26 Jul 2011:
Warming Arctic Temperatures
Are Causing Release of Long-Buried Toxins
Warming temperatures in the Arctic are causing the release of toxic pollutants long trapped in the region’s ice, snow, and ocean waters
, a new study says. In an analysis of air-monitoring data collected at sites in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago and the Canadian province of Nunavut, researchers say there is evidence that man-made chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been “remobilized” into the Arctic atmosphere over the last 20 years. They say there is a risk that the chemicals, some of which were banned decades ago, will eventually reach food and water supplies and accumulate in the body fat of humans and other animals. “The chemicals are known to be semi-volatile,” said Haley Hung, a scientist with Environment Canada’s Air Quality Division and co-author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change
. “They have the ability to evaporate out of storage” if temperatures are warm enough.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.