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Figure 1: PCB transport in the food chains: When foreign hazardous substances enter the marine environment, they are assimilated into the first link in the food chain, phytoplankton. The phytoplankton is consumed by zooplankton, which in turn is consumed by smaller fish, etc. The chemicals accumulate in each link of the food chain, and this means that killer whales that feed on large animals in contaminated areas may contain concentrations of PCBs so high that the survival of the species is threatened. Killer whales that primarily feed on smaller fish are not threatened in the same way.
Figure 2: Population development: By collecting data from around the world and loading them into population models, the researchers can see that 10 out of 19 populations of killer whales are affected by high levels of PCBs in their body. PCBs particularly affect the reproduction and immune system of the whales. The situation is worst in the oceans around Brazil and the UK where the model predicts that populations have been cut in half over the first decades since the use of PCBs became widespread. Here, the models predict a high risk that the species will disappear within a 30-40-year period. The line indicates median values, while the shaded field shows the variation.
Killer whale: In some areas, killer whales feed primarily on sea mammals and big fish like tuna and sharks and are then threatened by PCBs. In areas where the killer whales primarily feed on small fish like herring, they are less threatened. Photo: Audun Rikardsen – www.audunrikardsen.com
Killer whale under water: When killer whales like these hunt small fish like herring, the exposure to PCBs is much less than if they fed on large fish or marine mammals. Photo: Audun Rikardsen - www.audunrikardsen.com
Hunting killer whales: Killer whales hunt together to gather fish in big, isolated schools. Photo: Audun Rikardsen – www.audunrikardsen.com

2018.09.28 | Arctic Research Centre

PCB pollution threatens to wipe out killer whales

More than forty years after the first initiatives were taken to ban the use of PCBs, the chemical pollutants remain a deadly threat to animals at the top of the food chain. A new study, just published in the journal Science, shows that the current concentrations of PCBs can lead to the disappearance of half of the world’s populations of killer…

2018.09.26 | Arctic Research Centre

Højere plantearter flytter ind i et varmere Arktis

Den arktiske tundras lavt voksende buske og græsarter er på vej til at blive overskygget af højere plantearter, som spreder sig ind over tundraen. Tun-draplanternes gennemsnitshøjde er generelt steget i takt med stigende temperaturer de sidste tre årtier. Det kan være med til at sætte ekstra fart i den globale opvarmning.

Fig. 1. The melt water plume from this grounded iceberg is evident on the surface of the ocean as a calm, glassy region. It is most visible to the right of the iceberg.

2018.09.25 | Arctic Research Centre

Adapting open-source drone autopilots for real-time iceberg observations

New publication by Daniel Frazier Carlson and Søren Rysgaard

Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen

2018.09.25 | Arctic Research Centre

The Seas around Greenland: An Environmental Status and Future Perspective

New publication by Frank Farsø Riget, Anders Mosbech, David Boertmann, Susse Wegeberg, Flemming Ravn Merkel, Peter Aastrup. Tom Christensen, Fernando Ugarte, Rasmus Berg Hedeholm, and Janne Fritt-Rasmussen

Foto: Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen

2018.09.25 | Arctic Research Centre

Polar bear health in environmental science and translational medicine

New publication by Christian Sonne, Aage Kristian Olsen Alstrup, and Rune Dietz

The ISAAFFIK frontpage (www.isaafik.org)

2018.09.21 | Arctic Research Centre

ISAAFFIK version 4 is up and running

ISAAFFIK Arctic Gateway version 4 is now implemented and ready for you to use.

Figure 1. Study area and experimental setup. (A) Godthåbsfjord system, SW Greenland with indication of the study site in inner Kobbefjord (yes 64°08N, 51°23W). (B) Experimental setup applied in inner Kobbefjord mid intertidal, with the four treatments applied at each of the five replicate sites. (C) Examples of experimental quadrats from each treatment by August 2014 (the end of experimental period) [1: Full canopy, 2: Reduced canopy, 3: Bare (start), 4: Bare (annual) (Table 1)].

2018.09.20 | Arctic Research Centre

Canopy-Forming Macroalgae Facilitate Recolonization of Sub-Arctic Intertidal Fauna and Reduce Temperature Extremes

New publication by Sarah B. Ørberg, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Kim N. Mouritsen, Birgit Olesen, Núria Marbà, Martin H. Larsen, Martin E. Blicher and Mikael K. Sejr

Killer whales. Photo: Richard Hebhardt

2018.09.18 | Arctic Research Centre

Feeding habits of a new Arctic predator: insight from full-depth blubber fatty acid signatures of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Denmark, and managed-care killer whales Orcinus orca

New publication by Jennifer Bourque, Rune Dietz, Christian Sonne, Judy St. Leger, Sara Iverson, Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid, Martin Hansen, and Melissa A. McKinney.

2018.09.18 | Arctic Research Centre

Arctic Science Study Programme - Climate and Society

Five courses focusing on Arctic Climate and Society are offered in Nuuk, Greenland during the spring semester.

2018.09.11 | Arctic Research Centre

Episodic Arctic CO2 Limitation in the West Svalbard Shelf

New publication by Marina Sanz-Martín, Melissa Chierici, Elena Mesa, Paloma Carrillo-de-Albornoz, Antonio Delgado-Huertas, Susana Agustí, Marit Reigstad, Svein Kristiansen, Paul F. J. Wassmann and Carlos M. Duarte.

2018.09.07 | Arctic Research Centre

Subtidal benthic recruitment in a sub-Arctic glacial fjord system: Temporal and spatial variability and potential drivers.

New publication by S.B. Ørberg, D. Krause-Jensen, L. Meire, and M.K. Sejr.

2018.09.05 | Arctic Research Centre

The NeAT significance of Arthropods

AIAS Former Fellow Toke T. Høye guest-editor of ‘Polar Biology’ Special Issue on the Ecology of Tundra Arthropods.

2018.09.05 | Arctic Research Centre

Relative Sea-Level Changes and Ice Sheet History in Finderup Land, North Greenland

New publication by Astrid Strunk, Nicolaj K. Larsen Andreas Nilsson, Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, Laura B. Levy, Jesper Olsen, and Torben L. Lauridsen

2018.09.04 | Arctic Research Centre

Comparing Enchytraeus albidus populations from contrasting climatic environments suggest a link between cold tolerance and metabolic activity

New publication by Anamarija Zagar, Martin Holmstrup, Tatjana Simcic, Barabara Debeljak, and Stine Slotsbo

2018.09.04 | Arctic Research Centre

Immunologic, reproductive, and carcinogenic risk assessment from POP exposure in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1983-2013

New publication by Rune Dietz, Jean-Pierre Desforges, Kim Gustavson, Frank F. Riget, Erik W. Born, Robert J. Letcher, and Christian Sonne

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