Weathering rates of pollutants and use of drilling fluids as molecular indicators in the Arctic WP6

Responsible: Ola Engelsen Norwegian intitute for air research and Jan Scwazbauer RWTH-Aachen Germany


Meteorological conditions strongly affect degradation rates of substances. The cold Climate along with low amounts of solar light in the Arctic generally result in far slower degradation rates of waste and pollutants than at lower latitudes. Release and handling regulations developed by environmental authorities at mid latitudes mey not apply to Arctic conditions, where a much more restrictive regime may be required. Huge knowledge gaps exist with respect to degradation rates in the Arctic. This project aims to remedy this for the most relevant substances, and thus facilitate for improved policies under arctic conditions

Waste incineration is an important source of atmospheric mercury. Local arctic sources have a much more serious effect on atmospheric concentrations than long-range transported substances. Atmospheric mercury depletion episodes during spring may cause harmful accumulation in biota. We have therefore included studies of AMDEs in this project. Similar methods for estimation of UV radiation for studying AMDEs can also be used for studying degradation of waste.


Chemical characterization of polymers in drilling fluids as molecular indicators for the impact of drilling activities in the arctic environment are in refining process.