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Pollution issues in the Arctic environment

The Department of Bioscience conducts investigations into pollution issues in the Arctic in connection with the monitoring of the environmental impact of releases of contaminants associated with mining activities as well as from sources located outside Greenland, where contaminants are transported through the atmosphere and with ocean currents to Greenland.

In recent years, some of these studies have been undertaken as part of the international Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP). AMAP is a collaboration between the eight Arctic nations, and the aim is to monitor and assess the circumpolar pollution. It has been found that contaminants are transported to the Arctic and that some of these are concentrated at the top of the food chain – in birds and marine mammals. As people in the Arctic rely on local resources for food, the local population is particularly exposed to the intake of contaminants.

Aarhus University is largely responsible for the biological part of the AMAP program for Greenland, which includes the projects:

Levels and patterns of persistent organochlorines in minke whale (PDF-format)