Melting glaciers in Greenland emit large amounts of mercury

(ORDO NEWS) — Dangerous glaciers have been discovered in the Southwest of Greenland. They release large amounts of mercury when melted. An international group of scientists found that the amount of toxic metal in melt water is 10 times the permissible limits. Reported by Nature Geoscience.

Melting glaciers in Greenland emit large amounts of mercury 2

Mercury is a natural metal and can often be released when glaciers melt, but not in such large quantities. A large concentration of toxic metal is dangerous not only for its vapors. Mercury can enter the organisms of fish, which are consumed by local residents. The local tribal population lives among the glaciers. This can provoke massive poisoning.

John Hawkins, a scientist from the University of Florida, studied this phenomenon in more detail. Together with his colleagues, he made analyzes of melt water from dangerous glaciers.

The composition of melt water does not differ from that which flows in heavily polluted rivers. The only difference is that mercury got into the rivers of Greenland not because of human activities.

Scientists said that water enters the fjords downstream. The region where the dangerous toxin is collected can export more than 40 tons of this substance annually. It is one of the most naturally mercury-contaminated regions in the world.

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