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The Northern Contaminants Program aims to reduce and where possible eliminate long-range contaminants from the Arctic Environment while providing Northerners with the information they need to make informed dietary choices, particularly concerning traditional/country food. To achieve these objectives the NCP conducts research and monitoring related to contaminants in the Arctic environment and people. Monitoring efforts focus on regular (annual) assessment of contaminant levels in a range of media, including air, biota and humans. Environmental research is conducted into the pathways, processes and effects of contaminants on Arctic ecosystems while human health research focuses on assessing contaminant exposure, toxicity research, epidemiological (cohort) studies, and risk-benefit assessment and communications. Main gaps: Contaminant measurements in Arctic seawater, toxicity data specific to Arctic species. Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminants levels and relevant ancilliary parameters - Field stations: Atmospheric observing stations at Alert, Nunavut and Little Fox Lake, Yukon. - Community based observations: Numerous communities throughout the Canadian Arctic participate in sample collection - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided by the NCP secretariat, which also acts as liaison with AMAP.
i. Determine mercury, metals and persistent organic contaminant pollutants (POPs) concentrations in lake trout harvested from two locations (West Basin near Hay River, East Arm at Lutsel K’e) and burbot harvested from one location (West Basin at Fort Resolution) in 2015 to further extend the long-term (1993-2013 (POPs) and 1993-2014 (mercury)) database. ii. Determine POPs trends in lake trout and burbot using our 1993-2014 data base. iii. Continue our investigations of mercury trends in predatory fish to include lakes in the Deh Cho, Great Bear Lake, and other lakes as opportunities arise. iv. Participate in and contribute information to AMAP expert work groups for trend monitoring for POPs and mercury. v. Integrate our mercury trend assessments with studies we are conducting in the western provinces as part of Canada’s Clear Air Regularly Agenda for its Mercury Science Assessment. vi. Work with communities in capacity building and training.
In order to assess the spatial and temporal patterns of the a-, b- and g-isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the arctic biotic and abiotic environment, it is proposed that: (1) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared over time in air, water, seals, beluga, polar bears and seabirds to determine any shifts in isomeric ratios and how those shifts interrelate among the various media, and (2) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared spatially in the abiotic and biotic media and reasons for any patterns explored.
To provide for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of surface water quantity data and information and services that are vital to meet a wide range of water management, engineering and environmental needs across Canada. Main gaps: The current hydrometric network is deficient in terms of understanding the regional hydrology and river regimes across Canada. The map below integrates Environment Canada’s two key frameworks: the National Drainage Area Framework with the National Terrestrial Ecological Framework to identify network deficiencies. In order to have sufficient information there needs to be at least one active hydrometric station measuring natural flow in each corresponding ecodistrict within a sub-sub drainage area. This strategy ensures that there will be sufficient information to understand the hydrological processes and the interrelationships with the landscape. This information is essential for research and enhancing our predictive capabilities and data transfer. As the map shows, areas of sufficiency are concentrated in the southern, more populated regions of the country. Network sufficiency declines to the north and northeast, with great extents of northern Canada having no coverage at all. Network type: in-situ.water level and streamflow monitoring stations
ArcticNet brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners in Inuit organizations, northern communities, government and industry to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of climate change and globalization in the Arctic. Over 110 ArcticNet researchers and 400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians from 28 Canadian universities and 8 federal departments collaborate on 28 research projects with over 150 partner organizations from 15 countries. The major objectives of the Network are: • Build synergy among existing Centres of Excellence in the natural, human health and social Arctic sciences. • Involve northerners, government and industry in the steering of the Network and scientific process through bilateral exchange of knowledge, training and technology. • Increase and update the observational basis needed to address the ecosystem-level questions raised by climate change and globalization in the Arctic. • Provide academic researchers and their national and international collaborators with stable access to the coastal Canadian Arctic. • Consolidate national and international collaborations in the study of the Canadian Arctic. • Contribute to the training of the next generation of experts, from north and south, needed to study, model and ensure the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic. • Translate our growing understanding of the changing Arctic into regional impact assessments, national policies and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: Thematical observations:Yes Field stations: Yes on Land (see CEN sheet) and Marine (CCGS Amundsen) Community based observations: Yes Coordination: Yes
