Heavy Metals in the Atmosphere over the Northern Coast of Eurasia: Interannual Variations in Winter and Summer
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Interannual variations in the level of anthropogenic contamination of the surface air in the northern areas of Russia are studied, which are related to a change in the direction of air mass transport. The transport of air and heavy metals to four sites located on territories of nature reserves on the coast of the Arctic Ocean (from the Kola Peninsula to a delta of the Lena River) in winter (January) and summer (July) is analyzed for 2000–2013. Indices of atmospheric circulation and data on the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere in cities and regions of Russia are involved in the analysis. Concentrations of seven heavy metals in the surface air are evaluated in the Arctic regions under study and their interannual, spatial, and seasonal variations are discussed. A strong interannual variability of atmospheric circulation differently influences the variations in the atmosphere contamination with different anthropogenic heavy metals in various areas of the north of Russia. The concentration ratios of heavy metals under study are different for each site in different years. The interannual and seasonal variations in the contamination level have maximum values for heavy metals arriving from most distant sources. Thus, the results of measuring the content of anthropogenic contaminants in the air of reference areas during one season or even one year should not serve a basis for longterm conclusions and forecasts. It would be also unjustified to make general conclusions on the contamination level of the environment from observation results for only one contaminant and/or only at a single site.
Keywordsenvironment Russian Arctic nature reserves heavy metals long-range atmospheric transport anthropogenic sources interannual variations seasonal variations
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