Det overordnede målet for flaggskipet er å generere kunnskap om transport, opptak og effekter av miljøgifter i arktiske økosystemer, inkludert mennesker. Resultatene fra det vitenskapelige arbeidet i flaggskipet skal benyttes til å vurdere risiko og brukes i strategiutvikling for nasjonale myndigheter og internasjonale konvensjoner med miljøforbedrende tiltak som målsetting.

  1. Effektene av miljøgifter og klimaendringer på menneskers helse, urfolk og arktiske samfunn.
  2. Virkningen av klimaendringer på transport og skjebnen til miljøgifter i Arktis og kombinerte effekter på dyrs helse og økosystem.
  3. Forurensning fra petroleumsvirksomhet og skipsfart i nord – Effekter på arktiske økosystemer og samfunn.
  4. Risikokommunikasjon og politikkutforming på lokalt og internasjonalt nivå for miljøgiftregulering.

Forurensninger kjenner ingen landegrenser og blir transportert over store avstander. Dette observerte allerede Nansen da han fant skitten is på en av sine ekspedisjoner så langt tilbake som på 1890-tallet. I dag vet vi at sot og miljøgifter transporteres over lange avstander, fra industrielle områder i Europa og Asia i sør til Arktis i nord.

Luft er den raskeste og viktigste transportvei til Arktis. Siden langtransportert forurensning utgjør en høyere andel av den totale forurensningsmengden i nord enn lenger sør, kan forurensning til nordområdene være en god indikator på global spredning.

Selv om det finnes få kilder til miljøgifter i Arktis er nivåene av enkelte miljøgifter, spesielt i topp-predatorer, høye nok til at negative effekter oppstår (f.eks. isbjørn, polarrev og polarmåke).

Tilstedeværelse i Arktis, med etablert forsknings- og målestasjoner, gir Norge unike muligheter som internasjonal bidragsyter på miljøgiftfeltet.  Miljøgifter som påvises i arktiske dyr er som oftest langtransportert, de er persistente (dvs. har lang nedbrytningstid), de bioakkumulerer (tas opp i levende dyr) og de kan ha negative effekter for dyret.

Miljøgifter med slike egenskaper skal i henhold til internasjonale konvensjoner fases ut. Dette betyr at miljøgiftforskningen i Arktis skaffer til veie viktige data som norske miljømyndigheter benytter som viktige forhandlingskort i arbeidet med internasjonale konvensjoner som regulerer miljøgifter.

Tungmetaller, persistente organiske kjemikalier og radionuklider defineres som miljøgifter. Kildene til disse er industriell virksomhet, insektsbekjempende midler, og ikke minst syntetiske stoffer fra produkter vi benytter (f.eks. kosmetikk) og omgir oss med (for eksempel TV, PCer, møbler) i vår moderne hverdag. De mest kjente miljøgiftene, som PCB og DDT, er nå regulert gjennom globale avtaler, som Stockholm konvensjonen.

PCB ble forbudt i Norge i 1980, men siden PCB er veldig persistent så dominerer den fortsatt i arktiske prøver. I tillegg finner vi nye kjemikalier i luft, vann og dyr i Arktis, og for mange av disse stoffene er det mangelfull kunnskap om kilder, spredning og effekter på dyr og mennesker.

Noen syntetiske kjemikalier brukes for å beskytte oss mennesker og hindre branntilløp i klær, møbler og elektrisk utstyr, som bromerte- og fosforflammehemmere, andre benyttes for at vi skal  holde oss tørre og varme (perfluorerte overflatestoffer),  og mange kjemikalier benyttes i  personlige pleieprodukter (f.eks. parabener og silkosaner).

Selv om primærfunksjonen til disse kjemikaliene er for å gi oss mennesker en tryggere og bedre hverdag, så er egenskapene av mange miljøgifter av en slik art at de blir en trussel for mennesker og dyr når de fra tilvirkning, bruk og som søppel spres i naturen.

Det arktiske klima er i endring og dette kan påvirke transport og fordeling av miljøgifter i det arktiske miljø. Klimaendringer kan føre til endringer i luft- og havstrømmer, noe som vil påvirke tilførsel og sammensetning av forurensningen i Arktis.