The Centre for Northern Studies (www.cen.ulaval.ca; CEN: Centre d’études nordiques) is an interuniversity centre of excellence for research involving Université Laval, Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). Members also come from the following affiliations: Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, à Montréal and à Trois-Rivières, Université de Sherbrooke, and the College François-Xavier Garneau. The CEN is multidisciplinary, bringing together over forty researchers including biologists, geographers, geologists, engineers, archaeologists, and landscape management specialists. The CEN community also counts two hundred graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and employees. CEN’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of northern regions by way of an improved understanding of environmental change. CEN researchers analyze the evolution of northern environments in the context of climate warming and accelerated socio-economic change and train highly qualified personnel in the analysis and management of cold region ecosystems and geosystems. In partnership with government, industry and northern communities, CEN plays a pivotal role in environmental stewardship and development of the circumpolar North. CEN research activities are focused on three themes: 1 -Structure and function of northern continental environments. 2 -Evolution of northern environments in the context of global change. 3-Evaluation of the risks associated with environmental change and development of adaptation strategies. In 2009, CEN organised an international workshop with the European SAON network SCANNET and also partners throughout Canada. The workshop culminated in the formal incorporation of CEN stations within SCANNET (http://www.scannet.nu/). Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: CEN operates the CEN Network, an extensive network of meteorological and field stations that were established in consultation with northern communities. The CEN Network comprises over 75 climate and soil monitoring stations and eight field stations distributed across a 4000 km North-South gradient from boreal forest to the High Arctic. The eight field stations are situated at the following sites: Radisson, Whapmagoostui- Kuujjuarapik, Umiujaq, Lac à l’Eau Claire (in the proposed new park Tursujuq), Boniface River, Salluit, and Bylot and Ward Hunt Islands, which are part of two National Parks in Nunavut. The main field station at the heart of the CEN Network is at Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik.
Observations of the Arctic Ocean have been made since the 1800s at varying levels of intensity. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the physical and chemical composition of Arctic waters, the circulation of the waters within the Arctic Ocean, and flows into and out of the Arctic Ocean. Physical observations are conducted on properties of the water column including ocean temperature, sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, carbon, changes in ice coverage and extent, hydrographic measurements, nutrients, etc. Surface drifters either embedded in the ice, or (lately) able to float and operate in ice infested waters, provide measurements of a limited number of surface ocean and meteorological variables. . Additional observations are obtained on ocean currents, waves and tides. Biological observations are captured within a separate inventory item titled “Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring”. Recently, a focus has been on increasing understanding of the impacts of climate change on Arctic waters (e.g., increasing temperature, decreasing pH, decreasing salinity, changing ice conditions, etc.). Data is gathered by ship with in situ measurements, deployment of moorings and buoys, helicopters (e.g. for ice measurements), and satellites (e.g. sea surface temperature). Main gaps: Large geographic areas of the Arctic are not covered regularly. Network type: - Thematical observations: of all oceanographic parameters - Field stations: Research ships and ice breakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings and buoys - Community based observations: - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence (NCAARE)
To acquire atmospheric data in support of both the prediction and detection of severe weather and of climate trend and variability research. This serves a broad range of users including researchers, policy makers, and service providers. Main gaps: Long-term, atmospheric monitoring in the North poses a significant challenge both operationally (e.g. in-situ automated snowfall measurements) and financially (charterd flights for maintenance and calibration).Most monitoring in the North is limited to populated areas. Attempts to develop an AMDAR capacity out of First Air and Canadian North fleets failed due to economical and technical difficulties. As demonstrated through impact studies, benefits of AMDAR in the North would be tremendous, however would require acquisition and deployment of specialized sensing packages such as TAMDAR (which includes measurements of relative humidity), development of datalink capacity through satellite communications (e.g. Iridium), and upgrading some aircraft systems when possible, especially the aircraft navigation systems. Network type: Atmospheric observing stations over land and sea composed of: - Surface Weather and Climate Network: o In-situ land stations comprising both Hourly stations and Daily Climate observations - Marine Networks: o Buoys (moored and drifting) o Ships: Automatic Volunteer Observing System - Upper Air Network: o In situ (radiosonde) o In situ Commercial Aircraft (AMDAR)
The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Cryospheric Experiment (C-ICE) is a multi-year field experiment that incorporates many individual projects, each with autonomous goals and objectives. The science conducted has directly evolved from research relating to one of four general themes: i. sea ice energy balance; ii. numerical modeling of atmospheric processes; iii. remote sensing of snow covered sea ice; and iv. ecosystem studies.
1. Continue to investigate spatial and temporal patterns in mercury concentrations in fish in lakes in the Mackenzie River Basin with a focus on predatory fish in smaller lakes near Fort Simpson but also including Great Bear Lake 2. Assess temporal trends in mercury concentrations and influencing factors, e.g., climate change 3. Conduct sediment core studies as opportunities allow to characterize long-term trends in mercury deposition and productivity 4. Integrate the findings of this study with our mercury trend monitoring in Great Slave Lake and the western provinces.
