Kapitel: 5 → Forschung, Gefährdungen und Schutz

5.3 → Ausbreitung von Schadstoffen in die Polarregionen

Ralf Ebinghaus, Christian Temme & Zhiyong Xie, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht

Zusammenfassung: Transfer of pollutants into polar regions: 

The polar regions are considered to be the last large-scale pristine environments on the globe. However, modern physical and chemical analytical methodology provides information on the occurrence of a number of contaminants in the Arctic and, to a lesser extent, in the Antarctic environment.

These anthropogenic substances can be measured in air, water, snow and ice in their so-called background concentration and tend to bioaccumulate in polar biota, a major dietary source for the Arctic Aboriginal population.

There is clear evidence that the global background of a number of man-made chemicals is increasing since the beginning of industrialization. Poleward atmospheric transport of semi-volatile contaminants and transport via global oceanic circulation patterns of the more water soluble substances are the major pathways of pollutants into the Arctic and Antarctic environment. Climate variability in recent decades may have an influence on observed temporal and spatial distribution patterns of anthropogenic polar contamination.