The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey

R. Dietz, F. Riget, M.T. Olsen, C. Sonne, E. Born, P. Grandjean, M. Kirkegaard, G. Asmund, H. Bagøe, D. Boertman, K. Falk, J. Fjeldsaa, C. Egevang, F. Wille, Søren Møller

    Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskning

    Resumé

    Kviksølv bioakkumulerer i de arktiske fødekæder. Derfor finder man de højeste kviksølvniveauer i rovdyr øverst i fødekæden som for eksempel sæler, tandhvaler, isbjørne og mennesker. Fødeindtaget er den største kviksølvkilde for både mennesker og dyr, men processerne fra kilde til individ er på nuværende tidspunkt utilstrækkeligt beskrevet. Det drejer sig om processer over: emission, atmosfærisk transport, atmosfærisk deposition, transport til havvand ( - reemission – transport til havvand) optag i plankton samt transport til højere trofiske niveauer. En beskrivelse af denne transport kræver bidrag fra en række forskellige fagdiscipliner. Derfor har 3 DMU afdelinger (afd. Atmosfærisk Miljø, Afd. for Marine Økologi og Afd. for Arktisk Miljø) bidraget til projektet hvor både fysisk/kemiske og traditionelle biologiske, discipliner er anvendt. De første fluxmålinger i verden af atmosfærisk kviksølv er udført i forbindelse med projektet. Fluxmålingerne viser, at AMDEs (Atmospheric Mercury depletion Episodes) fører til mere end en fordobling af kviksølv belastningen til det arktiske miljø. Dette sker gennem omdannelsen af GEM (Gaseous Elemental Mercury) til RGM (Reactive Gaseous Mercury) efterfulgt af deposition af RGM til sne. Disse resultater er anvendt til at lave en ny parameterisering for fjernelsesprocesserne af atmosfærisk kviksølv til Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM). Ligeledes er resultaterne anvendt til at validere modellen. Nord for polar cirklen er en deponering på ca. 200 tons/år kviksølv til overfladen blevet estimeret. I uforstyrrede marine sedimentkerner er kviksølv koncentrationen og dermed sedimentationshastigheden højere i dag i forhold til for 50 til 100 år siden. Denne forøgelse kan tolkes som menneskeskabt bidrag. Derfor viser resultaterne i dette studie af marine sedimenter fra Grønland, at ca. 50% af kviksølv fluxen til Grønland er af menneskeskabt oprindelse. I havet omkring Grønland viser de første forsøg, at 80% af den totale mængde kviksølv er opløst eller forbundet med partikler <0.45 µm. Da kviksølv bioakkumuleres er kviksølv koncentrationen klart afhængig af det trofiske niveau i fødekæden. Mens der kun er en svag kobling mellem transportvejene af kviksølv og kulstof i de lave trofiske niveauer, forekommer der signifikant højere kviksølv niveauer på højere trofiske niveauer som krabber, fisk, fugle og sæler. Kviksølvkoncentrationen i isbjørnes hår er i perioden 1999-2001 8.3 gange højere i Østgrønland end basis niveauet fra det 1300 A.D. i Vestgrønland. Siden 1960 er kviksølv koncentrationen isbjørnes tænder og hår faldet betydeligt i Østgrønland mens dette er usikkert for Nordvestgrønland grundet manglende prøver fra de seneste 20 år. Ud af 12 analyser af udviklingstendenser på 3 rovfuglearter viste 11 analyser en stigende tendens, hvoraf kun 4 grupper var signifikante (immature jagtfalke – alle vandrefalke– immature og voksne 8 havørne). Stigningen på disse grupper var mellem 0.008 og 0.05 mg/(kg tørvægt år). Den samlede arbejdsindsats, som indtil nu har været brugt til at forstå sammenhængen mellem transport, deposition og bioakkumulering i det arktiske miljø viser vanskeligheden ved at etablere en sådan model. På den anden side vil en fortsat indsats forhåbentlig medføre, at fremtidige udviklingstendenser af effekten på mennesker og udvalgte arter kan forudsiges. På nuværende tidspunkt er denne sammenhæng ikke etableret. Vi har behov for at gennemføre fælles feltkampagner for at studere forbindelsen mellem atmosfærisk input under AMDEs, optag i den pelagiske fødekæde og transporten til højere trofiske niveauer. Der er stadig store usikkerheder på inter-kompartment fluxene og fremtidige aktiviteter skal organiseres som fælles kampagner med et mere holistisk fremgangsmåde med fokus på perioder og områder med AMDEs. Baseret på den opnåede viden bør en model udvikles, der kan forklare observerede niveauer og inter-kompartment transport. Endelig bør der laves beregninger, der viser modellens og systemet følsomhed overfor ændringer i emissioner, klima og fødekæden.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TitelFate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)
    RedaktørerSøren Rysgaard, Rune Dietz, Gert Asmund, Henrik Skov, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, Jesper Christensen, Frank Riget
    Udgivelses stedRoskilde
    ForlagNational Environmental Research Institute
    Publikationsdato2004
    Sider33-41
    ISBN (Trykt)87-7772-834-3
    StatusUdgivet - 2004
    NavnNERI Technical Report
    Nummer511
    ISSN1600-0048

