The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
To clarify whether metals and/or POPs affect marine fish species - Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)
To clarify whether effects of metals (Cd, Hg) affects biochemical markers (MT) in seal kidneys
The aim of this project is to monitor epiphytic lichen communities in a way that enables us to separate between natural variation and the effects of acidification and long range transported air pollutants.
Our projects will investigate the effects of radioactive wastes on marine ecosystems. Two marine ecosystems have been chosen for projects: 1) the dumping site for low level radioactive waste in the north-east Atlantic and 2) the western part of the Barents Sea. The data on the radioecology of North Sea and Baltic Sea obtained in our long-time monitoring programmes will serve as a basis for the interpretation of the project´s results.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and lipophilic compounds used as flame retardants in electronic equipment, plastic material and synthetic fibbers among other things. The PBDEs are mainly used as Deca-BDE and Bromokal 70-5DE, a mixture of tetra-, penta- and hexa-BDE. Due to its chemical and physical properties PBDEs, especially TeBDEs, tend to bioaccumulate. PBDEs were first reported in sediments in USA, and in fish from a Swedish river. More recently PBDEs have also been reported in seals, birds, mussels, whales and humans. In this study an SFE-method for rapid analysis of PBDEs in marine mammals was developed. This method was used to determinate the concentrations of these environmental pollutants in Pilot Whale samples caught in the Faroe Islands, Beluga Whales from the Arctic and Polar Bears from Svalbard. Using this method several PBDEs were analysed in the different species. In addition methoxylated PBDEs (Me-O-PBDE) were identified by interpretation of the different mass spectra’s. Of the 209 theoretical possible congeners only a few PBDE seem to accumulate in the environment. Accumulation of PBDE is related to the different chemical properties of the molecule. With the help of multivariate characterisation of a compound class using semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations, literature data and actual experimental measurements, the behaviour of PBDE in the environment can be modelled and predicted. Such models are essential in order to gain more insight in the behaviour of PBDE in the environment.
The objective of this project is to obtain a comprehensive and verifiable information on contaminant exposure of indigenous populations of the Russian Barents Region through aquatic food. Subgoals: To evaluate the contaminant uptakes for blood samples that have been collected by health workers from local indigenous populations, focusing on cord blood levels. To connect and integrate the project and protocols with the ongoing cord blood study of indigenous peoples of Alaska and Eastern Russia, lead by dr. Jim Berner and others in the region.
Assess the effects of POP mixtures present in the food on the endocrine system of marine mammals. Effects of these mixtures on steroid synthesis in adrenals and gonads will be studied in vitro. Further, hormone mimicking effects of contaminant mixtures will be studied. Contaminant receptor binding and responses of the contaminant-receptor complex are studied using estrogen/androgen receptor binding assays in combination with reporte gene assays.
Validate the hepatic P450 enzyme system as a biomarker of levels and effects of POPs in Arctic, aquatic environments, using the anadromous (sea-migratory) Arctic charr as an indicator species.
The objective is to study the relationship between natural seasonal variations in body lipid status of sea migrating Arctic charr and disposition (e.g. tissue distribution)of PCB, particularly in relation to the toxical potential of a certain body burden of PCB.
The objectives are to test the hypothesis that the tissue re-distribution of PCB are linked to the metabolic status of the Arctic charr and that the tissue re-distribution of PCB associated with fasting will decrease the overall performance characeristics of the Arctic charr.
Multi-institutional, international cooperative project to determine the possible responses of Arctic marine communities to future global climate change by comparing retrospective patterns in benthic composition and distributions to past climatic events in the Barents and Bering Seas.
