Sunday, July 24, 2011

Climate Change and The Release of Pops

I just read an alarming story on the BBC website regarding the release of persistent organics pollutants (Pops); the article: "Melting Arctic releasing banned toxins , warn scientists." by Damian Carrington, 24 July 2011. (Note: original article: "Revolatilization of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic induced by climate change." published in Nature Climate Change; 29 March 2011).

The article points out that as the planet's temperature rises and the Arctic melts, it's releasing toxic chemicals, banned under the 2004 Stockholm Convention, including: pesticides DDT, lindane, chlordane, PCBs and fungicide hexachlorobenzene (HCB). These Pops, which can cause cancer and birth defects, have been locked in the frozen ice and cold water are now being released due to global warming.

This situation reminds me of what is being played out in the Arctic tundra as the permafrost is melting and greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere. These consequences of climate change are surfacing more and more as the global temperature continues to rise. A very sobering account on the impact of climate change.