Studying the re-mobilization of organic contaminants in polar regions due to global changes
The Arctic and Antarctica have accumulated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in soils, seawater, biota and ice/snow due to enhanced atmospheric deposition and longer persistence at low temperatures (cold trapping). However, the primary emissions of some of these compounds have decreased at a global scale allowing ice, snow and water to become secondary sources in the environment. The overall objective o this study is to provide the first comprehensive study of the contaminant remobilization processes in the Arctic and Antarctica. Target contaminants are PAHs, PCBs among others. These studies of the remobilization of POPs from ice, snow and soils will be performed by using a pioneering sampling technique able to collect surface fugacity samples (Cabrerizo et al.2009). This methodology allows the unequivocal determination of soil-air and ice-air fugacity gradients, thus providing a clear quantitative assessment of the remobilization fluxes
The project operationally started on May 2013 with the settling up of the first “fugacity sampler” in Tromso (Norway) (Artic Cicle) in collaboration with NILU-FRAM center. Sampling lasted over 1 year in that site at a rate of one – two samples per month (1-year time series gathered). The second campaing took place at Ny-Alesund (Svalbard, Norway) in collaboration with UNIS in September 2013, where five samplers were installed in three sites. The third campaing (2nd one in Ny-Alesund) took place in March 2014. Snow samples were taken and air passive sampling devices were installed in addition to the fugacity samplers and the last Arctic campaing took place in Ny-Alesund in June 2014 when water samples were also collected. One single campaign of three months in Antarctica (Livingston Island) is foreseen for winter 2014-2015. Sampling processing and analysis is on-going. We are anxious of getting the first results!