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Issue 12, 2012
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Temporal trends of mercury in Greenland ringed seal populations in a warming climate

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Abstract

Temporal trends of mercury in livers of ringed seals collected from the early 1980s to 2010 from central West, Northwest and central East Greenland were studied. In this period the climate of Greenland warmed and the influences of climate indices such as ice coverage, water temperature and the Atlantic Oscillation Index on mercury concentration were evaluated using multiple regressions and Akaike's Information Criteria (AIC) to determine the most parsimonious models. Biological co-variables such as age, sex and trophic position (as determined by stable isotope analysis) of seals were also evaluated. Increasing levels of mercury in seals were found in Ittoqqortoormiit, central East Greenland, and Avanersuaq, Northwest Greenland, with an annual increase of +10.3 and +2%, respectively. Age was an important co-variable for all three regions and trophic position for two regions. The Atlantic Oscillation Index was also an important explanatory variable for all three regions and was positively associated with mercury concentrations in seals indicating the importance of global climatic processes on ringed seal populations in Greenland.

Graphical abstract: Temporal trends of mercury in Greenland ringed seal populations in a warming climate

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Article information


Submitted
17 Aug 2012
Accepted
30 Oct 2012
First published
15 Nov 2012

J. Environ. Monit., 2012,14, 3249-3256
Article type
Paper

Temporal trends of mercury in Greenland ringed seal populations in a warming climate

F. Rigét, R. Dietz and K. A. Hobson, J. Environ. Monit., 2012, 14, 3249
DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30687E

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