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Found 10 records similar to Mercury concentrations in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem
We set out to examine possible links between climate warming and increases in mercury concentrations ([Hg]) in landlocked Arctic char (S. alpinus) in the High Arctic. Mercury concentrations vary regionally and have remained constant or increased slightly in landlocked char in lakes on Ellesmere Island and Cornwallis Island over a 12-16 year period. This, despite declining industrial mercury emissions in North America. Therefore, we hypothesized that climate warming might increase the input of mercury from catchments through permafrost melt, leading to greater associated body burden of adult char.
The concentrations of contaminants in seawater influence what is detected in marine mammals and seabirds and levels and time trends of the contaminants in the ocean has been identified as a knowledge gap by the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP). Samples were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including brominated flame retardants (BFRs), perfluorinated substances and mercury. Repeated sampling at the same location and time of year will help develop temporal trend information for contaminants seawater. Supplemental Information
The Northern Contaminants Program(NCP, http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_7A463DBA.html) was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species that are important to the traditional diets of northern Aboriginal peoples.
Recent and historical deposition of mercury (Hg) are examined over a broad geographic area from southwestern Northwest Territories to Labrador and from the U.S. Northeast to northern Ellesmere Island using dated sediment cores from 50 lakes (18 in midlatitudes (41-50 degrees North), 14 subarctic (51-64 degrees North) and 18 in the Arctic (65-83 degrees North)). Objectives were to quantify latitudinal and longitudinal trends of anthropogenic mercury deposition in eastern and northern North America, to investigate variations in mercury deposition, to examine relationships with lake area, catchment/lake area ratio and sedimentation rates, and to compare results with model predictions. Distinct increases of mercury over time were observed in 76% of Arctic, 86% of subarctic and 100% of midlatitude cores. Subsurface maxima in mercury depositional fluxes were observed in only 28% of midlatitude lakes and 18% of arctic lakes, indicating little recent reduction of inputs.
The purpose of this study is to examine trends over time of mercury and other trace elements, as well as legacy and new persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in landlocked Arctic char collected annually from lakes near the community of Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island (Amituk, Char, North, Small, and Resolute) and in Lake Hazen in Quttinirpaaq National Park on Ellesmere Island. The project is also examining links between climate warming and increases or decreases in mercury concentrations in landlocked char. Sampling of water and Arctic char was aided by local people between 2005 and 2007. Many scientific publications have been produced from this project, and results have been discussed in the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report III (2013): Persistent Organic Pollutants in Canada's North, Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report III (2012): Mercury in Canada’s North, and the Synopsis of Research Conducted under the 2015–2016 and 2014-2015 Northern Contaminants Program.
This dataset contains the ambient dissolved concentrations of organophosphate esters (OPEs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in North Atlantic Ocean (Greenland Sea) as well as a summary of the passive polyethylene samplers (PEs) deployed. Organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been found in remote environments at unexpectedly high concentrations, but very few measurements of OPE concentrations in seawater are available, and non are available in subsurface seawater. Passive polyethylene samplers (PEs) deployed on deep-water moorings in the Fram Strait and in surface waters of Canadian Arctic lakes and coastal sites were analyzed for a suite of common OPEs. Organophosphate esters are poorly understood contaminants in remote marine environments.
This dataset contains concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in seawater sampled in various locations in the Arctic ranging from 2005-2008. Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are ubiquitous contaminants of marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments, including remote arctic wildlife. Slow, and long-range oceanic transport from source regions in the northern hemisphere is hypothesized to be among the major pathways contributing to PFAA contamination in remote marine environments. The Arctic Ocean is influenced by Pacific and Atlantic seawater as well as riverine outflows.
Measurements of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particulate bound mercury on PM2.5 (referred to as PBM2.5) were collected by Environment and Climate Change Canada from August to September 2013 at the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) Air Monitoring Station (AMS) 13 – Fort McKay South, and at WBEA AMS 4 – Buffalo Viewpoint. Monitoring resumed at WBEA AMS 13 in September 2014 with two speciated mercury instruments and is ongoing. One speciated mercury instrument monitors GEM, GOM, and PBM2.5; the second speciated mercury instrument monitors GEM, GOM, and mercury on PM10 (referred to as PBM10). These data are the first atmospheric speciated mercury measurements to be reported in the oil sands region.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is also present in the environment as a result of human activities. Water bodies can be contaminated with mercury from industrial sources, such as pulp and paper mills, and from the soil when large reservoirs are created by hydro-electric dams. Methyl mercury is considered the most toxic form of mercury to human health and is formed when bacteria interact with mercury present in water and plants. Methyl mercury accumulates up the food chain, and predatory fish generally represent the main source of exposure from the diet.
Ambient concentrations of speciated mercury (Hg) have been measured at many locations across Canada. Mercury in the atmosphere is measured in three operationally-defined forms - gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM), and particulate-bound mercury (PBM). Under most conditions, GEM (or Hg0) is the predominant species in the air (~95-99%), while RGM and PBM concentrations are typically two orders of magnitude lower, i.e., <5% of the total atmospheric mercury concentration (Schroeder and Munthe, 1998). Reactive gaseous mercury is thought to consist of compounds such as HgCl2, HgBr2, Hg(OH)2 (Lin and Pehkonen, 1999), although the exact composition is unknown.
Concentrations of alternative flame retardants and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analyzed in ringed seal (Phoca hispida) blubber collected across the Canadian Arctic during subsistence hunts between 1998 and 2013. The presence of flame retardants in ringed seals suggests their persistence and their continuous inputs in the Canadian Arctic environment. Monitoring and research on the effects of these contaminants in seals are warranted given the importance of this species in Arctic marine food webs and for local communities. Supplemental Information
The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP, http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_7A463DBA.html) was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species that are important to the traditional diets of northern Aboriginal peoples.