This project aims to establish continuous Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) measurements at Amderma, Russia to provide circumpolar data in concert with international sampling efforts at Alert (Nunavut, Canada), Point Barrow (Alaska, USA) and Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Norway). The objectives of this project are to determine spatial and temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic in order to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: A) measuring ambient air TGM concentrations in the Russian Arctic; B) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; and C) studying the circumpolar behaviour of mercury by comparison with data from other polar sites.
The objectives of the project are: A) to determine temporal trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition processes of mercury in the Arctic, and to assist in the development of long-term strategies for this priority pollutant by: i) measuring ambient air Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) concentrations in the Canadian Arctic (Alert) and investigating the linkage to elevated levels of mercury known to be present in the Arctic food chain; ii) investigating and establishing the causes of temporal variability (seasonal, annual) in mercury concentrations so that realistic representations (models) of atmospheric pathways and processes can be formulated, tested and validated; iii) studying the chemical and physical aspects of atmospheric mercury vapour transformation (oxidation) after polar sunrise and the resultant enhanced mercury deposition to the sea, snow and ice surfaces each year during springtime; and iv) obtaining a long-term time series of atmospheric mercury (TGM) concentrations at Alert for the purpose of establishing whether mercury in the troposphere of the northern hemisphere is (still) increasing and if so, at what rate; B) to establish a sound scientific basis for addressing existing gaps of knowledge of the behaviour of mercury in the Arctic environment that will enable international regulatory actions to reflect the appropriate environmental protection strategies and pollution controls for the Arctic by: i) studying the relative roles of anthropogenic and natural sources of mercury so as to clarify understanding of the atmospheric pathways leading to the availability of mercury to Arctic biota; ii) studying tropospheric TGM depletion mechanisms/processes leading to enhanced input of mercury to the Arctic biosphere in spring; iii) undertaking essential speciated measurements of particulate-phase and/or reactive gaseous-phase mercury as well as mercury in precipitation (snow/rain) to quantify wet and dry deposition fluxes into the Arctic environment; and vi) providing the scientific basis for the information and advice used in the preparation and development of Canadian international strategies and negotiating positions for appropriate international control objectives.
The objectives of this project are: A) to determine whether atmospheric concentrations and deposition of priority pollutants in the Arctic are changing in response to various national and international initiatives by: i) continuing to measure the occurrence of selected organochlorines in the arctic atmosphere at Alert, NWT for a period of three more years (measurements started in 1992), in parallel with identical measurements in western Russia at Amderma; ii) sampling at the Kinngait (Cape Dorset) station in 2000/2001 for the purpose of detecting change in the eastern Canadian Arctic by comparison with observations made four years earlier (1994-1996) at this site; and iii) analyzing and reporting data from Alert, Tagish, Kinngait and Dunai Island thereby providing insight into pollutant trends and sources. B) Ensuring the effective utilization of information at the international negotiating table in order to achieve the appropriate restrictions on release of pollutants of concern for the arctic environment by: i) contributing to the next assessment arising from the second phase of the Northern Contaminants Program (Canada) and specifically, the revised Assessments on POPs and Heavy Metals as part of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment (AMAP) Program Work Plan; and ii) advising Canadian negotiators in preparing reasonable, practical strategies of control.
The objectives of this project are: A) to determine the pathway for the transfer of mercury in snowmelt to sea water during the melt period at Alert; B) to determine the extent of open water and wet ice in the summer Arctic as it affects the surface exchange of Hg using satellite radar imagery; and C) to determine the atmospheric dynamics associated with the photochemistry of mercury episodically during the polar sunrise period.
The objectives of this project are A) to determine coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), brominated diphenyl ethers (BDPEs), chlorophenolic compounds and chloroparaffins in air from arctic monitoring stations; and B) to search for other "new" chemicals in the arctic environment, not currently monitored by Canada's Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) but of potential concern based on known persistence, extent of usage and toxicology.
The aim of this project is to compile information and create a computerized database of historical and present global lindane and endosulfan usage data as well as emission data for gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH) and endosulfan with 1 degree x 1 degree lat/long resolution. The objectives of this project are: A) to create global gridded g-HCH and endosulfan emission inventories; B) to study the linkage between global g-HCH and endosulfan use trends and g-HCH and endosulfan concentration trends in the Arctic; and C) to assist in comparing concentrations and ratios of different HCH isomers in the Arctic biotic and abiotic environments.