The general objective is to assess time trends and deposition loads of mercury and persistent organic pollutants from long-range atmospheric transport in Arctic environments (Greenland and north Swedish mountains) using lake sediments. The specific aims are: 1. Mercury - Study pre-industrial and industrial temporal changes in Hg concentrations in sediment records of remote lakes in Greenland and north Swedish mountains. - Address the hypothesis of 'cold condensation' (the progressive re-volatilization in relatively warm locations and subsequent condensation and deposition in cooler environments) of mercury, using a series of lake sediment cores along climate gradients: in Greenland from the inland ice sheet towards the coast and in the Swedish mountains from high altitudes down to the boreal forest. 2. POPs - Make a screening to establish which persistent organic pollutants are present in recent lake sediments in remote sites in Greenland and the north Swedish mountains. Besides PCBs, HCH, DDT and other pesticides, there are new environmental threats such as brominated flame retardants, such as PDBEs, which are of particular interest. The increasing use of PBDE and other brominated compounds may lead to increasing concentrations in the Arctic environment. However, very little is known about the levels of PBDEs as well as other POPs in sediments from the Arctic. - Analyse test series of selected POPs using a lake sediment core to assess temporal trends and a number of surface sediment samples from different lakes to assess spatial variability in concentrations and cumulative fluxes of POPs in Greenland and Swedish mountain lakes. - The main purpose of this pilot study of POPs is to determine the concentrations of selected POPs in sediments from Greenland and the northern Swedish mountains and to assess how useful lake sediments are for studying temporal and spatial pollution loads of POPs in Arctic environments.
The aim of the project is to obtain more insight in the response of the Greenland ice sheet to climatic change. For this purpose we will link our surface energy-balance model to an atmospheric model, so that the model can be forced by variables characterizing the atmosphere outside the thermal influence of the ice sheet itself. The modelling is supported by the mass-balance and meteorological data that we collect along a transect in West Greenland (the Kangerlussuaq-transect or K-transect). The albedo of the ice sheet is studied by means of satellite data and measurements obtained from a helicopter. Research activities - develop numerical models of the surface energy balance and the boundary layer above the ice sheet - perform annual measurements of the mass balance and ice velocity along the K-transect - maintain two automatic weather stations along the K-transect - study the surface albedo by means of remote-sensing images - improve methods to retrieve the surface albedo from satellite data by means of measurements obtained from a helicopter
Land ice forms an important component of the climate system. Sea level variations are closely related to the total ice volume. However, the relation between glacier mass balance and meteorological conditions is inderstood only broadly. In particular, the strong variation of mass balance patterns on the 10-300 km scale has hardly been investigated. Reduction of the uncertainty in estimating changes in glacier mass balance for climate change scenario's requires a better knowledge of the processes that lead to the spatial variability of glacier mass balance. The goal of the project is to indentify and model the most important factors leading to mesoscale variability of the mass balance field on ice caps.
The objectives of this study are to determine temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, especially mercury, in landlocked Arctic char in Char Lake and Resolute Lake by analysis of annual sample collections, to investigate factors influencing contaminant levels in landlocked char such as the influence of sampling time, water temperature and diet, and to provide this information on a timely basis to the community of Qausuittuq (Resolute). The rationale is that small lakes in the high arctic are replenished annually with snowmelt runoff and direct precipitation which represent significant fractions of their water budgets. Declining concentrations of POPs, or increasing levels of previously unstudied POPs, in air and precipitation should be reflected relatively quickly in changes in levels in food webs and top predator fishes, compared to the vast marine environment. We know this to be the case from the sedimentary record of POPs and mercury in small arctic lakes. This project collects landlocked arctic char from lakes near Resolute annually and analyses them for mercury, a suite of other metals as well as persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides including toxaphene). Results will be compared over time. The first samples were collected from Char and Resolute Lakes in 1992/93. The next set were collected in 1997 and annually since then. Char are being collected from several lakes in the area because of limited sample numbers in some lakes and the possibility of local influences. Samples are also being archived for future analyses.
The objectives of this study were to develop baseline data on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, in freshwater and anadromous fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, important to Inuit communities of Northern Labrador and Nunavik in order to provide the same level of information that is available for other Canadian arctic regions. 1999-00 was the final year of the project. Successful collection of mussels (Mytilus edulis), arctic char (sea run), scallops and walrus samples were made in 1999. During 1998 major collections of ringed seal, sea run arctic char and blube mussels (Mytilus edulis) were made. Chemical analyses of POPs and metals in ringed seals and char collected in 1998-99 were completed in 1999-2000. Low concentrations of mercury, selenium and lead were found in samples of scallops from Labrador while cadmium and arsenic levels were much higher than the other elements, especially in gut samples. Arsenic was the most prominent of the five metals determined in mussels from Nunavik. Mercury levels were low (0.02-0.03 ug/g wet wt) in char from Labrador collected in 1999 similar to our previous observations in Labrador and Nunavik. Much higher levels of mercury and selenium were found in landlocked char (at Kangiqsujuaq) and than in all sea run char from widely separated sites Nunavik and Labrador. Mercury and selenium levels in seal liver did not differ among the 5 locations after adjustment for age of the animals. Percent organic mercury levels increased with age in seal muscle from about 80% in animals from 0-2 yrs to about 100% in adult animals. Mercury levels in walrus meat (muscle) were relatively low compared with liver and kidney. Levels of tributyl tin in char muscle ranged from <0.01 to 0.85 ng/g wet wt and highest levels were found in samples from Kangirsuk (Ungava Bay region). PCBs and other organochlorines were present at very low levels in mussels and arctic char from locations in Nunavik and Labrador. In general, levels of PCBs and SDDT in ringed seal blubber in this study were similar to levels found in ringed seal blubber at other eastern Arctic locations.
