Mercury concentrations in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem
This dataset contains 2005 concentrations of total mercury (THg), gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), methylated mercury, dimethyl mercury (DMHg) in the water column of the Canadian Arctic.
Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. Mercury concentrations on biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors, food web dynamics and structure, as well as animal behavior.
The Arctic Ocean including its coastal seas has many features differentiating it from the rest of the worlds marine ecosystem that can affect the fate of mercury (Hg) an how issues surrounding mercury contamination are viewed. Due to its remote location all anthropogenic mercury inputs to the Arctic Ocean originate from long range transport rather than point source emissions, making source attribution more challenging. Atmospheric process are unique to polar region and play an important role in controlling the deposition of atmospheric mercury.
The Northern Contaminants Program(NCP, http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_7A463DBA.html) was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species that are important to the traditional diets of northern Aboriginal peoples. Early studies found a wide variety of substances, many of which had no Arctic or Canadian sources, but which were, nevertheless, reaching unexpectedly high levels in the Arctic ecosystem.
The Canadian Cryospheric Information Network (CCIN, https://www.ccin.ca/) and the Polar Data Catalogue (PDC, https://polardata.ca/) have been developed over the past two decades through collaborative partnerships between the University of Waterloo and numerous government, university, and private organizations to provide the data and information management infrastructure for the Canadian cryospheric community. The PDC is one of Canada’s primary online sources for data and information about the Arctic and is Canada's National Antarctica Data Centre.
Polar Data Catalogue Canadian Cryospheric Information Network Metadata Record:
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
Data and Resources
NCP_Arctic Marine Ecosystems_Mercury _Concentrations _EN _FR.csvCSVEnglish French dataset CSV
Scientific Publication - Methylated Mercury Species in Marine Waters of the Canadian High and Sub ArcticHTMLEnglish website HTML
Scientific Publication - Mercury in Arctic marine ecosystems: Sources, pathways and exposureHTMLEnglish website HTML
View ECCC Data Mart (English)HTMLEnglish website HTML
View ECCC Data Mart (French)HTMLFrench website HTML
Community based seawater monitoring for organic contaminants and mercury in the Canadian ArcticEnglish
Community based seawater monitoring for organic contaminants and mercury in the Canadian ArcticFrench
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