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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11254-11268; doi:10.3390/ijerph120911254

The Influence of Climate Change on Atmospheric Deposition of Mercury in the Arctic—A Model Sensitivity Study

Department of Environmental Science and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Roskilde 4000, Denmark
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael E. Goodsite and Hans Sanderson
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Climate Change and Contaminants)
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Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant with adverse health effects on humans and wildlife. It is of special concern in the Arctic due to accumulation in the food web and exposure of the Arctic population through a rich marine diet. Climate change may alter the exposure of the Arctic population to Hg. We have investigated the effect of climate change on the atmospheric Hg transport to and deposition within the Arctic by making a sensitivity study of how the atmospheric chemistry-transport model Danish Eulerian Hemispheric Model (DEHM) reacts to climate change forcing. The total deposition of Hg to the Arctic is 18% lower in the 2090s compared to the 1990s under the applied Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES-A1B) climate scenario. Asia is the major anthropogenic source area (25% of the deposition to the Arctic) followed by Europe (6%) and North America (5%), with the rest arising from the background concentration, and this is independent of the climate. DEHM predicts between a 6% increase (Status Quo scenario) and a 37% decrease (zero anthropogenic emissions scenario) in Hg deposition to the Arctic depending on the applied emission scenario, while the combined effect of future climate and emission changes results in up to 47% lower Hg deposition. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; climate change; Arctic; modelling; long-range transport mercury; climate change; Arctic; modelling; long-range transport
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hansen, K.M.; Christensen, J.H.; Brandt, J. The Influence of Climate Change on Atmospheric Deposition of Mercury in the Arctic—A Model Sensitivity Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11254-11268.

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