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Mercury - overview of global emissions, transport and effects John Munthe IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Mercury - overview of global emissions, transport and effects John Munthe IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Mercury - overview of global emissions, transport and effects John Munthe IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

3 1 Presentation topics  Introduction  Emissions  Main transport pathways - modelling  Contribution of global cycling on deposition in Europe and the USA  Monitoring  The Arctic  Research with hemispherical and/or global focus  Main uncertainties in quantifying the global mercury cycle

4 2 Mercury basics  Natural component of earth´s crust in the form of Cinnabar (HgS)  Global burden increased from natural background by about a factor 3 (air, soils, sediments, fish)  Sources include both intentional use and fuel contamination  UNEP Global Assessment Report and UNEP Governing Council have stated " Mercury is a pollutant of global concern"  Main human impact is via consumption of fish contaminated with methylmercury

5 3 Atmospheric mercury speciation  Main form in air is elemental mercury vapour (Hg 0 )  Is relatively stable towards oxidation and has an atmospheric lifetime of around 1 year  Deposition (dry and wet) is controlled by presence of oxidised gaseous mercury (e.g. HgCl 2 ) and particulate mercury forms.  Oxidised mercury is emitted from some point sources and is also formed in the atmosphere via oxidation (OH, halogens, O 3 )  Operationally defined mercury species: - RGM = Reactive Gaseous Mercury = Oxidised gaseous mercury, Hg(II) - TPM = Total Particulate Mercury, HgP - GEM = Gaseous Elemental Mercury - TGM = Total Gaseous Mercury = GEM + RGM

6 4 Methylmercury  The most toxic form of mercury in the environment  Present in air, water, soils, sediments as a small fraction of the total mercury (0.1 to 5 %)  Bioaccumulates and biomagnifies in aquatic food chains  Methylmercury % of total mercury in fish  Biotic formation e.g. via methylation of mercury by sulphate reducing bacteria

7 5 Air 26 Mmole +17 Hg p 98% Hgº Hgº 2% Hg p Hgº CH 3 Hg + Hg 2+ Hg p Wet & Dry Deposition Natural Emissions Anthropogenic Emissions Particle Removal 100m Mixed Layer Mmole G.R.I.M.M. Oceanic Evasion 3.5 Air 8.6 Mmole Hg p 98% Hgº Hgº 2% Hg p Deposition Hg 2+ Hgº CH 3 Hg + Hg 2+ Hg p Wet & Dry Deposition Natural Emissions Particle Removal 100m Mixed Layer 28.5 Mmole All Fluxes in Mmole/y Oceanic Evasion CurrentPre-Industrial Burial 1.7 Upwelling 2.7 Burial 1.5 Upwelling 3.1 Deposition Hg 2+ Thermocline Mmole 1000m Thermocline 902 Mmole Figure Style Adapted from Mason et al., 1994 Deep Ocean Seds. +9 Terr. Seds (58%) LAMBORG et al., Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 66, 1105–1118, 2002

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9 7 Geographical distribution Slide courtesy of Jozef Pacyna, NILU

10 8 Emission categories Slide courtesy of Jozef Pacyna, NILU

11 9 Speciation of emitted mercury Hg 0 RGM HgP Slide courtesy of Jozef Pacyna, NILU

12 10 Point source emissions - speciation  Combustion processes emit Hg 0, oxidised mercury (RGM) and small fractions of HgP  RGM and HgP will deposit on local to regional scales whereas Hg 0 will add to the global background  Measurement methods for speciation exist but are not frequently applied - inventories rely on estimates  Uncertainties in available data on speciation are large

13 11 Natural sources and re-emissions  Natural sources believed to be of same order of magnitude as anthropogenic  Main source areas associated with cinnober deposits and other Hg-containing minerals, volcanos  Re-emissions occur from water bodies as well as soils and vegetation  For water surfaces, re-emissions may be of same magnitude as deposition  Uncertainties very large for both natural emissions and re-emissions

14 12 Atmospheric chemistry of mercury - schematic description Slide courtesy of Christian Seigneur, AER

15 13 Global transport modelling GRAHM (Global/Regional Atmospheric Heavy Metals Model) simulation – Ashu Dastoor, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada Average elemental mercury surface concentrations for Jan 2001 (ng/m 3 )

16 14 Global transport modelling Average elemental mercury surface concentrations for July 2001 (ng/m3) GRAHM (Global/Regional Atmospheric Heavy Metals Model) simulation – Ashu Dastoor, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada

