Pollutants in the Arctic

Traces of pollutants are found throughout the arctic environment: in air, soil, sediments, snow, sea ice and glaciers, seawater and fresh water, birds, mammals and people. In many ways, the Arctic acts as an indicator region for known and new pollutants. If a pollutant is found in the Arctic, it is an indication that the substance has been transported a long distance, is poorly degradable and is taken up in organisms.

Transport of pollutants to the ArcticTransport of pollutants to the Arctic. Illustration: Norwegian Polar Institute

In some areas, such high concentrations of certain kinds of pollutants have been measured that they are a cause of concern for scientists and the authorities.

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