    Citer dette

    Dietz, R., Riget, F., Olsen, M. T., Sonne, C., Born, E., Grandjean, P., ... Møller, S. (2004). The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey. I S. Rysgaard, R. Dietz, G. Asmund, H. Skov, T. G. Nielsen, J. Christensen, & F. Riget (red.), Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA) (s. 33-41). Roskilde: National Environmental Research Institute. NERI Technical Report, Nr. 511
    Dietz, R. ; Riget, F. ; Olsen, M.T. ; Sonne, C. ; Born, E. ; Grandjean, P. ; Kirkegaard, M. ; Asmund, G. ; Bagøe, H. ; Boertman, D. ; Falk, K. ; Fjeldsaa, J. ; Egevang, C. ; Wille, F. ; Møller, Søren. / The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey. Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA). red. / Søren Rysgaard ; Rune Dietz ; Gert Asmund ; Henrik Skov ; Torkel Gissel Nielsen ; Jesper Christensen ; Frank Riget. Roskilde : National Environmental Research Institute, 2004. s. 33-41 (NERI Technical Report; Nr. 511).
    @inbook{16e935d055cd11da99c9000ea68e967b,
    title = "The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey",
    abstract = "Mercury compounds are bio-accumulated. As a consequence the highest levels of mercury are measured in top predators like seals, toothed whales, polar bears, and also humans. The main mercury source for humans is the diet but the processes that links emission with effects through the transport chain: emission – atmospheric transport – atmospheric deposition – transport to seawater (– reemission – transport to seawater) – uptake in plankton – transfer to higher trophic levels are at present insufficiently known. The complexity of the problem stresses the need of contributions from many disciplines. Therefore 3 departments of NERI (ATMI, MAR and AM) are contributing to the work and traditional biological, chemical and physical disciplines are presented. The first measurements ever of atmospheric mercury fluxes have been carried out within the present project. The flux measurements in the campaigns have demonstrated that AMDEs (Atmospheric Mercury depletion Episodes) more than doubles the input of mercury to the Arctic environment through the transformation of GEM (Gaseous elemental Mercury) to RGM (Reactive Gaseous Mercury) and the deposition of RGM to the snow. These findings have been used to establish a new parameterisation of the removal of atmospheric mercury for Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) and to validate the model. As a first estimate about 200 tons/year is deposited to the surface north of polar circle. In undisturbed sediment cores the mercury concentration and the mercury sedimentation are generally higher in present day sediments than in sediments formed 50 and 100 years ago. This can be interpreted as anthropogenic input. Thus this study of marine sediments from Greenland supports the conclusion from other studies that approximately half of the mercury flux in the Arctic is anthropogenic, Preliminary results in seawater indicate that 80{\%} of total mercury is found in dissolved form or associated with particles < 0.45 µm. Mercury content is clearly dependent on trophic position in the food web. Significant increase in mercury content is found in predators such as crabs, fish, birds and seals. The coupling between transport pathways of carbon and mercury is weak at lower trophic levels. A substantial decrease of Hg concentrations in teeth and hair of polar bears since 1960 was found. Hg concentrations in hair of polar bears sampled in East Greenland during 1999-2001 was 8.3 times higher than baseline levels in West Greenland obtained from 1300 AD. Of 12 trend analyses performed on three birds of prey, 11 analyses showed increasing trend, however, only 4 groups from West Greenland were found to be significant (immature gyrfalcon – all peregrines, and immature and adult White-tailed eagle). The increase of these time series ranged between 0.008 mg/kg dw per year to 0.05 mg/kg dw per year. The present joint effort aiming at understanding the link between transport, deposition and bioaccumulation in the Arctic environment shows that such a model is not easily established. However, continued effort on developing such a model may fulfil the goal of predicting future trends and effects on humans and exposed target species. However, at present this connection is not established. We need to carry out joint field campaigns to study the connection between the atmospheric input during AMDEs, the pelagic food chain and the transfer to higher trophic levels. Large uncertainties on the inter-compartment fluxes still exist and future activities should be organised as joint campaigns having a more holistic approach with focus on periods and target areas with AMDEs. Based on the obtained knowledge a model has to be developed that can explain the observed levels and inter compartment transport patterns. Finally scenario calculations have to be performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the model and the system towards changes in climate, emissions and the food web.",
    author = "R. Dietz and F. Riget and M.T. Olsen and C. Sonne and E. Born and P. Grandjean and M. Kirkegaard and G. Asmund and H. Bag{\o}e and D. Boertman and K. Falk and J. Fjeldsaa and C. Egevang and F. Wille and S{\o}ren M{\o}ller",
    year = "2004",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "87-7772-834-3",
    pages = "33--41",
    editor = "S{\o}ren Rysgaard and Rune Dietz and Gert Asmund and Henrik Skov and Nielsen, {Torkel Gissel} and Jesper Christensen and Frank Riget",
    booktitle = "Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)",
    publisher = "National Environmental Research Institute",

