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Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report (1997)

by Damaris Waigwa last modified Jan 10, 2014 11:08 AM
A condensed version of the scientific/technical AMAP Assessment Report, presenting the information in a clear and readable manner for the non-scientific audience; richly illustrated and prefaced by an Executive Summary with recommendations specifically addressed to Ministers of the eight Arctic countries.
FilePollution and human health by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Many factors contribute to health and illness in the Arctic: socioeconomic conditions, health services, societal and cultural factors, individual lifestyles and behaviors, and genetics. Contaminants enter this already complex scene, with the capacity to have physical, mental, and social impacts on health. For example, fear of contaminants and changes in traditional ways of living can affect both community social structure and individual mental well-being.
FileClimate change, ozone depletion, and ultraviolet radiation by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Concerns about climate change stem from the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases keep heat from dissipating into space. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a continued increase at current rates could raise the average global air temperature between 1 and 3.5°C by 2100. The average rate of warming would likely be greater than any seen in the past 10 000 years.
FilePetroleum Hydrocarbons by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
This chapter discusses risk scenarios for oil spills in marine as well as terrestrial environments, along with the environmental impact of routine releases of contaminants from oil and gas exploration. Special sections of the chapter are devoted to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Of all the contaminants associated with petroleum production, these persistent organic pollutants present the greatest risk to environment and health. PAHs also have several other sources that contribute to their load in the environment.
FileAcidification and Arctic Haze by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
This chapter describes local as well as regional emissions of acidifying air contaminants, along with pathways and effects on the Arctic environment. It also explores the future impact on northern soils and waterways if the current emissions are not reduced.
FileRadioactivity by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Radioactivity is accompanied by the emission of ionizing radiation, which can damage living cells. Whereas estimates of radioactivity are useful for making inventories of sources and for tracing radionuclides in the environment, health effects are connected to the dose received by organisms, including people.
FileHeavy metals by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Metals occur naturally in the environment and are present in rocks, soil, plants, and animals. Metals occur in different forms: as ions dissolved in water, as vapors, or as salts or minerals in rock, sand, and soil. They can also be bound in organic or inorganic molecules, or attached to particles in the air. Both natural and anthropogenic processes and sources emit metals into air and water.
FilePersistent Organic Pollutants by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
This chapter examines organic chemicals that can affect the health of animals and people, especially those substances that accumulate in Arctic food webs and that resist degradation. These are often called persistent organic pollutants, or POPs. A review of known toxic effects and environmental levels of POPs forms the basis for evaluating whether Arctic wildlife are affected by current levels of contamination. A summary of sources and pathways indicates where the contaminants come from. Many measurements of organic contaminants have been made because of concern about high intake by people, and the human health aspects of these substances are discussed in the chapter Pollution and Human Health.
FilePeoples of the North by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Alaska is the northwestern-most of the United States and the only state that extends into the Arctic. Most of the state is included in the AMAP assessment, the exception being the southeastern ‘panhandle.’ It is a wider area than the US definition of Arctic Alaska; see the figure opposite. There are three groups of Alaska Natives, commonly called Aleut, Inuit (or Eskimo), and Indian. About 73000 of them live in the area of AMAP’s responsibility, where they make up about 15 percent of the population. In many rural areas, they are in the majority.
FilePolar Ecology by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
A cold climate and long, dark winters have profound effects on the environment in which animals and plants try to survive. In addition, the productive season is short, which means that there is limited time to reproduce and to gather stores of energy. Climatic conditions are most severe in the northern parts of the AMAP region, while some of its southern areas are better described as subarctic or even northern temperate, having fewer of the limitations typical of the polar region.
FilePhysical pathways of contaminant transport by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
The atmosphere contains relatively small amounts of contaminants compared with the total load in polar soil, sediments, and water. However, the rapid movement of air makes it an important pathway for delivering contaminants to the Arctic. Any chemically stable,
FileThe Arctic by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Arctos is Greek for bear, and the Arctic region derives its name from the stellar constellation of Ursa major, the Great Bear. A common geographical definition of the Arctic is the area north of the Arctic Circle (66°32'N), which encircles the area of the midnight sun.
FileEnvironmental protection of the Arctic by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
AMAP’s first objective has been to provide information for a comprehensive assessment report on threats from pollution to Arctic ecosystems. The assessment was to identify possible causes for changing conditions, detect emerging problems, and recommend actions required to reduce risks to Arctic ecosystems.
FileImpacts of a Warming Arctic by admin — last modified Jan 10, 2014 01:26 PM
Executive summary
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