Økt smelting av havis, breer og permafrost vil kunne frigi miljøgifter til hav og land. En økning av havtemperaturen i området vil gjøre at nye arter trekker inn slik at de arktiske næringskjedene endrer seg. Endringer i næringskjedene kan endre bioakkumulering og biomagnifisering (oppkonsentrering) av miljøgifter.

Klimaendringene fører dessuten til at det åpner seg nye muligheter for industri, turisme og skipsfart i Arktis. Ny aktivitet øker risikoen for utslipp av miljøgifter til det arktiske miljøet.

Økosystemene i Arktis består av få arter, og mange av artene har relativt lange livssykluser. Om noe går galt i et ledd i næringskjeden så vil dette kunne få konsekvenser for andre dyr i næringskjeden.

Mange miljøgifter er lagret i fettet og i perioder hvor dyrene tærer på fettet (om vinteren og/eller i reproduksjonsperioden) frigjøres miljøgiftene fra fettet og de kan da tas opp i aktive organer (f.eks. hjerne), noe som kan påvirke dyrenes helse.

Forurensing, klimaendringer, havforsuring og introduksjon av nye arter er stressfaktorer som kan øke faren for infeksjoner og sykdom.  Samlet påvirkning av forurensning, klimaendringer og havforsuring kan gi effekter på organismene som vi ikke kjenner til i dag.

Miljøgifter i naturen påvirker også mennesker, siden vi høster av naturen.  Ren natur og trygg mat er viktige økosystemtjenester.  Det finnes grenseverdier for miljøgifter i ulike matvarer og det eksisterer kostholdsråd fra myndighetene for enkelte typer matvarer (ferskvannsfisk, fisk og skalldyr fra enkelte fjorder, måseegg) og kostråd for unge kvinner og gravide når det gjelder konsum av fet fisk.

Ren mat som høstes fra hav og land er viktig for oss som forbrukere, for samfunnsøkonomien og nasjonen Norge.

Institusjonene som inngår i Framsenteret har sterk kompetanse og flere års samarbeid innen miljøgiftforskning i Arktis. I tillegg finnes det solid kompetanse innen flere fagretninger som miljøkjemi, økologi, epidemiologi og samfunnsøkonomi, som kan styrke fremtidig miljøgiftsforskningen i senteret.

En viktig målsetning for Framsenteret er tverrfaglig samarbeid, ikke minst i skjæringspunktet mellom naturvitenskapelige og samfunnsvitenskapelige tema.

Forurensing og miljøgifter er et internasjonalt problem og tiltak for å forbedre miljøtilstanden krever internasjonalt samarbeid og samhandling. Viktige forskningsspørsmål krever høy spisskompetanse innen ulike fagfelt og internasjonalt tverrfaglig samarbeid.

På prosjektnivå i flaggskipet har deltakerne solid internasjonalt samarbeid med forskere fra nordiske og europeiske land, i tillegg til USA, Canada og Kina

Multi-stress relationships in seabird populations: interactions between natural stressors and environmental contaminants

Kontaktperson: Bustnes jan.bustnes@nina.no

Impacts of environmental contaminants and natural stressors on northern raptors (RAPTOR)

Kontaktperson: Bustnes jan.bustnes@nina.no

Habitat and dietary specific accumulation of methylmercury in Arctic charr

Kontaktperson:  Braaten  HansFredrik.VeitebergBraaten@niva.no

POPs in Arctic char from a remote Arctic lake: Long-term trends and responses to changing inputs, fish ecology and a warming climate (FishTrend)

Kontaktperson:  Bytingsvik jby@akvaplan.niva.no

Giants of the ocean – affected by anthropogenic pollutants?

Kontaktperson: Routi heli.routti@npolar.no

Atmospheric inputs of organic contaminants of emerging concern to the Arctic and possible implications for ecosystem exposure

Kontaktperson: Ingunn Krogseth isk@nilu.no

Development, evaluation, and application of a bioaccumulation model for organic contaminants in Arctic seabirds.

Kontaktperson: Ingunn Krogseth isk@nilu.no

Evaluating the significance of spatial variability and body mass index (BMI) for human concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in northern areas

Kontaktperson: Therese Nøst therese.h.nost@uit.no

An Environmental Risk Quotient for Arctic Communities.

Kontaktperson: Mudge  smm@nilu.no

Microplastics from artificial sports pitches: composition, degradation and biological interactions (MARS)

Kontaktperson: Halsband/Herzke claudia.halsband@akvaplan.niva.no

POPs adsorbing to Marine plastic litter in the Arctic marine environment acting as a new vector of exposure.

