The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme’s report concluded that the industrial pollutants change the microbiota of the Greenland ice. Among the most dangerous substances are PAHs and PCBs, both they are in a long list of chemical groups classed as being an ’emerging concern in the Arctic’.
AMAP is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council that research the status of microbiota in Greenland. The researchers’ report said that microbiota has changed due to appearing of many industrial pollutants, the have a certain impact on the ecological system of Arctic.
According to lead-author Aviaja Hauptmann from Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland in Nuuk, a special bacteria was found at the surface of the ice sheet. These bacteria show signs of genetic adaptations that allow them to withstand the pollution carried through the air from industrialised regions far from the Arctic – that is a very dangerous process, which leads to the melting ice in Greenland.
“For a long time these isolated remote regions of the Arctic have been perceived as very clean environments. But we now realise that pollution is transported around the globe and the source is not local,”
Arctic ice sheet is melting because of industrial pollutants
The forthcoming ecological changes are uncertain and need to be understood to properly interpret future contaminant data and provide reliable information to policy-makers, say the researchers.
Another report on how climate change may remobilise contaminants that have been building up in the Arctic in recent decades and their biological effects on local fauna and communities.
One of their priorities is now to monitor, assess, and communicate the potential health hazards of these chemicals, which Hauptmann’s research suggests are present across the sites she studied in Greenland.