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.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
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.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.