Arctic permafrost soils contain high levels of mercury, nearly double as much as all other soils, the ocean and the atmosphere combined. The impact of climate change on mercury is likely to be complex. However, we know that thawing permafrost will increase soil erosion. This can cause the release of ancient stores of mercury.
P.F. Schuster. et al., Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury, Geophysical Research Letters, 2018, 45(3): 1463–1471; National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), January 2018; Assessment 2011: Mercury in the Arctic, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP); Global Mercury Modelling: Update of Modelling Results in the Global Mercury Assessment 2013, AMAP; UNEP Chemicals Branch, 2015; Mercury: Acting Now!, UNEP Chemicals Branch, UNEP, 2013; Technical Background Report for the Global Mercury Assessment, AMAP, 2013; A.G. Slater and D. Lawrence, Diagnosing Present and Future Permafrost from Climate Models, Journal of Climate, 2013.
From collection: Global linkages – a graphic look at the changing Arctic (rev.1)
Philippe Rekacewicz and Nieves Lopez Izquierdo