    }

    Dietz, R, Riget, F, Olsen, MT, Sonne, C, Born, E, Grandjean, P, Kirkegaard, M, Asmund, G, Bagøe, H, Boertman, D, Falk, K, Fjeldsaa, J, Egevang, C, Wille, F & Møller, S 2004, The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey. i S Rysgaard, R Dietz, G Asmund, H Skov, TG Nielsen, J Christensen & F Riget (red), Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA). National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde, NERI Technical Report, nr. 511, s. 33-41.

    The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey. / Dietz, R.; Riget, F.; Olsen, M.T.; Sonne, C.; Born, E.; Grandjean, P.; Kirkegaard, M.; Asmund, G.; Bagøe, H.; Boertman, D.; Falk, K.; Fjeldsaa, J.; Egevang, C.; Wille, F.; Møller, Søren.

    Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA). red. / Søren Rysgaard; Rune Dietz; Gert Asmund; Henrik Skov; Torkel Gissel Nielsen; Jesper Christensen; Frank Riget. Roskilde : National Environmental Research Institute, 2004. s. 33-41 (NERI Technical Report; Nr. 511).

    Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskning

    TY - CHAP

    T1 - The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey

    AU - Dietz, R.

    AU - Riget, F.

    AU - Olsen, M.T.

    AU - Sonne, C.

    AU - Born, E.

    AU - Grandjean, P.

    AU - Kirkegaard, M.

    AU - Asmund, G.

    AU - Bagøe, H.

    AU - Boertman, D.

    AU - Falk, K.

    AU - Fjeldsaa, J.

    AU - Egevang, C.

    AU - Wille, F.

    AU - Møller, Søren

    PY - 2004

    Y1 - 2004

    N2 - Mercury compounds are bio-accumulated. As a consequence the highest levels of mercury are measured in top predators like seals, toothed whales, polar bears, and also humans. The main mercury source for humans is the diet but the processes that links emission with effects through the transport chain: emission – atmospheric transport – atmospheric deposition – transport to seawater (– reemission – transport to seawater) – uptake in plankton – transfer to higher trophic levels are at present insufficiently known. The complexity of the problem stresses the need of contributions from many disciplines. Therefore 3 departments of NERI (ATMI, MAR and AM) are contributing to the work and traditional biological, chemical and physical disciplines are presented. The first measurements ever of atmospheric mercury fluxes have been carried out within the present project. The flux measurements in the campaigns have demonstrated that AMDEs (Atmospheric Mercury depletion Episodes) more than doubles the input of mercury to the Arctic environment through the transformation of GEM (Gaseous elemental Mercury) to RGM (Reactive Gaseous Mercury) and the deposition of RGM to the snow. These findings have been used to establish a new parameterisation of the removal of atmospheric mercury for Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) and to validate the model. As a first estimate about 200 tons/year is deposited to the surface north of polar circle. In undisturbed sediment cores the mercury concentration and the mercury sedimentation are generally higher in present day sediments than in sediments formed 50 and 100 years ago. This can be interpreted as anthropogenic input. Thus this study of marine sediments from Greenland supports the conclusion from other studies that approximately half of the mercury flux in the Arctic is anthropogenic, Preliminary results in seawater indicate that 80% of total mercury is found in dissolved form or associated with particles < 0.45 µm. Mercury content is clearly dependent on trophic position in the food web. Significant increase in mercury content is found in predators such as crabs, fish, birds and seals. The coupling between transport pathways of carbon and mercury is weak at lower trophic levels. A substantial decrease of Hg concentrations in teeth and hair of polar bears since 1960 was found. Hg concentrations in hair of polar bears sampled in East Greenland during 1999-2001 was 8.3 times higher than baseline levels in West Greenland obtained from 1300 AD. Of 12 trend analyses performed on three birds of prey, 11 analyses showed increasing trend, however, only 4 groups from West Greenland were found to be significant (immature gyrfalcon – all peregrines, and immature and adult White-tailed eagle). The increase of these time series ranged between 0.008 mg/kg dw per year to 0.05 mg/kg dw per year. The present joint effort aiming at understanding the link between transport, deposition and bioaccumulation in the Arctic environment shows that such a model is not easily established. However, continued effort on developing such a model may fulfil the goal of predicting future trends and effects on humans and exposed target species. However, at present this connection is not established. We need to carry out joint field campaigns to study the connection between the atmospheric input during AMDEs, the pelagic food chain and the transfer to higher trophic levels. Large uncertainties on the inter-compartment fluxes still exist and future activities should be organised as joint campaigns having a more holistic approach with focus on periods and target areas with AMDEs. Based on the obtained knowledge a model has to be developed that can explain the observed levels and inter compartment transport patterns. Finally scenario calculations have to be performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the model and the system towards changes in climate, emissions and the food web.