Kontaktperson: Dorte Herzke dhe@nilu.no

Urban development, shipping and tourism impacts on marine ecosystem in Tromsø. Investigation of cocktail effects using bivalves as sentinel species.

Kontaktperson: Geraudie pge@akvaplan.niva.no

An Arctic risk governance regime for multiple stressors: the case of interaction between climate change and hazardous chemicals’ (ARIGO)

Kontaktperson: Karlsson marianne.karlsson@niva.no

Atmospheric inputs of organic contaminants of emerging concern to the Arctic and possible implications for ecosystem exposures 132018

Ingjerd S. Krogseth
isk@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

National and international regulatory strategies have resulted in decreasing concentrations of some legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Arctic; but also development of replacement substances, of which some may have similar impacts on ecosystems as the legacy POPs. The main objective of this project is to increase the understanding of the link between long-range atmospheric transport (LRAT) and ecosystem exposure for selected contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in Arctic areas. The activities during the two first years have focused on (i) extraction and analysis of selected CECs in air samples collected across Norway, (ii) collection, extraction, and analysis of samples from the subarctic lake Takvatn (Troms) for evaluation of the deposition and bioaccumulation potential of the same CECs, and (iii) presentation of preliminary results at international conferences and publication of a new bentho-pelagic bioaccumulation model. Modelling and dissemination activities will be the focus in 2019. The measurement results will be complemented by mechanistic modelling to (i) assess whether observed ecosystem exposures can be rationalized from measured air concentrations, and (ii) facilitate identification of key knowledge gaps and research needs. Hence, this project will provide results not only relevant for the scientific community, but also for national and international authorities involved in the regulation of chemicals, as well as key goals for the Fram flagship and the society in general.

 

Development, evaluation, and application of a bioaccumulation model for organic contaminants in Arctic seabirds  142018

Ingjerd S. Krogseth
isk@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

Seabirds are key Arctic sentinel species, but susceptible for exposure to organic contaminants and their effects. The main objective of this project is to develop, evaluate, and apply a new bioaccumulation model for organic contaminants in Arctic seabirds. This will be achieved by combining the extensive knowledge on Arctic seabirds within the Fram Centre with the multimedia modelling competence at NILU. The activities during the initial year have focused on (i) developing and implementing a seabird module in an existing Arctic bioaccumulation model framework, and (ii) revising and collecting existing data and information needed for model parameterization and evaluation for the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), as it is the most data-rich Arctic seabird. In 2019, the main focus will be to evaluate the model by comparing predicted concentrations in the seabird to measured concentrations for a group of well-known organic contaminants, also to identify any remaining knowledge gaps and research needs that need to be addressed. Later, the evaluated model will be applied to scenarios of joint scientific interest, such as interesting case-studies, hypotheses or research questions. Besides the models significant stand-alone value, it may also serve as a tool to further strengthen and expand the long-term and fruitful collaboration on seabirds within the Fram Centre, as well as to inform possible future control strategies for national and international authorities involved in the regulation of chemicals.

 

POPs adsorbing to Marine plastic litter in the Arctic marine environment acting as a new vector of exposure; expanding PLASTOX to the North (PLASTOX-NORTH) 312018

Dorte Herzke
dhe@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

PLASTOX-NORTH will provide additional support to one ongoing EU project on microplastics (MP) that has obtained excellent external evaluation and funding (JPI-Oceans/NFR (PLASTOX)). We will contribute to the improvement of understanding of the chemical impact of MPs in the Arctic regions, representing extreme climate conditions Little is known about the way Arctic conditions of cold temperatures and extreme light changes affect the kinetics of POP adsorption and other processes. Today the samples containing the highest densities of MP globally recorded for benthic sediments and sea ice are from the Svalbard region (Obbard et al, 2015; Bergmann, M. et al., 2017). Increased urbanization and industrialization of the Arctic together with climate change and long-transported plastic waste resulted in a growing number of forecasts of the increase of plastic litter abundancy in Arctic regions. We need to understand how plastic waste and the related additives changes over time while exposed to seawater and seaice in order to design measures for prevention, remediation and risk assessment.

