Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Pollutants from the past

北極の氷と海水は、毒性汚染物質の長期的吸収源となっているが、気候変動によって、こうした汚染物質が再流動化していることが明らかになった。毒性化合物への曝露を減らすためのさまざまな努力が、この現象によって台無しになる可能性が生じていることが示唆されている。この研究成果を報告する論文が、Nature Climate Change(電子版)に掲載される。




Climate change is remobilizing toxic pollutants from long-term sinks such as ice and sea water in the Arctic reports a paper published online in Nature Climate Change this week. The finding suggests that this could potentially undermine efforts to reduce exposure to these toxic compounds.

The abundance of many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has decreased in the Arctic atmosphere over recent years owing to regulation of their production and use. However, many POPs remain stored in reservoirs such as sea water and ice because they are resistant to degradation.

Climate change could remobilize POPs from these stores, but observational evidence for this effect is limited. Based on 20-year-long records of POP concentrations in the Arctic atmosphere and modelling evidence, Ma and colleagues conclude that warming and sea-ice retreat have enhanced the release of several POPs from sinks such as ice and sea water over the past decade.

The abundance of POPs in the environment is likely to continue to decline in future, but remobilization of the compounds that the team studied — and potentially others like them — from long-term stores will make them available for atmospheric transport once again.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate1167


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