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Emissions, Fate and Transport of Persistent Organic Pollutants to the Arctic in a Changing Global Climate
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2013 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 47, no 5, 2323-2330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is expected to alter patterns of human economic activity and the associated emissions of chemicals, and also to affect the transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Here, we use a global-scale multimedia chemical fate model to analyze and quantify the impact of climate change on emissions and fate of POPs, and their transport to the Arctic. First, climate change effects under the SRES-A2 scenario are illustrated using case-studies for two well-characterized POPs, PCB 153, and alpha-HCH. Then, we model the combined impact of altered emission patterns and climatic conditions on environmental concentrations of potential future-use substances with a broad range of chemical properties. Starting from base-case generic emission scenarios, we postulate changes in emission patterns that may occur in response to climate change: enhanced usage of industrial chemicals in an ice-free Arctic, and intensified application of agrochemicals due to higher crop production and poleward expansion of potential arable land. We find both increases and decreases in concentrations of POP-like chemicals in the Arctic in the climate change scenario compared to the base-case climate. During the phase of ongoing primary emissions, modeled increases in Arctic contamination are up to a factor of 2 in air and water, and are driven mostly by changes in emission patterns. After phase-out, increases are up to a factor of 2 in air and 4 in water, and are mostly attributable to changes in transport and fate of chemicals under the climate change scenario.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 47, no 5, 2323-2330 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89875DOI: 10.1021/es304646nISI: 000315844200024OAI: diva2:621252


Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-05-14 Last updated: 2013-05-14Bibliographically approved

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MacLeod, Matthew
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