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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Research Notes: Mercury Fluxes and their Relation to Global Warming

Over the course of 2005 and 2006, Clarkson University researchers studied the flux of gaseous mercury from the forest floor of the Adirondack Mountains. The study revealed that the flux of mercury was elevated during times of raised temperature, as well as periods of direct solar radiation. The researchers concluded that:
The developed model can be used to examine how these Hg fluxes may be impacted by global warming. For example if the temperature increased a uniform 1 °C throughout the growing season (period when the ground is not covered by snow) the Hg emission flux is predicted to increase by 6.4%. Additional increases in fluxes from the ground would occur if the length of the growing season increases.
In turn, their results could also be used to better predict how these mercury fluxes will influence the ecosystems of the Adirondack forest. Findings were published in the February 2009 issue of the journal Environmental Pollution.

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