Arctic Sea-Ice Cracks Attract Toxic Mercury

January 15, 2014 6:44 PM

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Arctic Sea-Ice Cracks Attract Toxic Mercury

Tiny tempests above cracks in Arctic sea ice help pull down toxic mercury and ozone from the sky — an unexpected new source of mercury pollution in the polar environment, according to research published today (Jan. 15) in the journal Nature.

Mercury leaves the atmosphere above the Arctic every spring. About 20 years ago, scientists discovered how it escapes: a strange chemistry triggered by the sun that takes place mainly along coastal areas. When the sun peeks above the horizon after a long, dark winter, the solar rays jump-start chemi...

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