Pollution in Arctic carried by seabirds

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Sea ice terrain

Research by a team from Canada have published a report in the magazine Science stating that seabirds are the main carriers of pollution in coastal ponds in the Arctic.

They showed that local sources of pollution are rare, meaning that seabirds played a proportionally greater role in local pollution. They do not produce pollution themselves, rather, they carry in other forms of marine pollution.

The researchers found levels of DDT 60 times higher, 25 times more mercury, and 10 times higher hexachlorobenzene in ponds that seabirds frequented compared to nearby ponds birds did not use.

All the pollution was originally of human origin - industrial or agricultural.