Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 688–699 | Cite as

Transport of Air Masses and Pollutants to the Russian Arctic Islands (19862016): Long-Term, Interannual, and Seasonal Variations

  • A. A. VinogradovaEmail author
  • Yu. A. IvanovaEmail author


The Arctic is the most important, as well as the most vulnerable, region in the Northern Hemisphere with respect to climate changes. It is natural that climate changes observed on the globe in recent decades affect the environment in northern regions and processes determining climate. An analysis of time variations in these processes is important in understanding observed phenomena and in estimating their possible consequences. In this work, 30-year data series on the frequency of air-mass transport from Europe, Asia, and North America to the Arctic archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya and Wrangel Island have been analyzed, and statistical regularities observed in atmospheric-circulation processes in different seasons have been studied using atmospheric-circulation indices. The atmospheric concentrations of anthropogenic heavy metals (HMs) and their fluxes onto the surface of the Russian Arctic islands have been analyzed. The frequency of air-mass transport to the Russian Arctic from the continents has decreased over the last 30 years. Therefore, the composition of the atmosphere and precipitation over the Arctic becomes more and more maritime, which may affect variations in the properties of surface natural objects such as soil, water, vegetation, etc. Interannual variations in atmospheric-circulation processes are wide, which results in wide interannual variations in the atmospheric concentrations of anthropogenic HMs and their fluxes onto the surface. This also explains interannual variations in the content of HMs accumulated in the snow cover every year during the snowy season. Within some months and years, the maximum concentrations of nickel and copper in the air and snow cover of the Arctic islands may reach their concentration levels observed in less remote regions on the mainland. On the other hand, there are years, when no anthropogenic pollutants are transported to the Russian Arctic islands during the summer months. The main reason for seasonal variations in the concentrations of anthropogenic pollutants in the Arctic regions is in seasonal variations in the rate of precipitation of HMs onto the surface during their long-range transport.


Russian Arctic heavy metals atmospheric-circulation indices long-range atmospheric transport interannual variations seasonal variations 



We are grateful to the NOAA Air Resource Laboratory for the opportunity to use the HYSPLIT model.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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