Greenland Ice Sheet Likely Contains High Levels Of Anthropogenic Pollutants

Greenland Ice Sheet Likely Contains High Levels Of Anthropogenic Pollutants

SOURCE: Clean Technica DATE: Aug 6, 2017 SNIP: The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be heavily contaminated with various globally emitted pollutants — such as PCBs, mercury, lead, PAHs, etc. — according to new research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. So, despite its image as a relatively pristine environment, Greenland is already heavily contaminated by industrial activity, which means that, as the ice sheet there thaws, surrounding waters are going to experience an influx of dangerous pollutants. This isn’t too surprising, as much recent research has shown that the Arctic, owing to various patterns of atmospheric circulation, is now home to very high levels of industrially emitted mercury pollution. Other seemingly remote parts of the world, such as the Himalaya mountains, are also known to now be home (in the ice, snow pack, etc.) to very high levels of industrial pollutants. Lead researcher, Dr Aviaja Hauptmann of the University of Greenland, commented: “Globally emitted contaminants accumulate in the Arctic and are stored in the frozen environments of the cryosphere, essentially meaning they have become reservoirs of toxic...
Climate Change Could Uncover An Abandoned Arctic Nuclear Base

Climate Change Could Uncover An Abandoned Arctic Nuclear Base

SOURCE: Huffington Post DATE: May 25, 2017 SNIP: Climate change is causing record levels of ice to disappear from the Arctic, and the melt is unearthing something that was supposed to stay buried for centuries — an abandoned U.S. nuclear base. Camp Century was built in Greenland in 1959 during the peak of the Cold War. The subterranean base held between 85 and 200 soldiers year-round. The base was built under the pretense that it would be a centre for scientific experiments on the icecap and a space to test construction techniques in Arctic conditions. If the ice melts at Camp Century, it will release an abundance of PCBs as well as other physical, chemical, biological and radiological wastes (including thousands of barrels of diesel) that could eventually be swept to Canada. The study from Geophysical Research Letters predicted that by 2090 ice around Camp Century will begin to melt, and it will take nearly another century before the camp is fully unearthed. But meltwater runoff could carry chemical waste into the sea as soon as the ice sheet starts melting. Since that study was published, scientists found that the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of earth. The “Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic” report, published in April 2017, significantly increased the projections of how fast global sea-levels will rise, meaning that ice could melt at Camp Century sooner than...