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Year: 2021
Project manager: elisabeth.isaksson@npolar.no

Ice cores from polar ice caps are archives of both climate and atmospheric pollutants. During the past 15 years a variety of organic pollutants have been analyzed from some of the high elevation glaciers on Svalbard. We will extend this by taking advantage of the glacial archive on Svalbard using already available bulk- and shallow ice core samples from three different locations. We are proposing analysis of two classes of actively used persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) compounds that have already been found in the Arctic, including Svalbard, poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and organophosphorus esters (OPEs) sometimes referred to as organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs), although their uses go beyond applications other than FRs. The fact that a number of samples are already available makes the proposed work cost efficient and low risk. One of these sites, the Austfonna Ice Cap, is difficult and expensive to access without extensive infrastructure and thus these samples are particularly valuable. This project is multidisciplinary involving scientists from glaciology, environmental chemistry, biology and ecotoxicology. We expect a number of publications in high profile journals. The results will show the effects of LRAT to the Svalbard natural environment and will provide new knowledge to Norwegian management of Svalbard.

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