In addition to local emissions, the release and transport of chemical contaminants and heavy metals from around the world are increasingly linked to a number of diseases and adverse effects on health in the Arctic. Heavy metals such as mercury accumulate and magnify throughout the food chain. This means higher concentrations in predators at the top like humans and marine mammals.
Technical Background Report for the Global Mercury Assessment, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), 2013; I. Lehnherr, 2014. Methylmercury Biogeochemistry: A Review with Special Reference to Arctic Aquatic Ecosystems, Environmental Reviews, 2014, 22(3): 229–243; J.L. Kirk, 2006. Potential Sources of Monomethyl Mercury in Arctic and Subarctic Seawater, Arctic, 2006, 56(1): 108–111.
From collection: Global linkages – a graphic look at the changing Arctic (rev.1)
Philippe Rekacewicz and Kristina Thygesen