better understanding of the fate of mercury in the Arctic.
The project studies the development through time of contaminants (heavy metals and organic pollutants) in animals in Greenland.
TransCat main goal is the creation of a Decision Support System (DSS) for optimal water management of transboundary catchments, in context of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.
The 2004-2007 scientific research program CHIMERPOL II consists in improving the results obtained during the CHIMERPOL I programme around three main ideas: 1-Understand physico-chemical processes of oxidation of elemental gaseous mercury in the atmosphere during Mercury Depletion Events (MDE) in Corbel, Svalbard from 2004 to 2007 with a continuous monitoring station for gaseous mercury and its speciation, 2-Evaluate deposition and emission fluxes of mercury above the Arctic snow pack by a continuous monitoring of these fluxes in Corbel, Svalbard and in Station Nord, Greenland, from 2005 to 2007. 3-Determine the Air-Snow-Firn-Ice transfer function for mercury and its speciation with a complete balance of mercury in the different compartments in Summit, Greenland from 2006 to 2007.
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.
One of the major benefits of performing measurements at Ny-Ålesund is the availability of a monitoring station on Mount Zeppelin, 474m asl. Given the typical height of the Arctic inversion layer during the envisaged measurement period, it will be possible to continuously monitor mercury and particulate in the free troposphere at the same time as performing ground level monitoring. The simultaneous measurements above and below the boundary layer should provide evidence for the mode of elemental Hg replenishment, whether it is from due to exchange with the free troposphere, or transport occurring at sea level. The proposed collaboration, by collecting data from two strategically placed Arctic stations, in the paths of different air masses and data from above the Arctic inversion layer would provide the most comprehensive set of Arctic mercury measurements performed to date.
The objectives of the project are the investigation of the ion concentration in the precipitation water as well as the determination of the ion entries belonged by the precipitation water. The temporal variability was described on the one hand on the basis the appropriate yearly variations (saisonality), on the other hand over the long-term behaviour (trend) with heavyweight on the main components (S- and N- connections). Additionally on basis of the data of the further Lands of the Federal Republic the spatial variability for the Austrian federal territory is represented.
Effects of UV-B radiation on microbial communities in Kongsfjorden in relation to metal and dissolved organic matter availabillity.
Total deposition sampling is performed at Ny-Ålesund to study atmospheric fluxes of heavy metals to the Arctic. In addition wet only deposition sampling is carried out with an automatic precipitation sampler. The samples are analysed at the home laboratory for tracer elements for seaspray components, earthcrust weathered material and anthropogenic elements by atomic absorption spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). One aim of our study is to distinguish element distribution between the dissolved and particulate phase. In addition to the element analyses the concentration of anions is determined by ionchromatography. In 1996 an automatically operating aerosol sampler was installed, which is combined with the automatic precipitation sampler to study element washout from aerosol particles via rain and snow.
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.