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Posted Wed Oct 26 2011: from The Daily Climate:
Yukon delivers a plug of mercury in response to a changing climate
The Yukon River is delivering upwards of five tons of mercury a year to the Arctic environment, likely in response to a warming climate, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday... Permafrost in the Yukon basin has been absorbing naturally occurring mercury - chiefly from volcanoes - since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Now those soils, as a result of changing climate conditions, are thawing at increased rates. That could be releasing a substantial reservoir of the metal into the marshes and streams feeding the Yukon River, the world's 19th largest river. More recently, industrial pollution has coated the basin. Prevailing winds from Europe and Asia funnel industrial pollution, including mercury, directly to interior Alaska and the Yukon River drainage, [USGS hydrologist Paul] Schuster said. "If we had funding, we could prove this. We could determine whether this comes from coal or volcanoes. But that's very expensive," he said.
[Read more stories about: contamination, ecosystem interrelationships, health impacts, heavy metals, airborne pollutants, permafrost meltdown]

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anarchaosos says: "Good idea 'Doc Mike. We can use it to replace all those old thermometers that don't go high enough anymore."

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'Doc Michael says:
Maybe they can raise the money by selling the mercury.

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