17 15 Contribution of sources other than U.S. anthropogenic sources to Hg deposition AER/EPRI Modeling System for Atmospheric Mercury Christian Seigneur

18 16 Experimental modelling results courtesy of Russell Bullock, US EPA

19 17 MSC-East Hemispherical model. Spatial distribution of mean annual concentration of elemental mercury in the surface air of the Northern Hemisphere Travnikov and Ryaboshapko, MSC-E Technical Report 6/2002

20 18 Annual deposition field of mercury from European anthropogenic sources. The red rectangle depicts the EMEP domain Travnikov and Ryaboshapko, MSC-E Technical Report 6/2002

21 19 Spatial distribution of annual mercury deposition to the EMEP domain From European anthropogenic sources From external anthropogenic and global natural sources Travnikov and Ryaboshapko, MSC-E Technical Report 6/2002

22 20 Relative contributions of different regions to the entire mercury deposition to Europe. Travnikov and Ryaboshapko, MSC-E Technical Report 6/2002

23 21 Contribution of Natural, global and re-emission sources to wet deposition of Hg, 2001 Data from: hms/results_relation.html

24 22 Monitoring  Atmospheric mercury is not included in existing global or hemispheric monitoring networks  Mercury monitored at < 10 EMEP stations located in Northern Europe  More extensive networks exist in USA and Canada  Methods have existed for >2 decades, modern automated methods > 5 years

25 23 Total Gaseous Mercury at Swedish West Coast 1979 to 2002 Large influence from European emissions and regional transport Mainly global background

26 24 TGM from Mace Head 1991 to 1997 Slide courtesy of Dr Ralf Ebinghaus, GKSS Research Centre

27 25 Hg in blood of mothers and women of reproductive age Biomagnification and human exposure Slide courtesy of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme - AMAP

28 26 Mercury Depletion Events - example from Ny Aalesund Slide courtesy of Torunn Berg, NILU

29 27 Mercury Depletion Events - mechanisms Slide courtesy of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme - AMAP

30 28 Mercury Depletion Events  Large research efforts have been made on mechanisms and occurrence including re-emission from snow pack  Model calculations to estimate net input to Arctic ecosystems - twice expected amount without depletion events  Source of mercury is "Global background"

31 29 Mauna Loa, Hawaii Monitoring Site Slide courtesy of Dr Matthew Landis, US EPA

32 30 Mauna Loa Hg Time Series 2001 “Downslope” Slide courtesy of Dr Matthew Landis, US EPA

33 31 Spring 2004 Experiment: Simultaneous Hg Observations at Mt.Bachelor and Okinawa Okinawa MBO Slide courtesy of Eric Prestbo Ph.D. and Professor Dan Jaffe

34 32 Slide courtesy of Eric Prestbo Ph.D. and Professor Dan Jaffe From: Jaffe D.A, E. Prestbo, P. Swartzendruber, P. Weiss-Penzias, S.Kato, A.Takami, S.Hatakeyama and Y.Kajii. Export of Atmospheric Mercury from Asia. Atmospheric Environment 39, , Hg 0 vs CO at Okinawa

35 33 Pollutant transport to US west coast from Asia April 25, 2004 Slide courtesy of Eric Prestbo Ph.D. and Professor Dan Jaffe

36 34 Current knowledge  Global emission inventory for mercury species  Modelling tools to calculate atmospheric transport and deposition on hemispherical and global scales  Basic understanding of some main chemical processes of atmospheric mercury  Observational evidence of global background mercury levels and influence of regional emissions  Observational evidence of Mercury Depletion Events in the Arctic (and Antarctic)  Observations of transport from Asia to North America

37 35 Main uncertainties in quantifying the global mercury cycle  Emission inventories for anthropogenic sources: Needs continuous updating and better information on speciation  Natural emissions: High level of uncertainty. Mainly in the form of Hg 0 which mainly influences global background.  Re-emissions: Very high level of uncertainty. Data available only from a few specific sites. Need estimates of e.g. oceanic emissions.  Atmospheric chemistry: Basic facts are known but there are indications of major gaps in e.g. rapid processes in free troposphere

38 36 Main uncertainties in quantifying the global mercury cycle  Atmospheric models need continuous updating and testing.  Models need to take into account both a) direct transport - trajectories from source to receptor over shorter time period e.g. from Asia to NA b) additions to/contributions from "global background" which will influence deposition at remote sites and for long time periods  Many current regional models have tendency (or are forced to due to lack of data) to lump or completely ignore natural emissions and re-emissions. This may be acceptable for regional applications but for hemispherical/global applications over longer time periods, better descriptions are needed.


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