Persistent organic pollutants in Antarctica: current and future research priorities
As Antarctica’s pivotal role in influencing global climate processes gains increasing attention so too does public and scientific interest in the general state of Antarctic ecosystem health as a function of multiple stressors, including contamination by anthropogenic chemicals. Persistent organic pollutant (POP) research internationally has sought to elucidate the impacts of an ever increasing diversity of POPs on the environment. The challenges of this research are compounded in the Antarctic context, by key gaps in historical data and our understanding of chemical behaviour in polar landscapes. In order to ensure maximum longevity and value of research outputs, efforts must be centred upon addressing these research gaps. Ultimately, Antarctic POP research will benefit from co-ordinated investment into spatially and temporally comprehensive research and monitoring efforts such as those responsible for the continued progress of this research field in the Arctic and other global regions.