    AB - Mercury compounds are bio-accumulated. As a consequence the highest levels of mercury are measured in top predators like seals, toothed whales, polar bears, and also humans. The main mercury source for humans is the diet but the processes that links emission with effects through the transport chain: emission – atmospheric transport – atmospheric deposition – transport to seawater (– reemission – transport to seawater) – uptake in plankton – transfer to higher trophic levels are at present insufficiently known. The complexity of the problem stresses the need of contributions from many disciplines. Therefore 3 departments of NERI (ATMI, MAR and AM) are contributing to the work and traditional biological, chemical and physical disciplines are presented. The first measurements ever of atmospheric mercury fluxes have been carried out within the present project. The flux measurements in the campaigns have demonstrated that AMDEs (Atmospheric Mercury depletion Episodes) more than doubles the input of mercury to the Arctic environment through the transformation of GEM (Gaseous elemental Mercury) to RGM (Reactive Gaseous Mercury) and the deposition of RGM to the snow. These findings have been used to establish a new parameterisation of the removal of atmospheric mercury for Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) and to validate the model. As a first estimate about 200 tons/year is deposited to the surface north of polar circle. In undisturbed sediment cores the mercury concentration and the mercury sedimentation are generally higher in present day sediments than in sediments formed 50 and 100 years ago. This can be interpreted as anthropogenic input. Thus this study of marine sediments from Greenland supports the conclusion from other studies that approximately half of the mercury flux in the Arctic is anthropogenic, Preliminary results in seawater indicate that 80% of total mercury is found in dissolved form or associated with particles < 0.45 µm. Mercury content is clearly dependent on trophic position in the food web. Significant increase in mercury content is found in predators such as crabs, fish, birds and seals. The coupling between transport pathways of carbon and mercury is weak at lower trophic levels. A substantial decrease of Hg concentrations in teeth and hair of polar bears since 1960 was found. Hg concentrations in hair of polar bears sampled in East Greenland during 1999-2001 was 8.3 times higher than baseline levels in West Greenland obtained from 1300 AD. Of 12 trend analyses performed on three birds of prey, 11 analyses showed increasing trend, however, only 4 groups from West Greenland were found to be significant (immature gyrfalcon – all peregrines, and immature and adult White-tailed eagle). The increase of these time series ranged between 0.008 mg/kg dw per year to 0.05 mg/kg dw per year. The present joint effort aiming at understanding the link between transport, deposition and bioaccumulation in the Arctic environment shows that such a model is not easily established. However, continued effort on developing such a model may fulfil the goal of predicting future trends and effects on humans and exposed target species. However, at present this connection is not established. We need to carry out joint field campaigns to study the connection between the atmospheric input during AMDEs, the pelagic food chain and the transfer to higher trophic levels. Large uncertainties on the inter-compartment fluxes still exist and future activities should be organised as joint campaigns having a more holistic approach with focus on periods and target areas with AMDEs. Based on the obtained knowledge a model has to be developed that can explain the observed levels and inter compartment transport patterns. Finally scenario calculations have to be performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the model and the system towards changes in climate, emissions and the food web.

    M3 - Book chapter

    SN - 87-7772-834-3

    SP - 33

    EP - 41

    BT - Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)

    A2 - Rysgaard, Søren

    A2 - Dietz, Rune

    A2 - Asmund, Gert

    A2 - Skov, Henrik

    A2 - Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    A2 - Christensen, Jesper

    A2 - Riget, Frank

    PB - National Environmental Research Institute

    CY - Roskilde

    ER -

    Dietz R, Riget F, Olsen MT, Sonne C, Born E, Grandjean P et al. The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey. I Rysgaard S, Dietz R, Asmund G, Skov H, Nielsen TG, Christensen J, Riget F, red., Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA). Roskilde: National Environmental Research Institute. 2004. s. 33-41. (NERI Technical Report; Nr. 511).