Directory entires that have specified Denmark/Greenland/Faroe Islands as the primary or lead country for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. To see the full list of countries, see the countries list. The specified country may not be the geographic region where the activity is taking place - to select a geographic region, see the list of regions.
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The aim of the present project is to continue the monitoring of contaminants Greenland biota in order to detect temporal and geographical changes including screening and retrospective analyses of "new" contaminants of increasing concern. Furthermore, temporal trend monitoring of selected biomarkers (e.g. bone mineral density and histopathological changes) in polar bear are included in the monitoring as these have shown to be sensitive to stressors such as contaminants. The project will provide the fundamental basic knowledge of temporal trends and feed into international geographical trend studies of mainly long range transport of contaminants in the atmosphere and biota to Greenland. The project will provide an important input to international convention works such as the Stockholm Convention and the Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution.
In addition to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) analysed in former monitoring projects, other compounds of concern have been identified by the international community (e.g. OSPAR, AMAP), and analytical methods have been developed. These compounds include brominated flame retardants (BFRs), phthalates, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and synthetic musk compounds. The aim of this project is to screen the marine environment of East and West Greenland and the Faroe Islands for these compounds. The analyses will be based on existing samples of pilot whale and fulmars from the Faroe Islands as well as marine sediments, shorthorn sculpins, ringed seals, minke whales from West Greenland and shorthorn sculpins, ringed seals and polar bears from East Greenland. As several trophic levels of the marine Arctic food chain are taken into account, the project will also result in information on the bioaccumulation of these compounds.
Polar bears are at the top of the arctic marine food chain. Owing to the high lipid content of their diet, polar bears appear particularly prone to bioaccumulate organochlorines. Polar bears from East Greenland and Svalbard have higher contaminant levels than polar bears elsewhere in the Arctic. Levels of PCBs in these areas might negatively affect reproduction and survival. So far more than 130 polar bear samples have been collected since 1999. These samples are being analysed for organochlorines and pathological effects.
The ZERO database contains all validated data from the Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations Basic Programmes (ClimateBasis, GeoBasis, BioBasis and MarinBasis). The purpose of the project is to run and update the database with new validated data after each succesfull field season. Data will be available for the public through the Zackenberg homepage linking to the NERI database. The yearly update is dependent on that each Basis programme delivers validated data in the proscribed format.
Organochlorines (OCs) concentrate through the arctic marine food webs and are stored in the adipose tissue due to their high lipophilic and persistent characteristics. The polar bears receive high doses of POPS through their diet and a controlled experimt was need to resolve effect on the immune system and effects on internal organs. Such a controlled experiment on sledge dogs as a replacement test organism for the polar bear was conducted from 2004-2006 to investigate dose-response effects.
The present study will establish a link between the mercury levels in the abiotic environment (e.g. historical records of mercury data in peat bogs, the ice sheet or marine sediments) with levels in carnivore species (polar bear, birds of prey). These results can be used in a model for predicting past and future development of the mercury loads in high trophic biota. This in turn will enable us to evaluate if changes in mercury levels in the atmosphere are reflected in species at higher trophic levels of the Arctic ecosystem. The project will expand the longevity and certainty of the biotic time series of mercury to about 150 years by analyzing museum samples of bird feathers and polar bear hair and teeth. The project is part of the project “Fate of mercury in the Arctic (FOMA)”.