The objective of this project is to study long term temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in ringed seals from the Canadian arctic. The project rationale is that there are previous results for POPs and mercury in ringed seal tissues for many locations. Furthermore there may be regional differences in temporal trends due to geographical differences in POPs and mercury in marine waters and food webs within the Canadian arctic. It is relatively cost efficient to return to the same locations for additional samples using the same sampling and anlaysis protocols are were used in previous studies (see AMAP and Canadian Assessment Reports). Samples are being collected with the help of hunters and trappers organizations in each community. During 2000-01 samples are being collected at Resolute, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet. The study will also analyse samples collected recently (1998/99) from Pangnirtung, Arviat and Grise Fiord. Results will be compared with previous data which the Principal Investigator generated in the 1980's and early 1990's. Preliminary results will be available in mid-2001.
The major aim in AMAP is to monitor the levels of anthropogenic contaminants in all major compartments of the Arctic environment, and assess the environmental conditions in the area. This core programme will provide the Danish/Greenlandic authorities with data which make it possible to take part in the international AMAP programme under the Arctic Council. In order to monitor the levels of anthropogenic pollutants, samples will be collected and analysed. The measured components will include heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in order to allow for spatial and temporal trends in Arctic biota. The program has taken in consideration the recommended importance of persistent organic pollutants and mercury and the importance of the marine food chain. The core program focuses on areas with high population density or areas with high levels of pollutants in the environment.
Risk determination for traditional food should consider the potential risks from exposure to contaminants and the sociocultural, nutritional, economic and spiritual benefits associated with traditional food. Factors which influence Inuit food choices should be further analyzed to add precision to the evaluation of risks and benefits of traditional food consumption. The data of the Nutrition Santé Québec Survey are a potential source for this type of analysis since data are available and are representative of the entire region of Nunavik. The proposed work consists of more detailed analysis of the existing data on food intake among the Inuit of Nunavik collected in 1992 during the Santé Québec Health Survey and to extend our analyses to contaminant intakes. Intakes (mean and median) of traditional and market foods, nutrients and contaminants will be calculated according to the makeup/structure of households, the level of education, the level of household income and coastal place of residence. Intakes will also calculated according to the social assistance status of Inuit. Among Inuit depending on social assistance, comparisons of food, nutrient and contaminant intakes according to the time of the month in which the survey took place will be examined. Statistical comparisons of food intakes will also be done between Inuit who stated having lacked food in the month prior to the survey and those who did not. Nutrient intakes will be compared with daily recommended nutrient intakes (RNI) based on nutritional recommendations issued by Health Canada. More detailed and reliable information regarding sociodemographic factors affecting food intake, nutritional status and contaminant exposure among Inuit will help to orient public health authorities in the promotion of health through traditional food consumption.
Among all contaminants present in different aquatic ecosystems in Canada, methylmercury (MeHg) is a major source of concern for public health. Currently, it is difficult to reliably determine the threshold of MeHg concentration at which functional changes occur. On the other hand, it is well known that chronic MeHg exposure is very harmful for the nervous system. Oxidative reactions appear to be of central importance to mercury toxicity. Therefore, it is important and urgent to determine with precision the minimal dose at which oxidative stress and neurotoxic effects can be identified since some studies suggest that MeHg toxicity can be detected at level far below the minimal exposure level proposed by the World Health Organization. The main goal of this project is to investigate the effects of mercury on sensorimotor functions in the population of Salluit. We will examine the relationship between the level of MeHg and sensorimotor performance. Afterwards, specific recommendations based on quantitative evidence will be made to the concerned populations so as to diminish long-term risk on health.