Research Articles

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 189-194

First online:

The significance of PCBs in the atmosphere of the southern hemisphere

  • Wendy A. OckendenAffiliated withEnvironmental Science Department, Lancaster University
  • , Rainer LohmannAffiliated withEnvironmental Science Department, Lancaster University
  • , John R. ShearsAffiliated withBritish Antarctic Survey
  • , Kevin C. JonesAffiliated withEnvironmental Science Department, Lancaster University Email author 

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Air monitoring stations were set up at 2 sites in the southern hemisphere — Moody Brook, Falkland Islands (51° 25′ S, 57° 56′W) and Halley, Research Station, Antarctica (75° 35′ S, 26° 30′ W). PCBs were monitored at the stations throughout 1999. Highest concentrations were observed when temperatures were greater. In general, concentrations were greater at Moody Brook than at Halley, although the difference in concentrations between sites was less for more chlorinated congeners. Air concentrations at both sites were compared with samples collected nearby over-water. Over water air concentrations were found to be greater than over land air concentrations. Concentrations were also compared with literature data for air concentrations at a remote site in the Canadian Arctic. Atmospheric concentrations of tri-chlorinated biphenyls were found to be approximately double those reported for Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, whilst concentrations in samples from Antarctica were very similar to those found in the high Arctic. Most other PCBs were a factor of 2–4 greater in the Canadian Arctic.


Air antarctica atmosphere long-range transport PCBs persistent organic pollutants (POPs) polycyclic chlorinated biphenyls POPs southern hemisphere