 

An Arctic risk governance regime for multiple stressors: the case of interaction between climate change and hazardous chemicals’ (ARIGO)
392018

Marianne Karlsson
marianne.karlsson@niva.no
Norsk Institutt for Vannforskning NIVA

Whereas some risks within the Arctic region fall within national jurisdictions, most environmental stressors are transboundary, covering several jurisdictions. The potential cumulative effects of climate change and hazardous chemicals are examples of transboundary risk. To disclose potential conflicting interests between national and international administrative levels and to identify a sound approach to manage transboundary risks, it is important to enhance the understanding of relevant policies and practices on a national, regional and international level, and the interlinkages between these. The rapid and disruptive ongoing changes in the Arctic warrant a holistic, integrated approach to deal with environmental risks. The proposed project aims to improve the understanding of risk governance related to multiple stressors to provide decision-makers with sound policy measures and management options, as well as to illuminate potential bottlenecks. Moreover, we will assess how scientific knowledge can aid policy development on complex environmental risk interactions. The findings will be disseminated to scientists, decision makers and the public, through 1-2 scientific peer-reviewed articles, policy notes and popular outreach.

 

Impacts of environmental contaminants and natural stressors on northern raptors: RAPTOR 442018

Jan Ove Bustnes
Jan.Bustnes@nina.no
NINA – Norsk institutt for naturforskning

This project combines data series on marine (the sea eagle) and terrestrial raptors (the tawny owl) collected through different NFR programs. It is currently associated with NFR projects: EcoStress and EnviStress. High priority is on publishing results on the effects of physical and biological variation on the accumulation of new and legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and toxic elements in both terrestrial and marine raptors. In addition, the present work includes a study of the impact of environmental contaminants on physiological stress in both sea eagle chicks and tawny owls. Field data is collected annually. The project provides new and important insight into the accumulation and effects of both POPs and heavy metals in terrestrial and marine food webs.

 

Multi-stress relationships in seabird populations: interactions between natural stressors and environmental contaminants
462018

Jan Ove Bustnes
Jan.Bustnes@nina.no
NINA – Norsk institutt for naturforskning

Although the Arctic Sea is remote and considered pristine, paradoxically the marine food chain is highly loaded by persistent organic pollutants; especially seabirds suffer from high concentrations. The research on environmental contaminants in Arctic has developed substantially over the last decade, and seabirds have been at the core of this achievement. Hence, recent research projects in the Norwegian Arctic have increased our understanding and enabled studies of more fundamental relevance. This work started with the NFR project AVITOX where we studied multiple stressors in seabird species at different trophic positions in three integrated work packages (WPs): 1) the origin of POPs and mercury and the role of seabirds as vectors of emerging and legacy contaminants (bio-transport);2) the physiological stress caused by different contaminants measured through biomarker responses; and 3) the ecological impact that contaminants have on seabird populations in a changing environment through the use of population modelling. A new NFR project funded from 2019 is natural continuation of this project, in which multiple stressor studies will be studied on a larger scale. Hence, the project aims at exploring the true role of pollution as an anthropogenic driver in Arctic ecosystems in concert with other stressors.

 

Evaluating the significance of spatial variability and body mass index (BMI) for human concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in northern areas 522018

Therese Haugdahl Nøst
thn@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

This project obtained funding in 2018 and we hereby apply for continuing this project with funding for 2019. Efforts to reduce potential future health effects caused by persistent organic pollutants (POPs) ultimately calls for a better understanding of the factors that dictate human exposure. Using mechanistic models and human biomonitoring data, we have made significant progress in understanding temporality in human exposure [1, 2, 3]. Still, further research is critically needed for a better understanding of other factors that also affect human exposure [4]. Building upon ongoing research and long-term collaboration within (and beyond) the Fram Centre, this project aims to explore how (i) human lipid dynamics (represented by body mass index; BMI) and (ii) spatial variability may influence human exposure in Norway. The activities during this initial year have focused on (i) compiling empirical results for time trends of POPs according to BMI categories for model comparison as well as preparing implementation of code in the human module in an existing model framework. In 2019, the focus will be to finalize model implementation and perform model evaluation; and (ii) initial compilation of geographical variation along the Norwegian coast line for PCBs in fish (wild-caught salmon, cod and herring). In 2019, the focus will be to finish data collection of geographical variation in human dietary items.
Beyond the scientific value, this project will also be of relevance for national and international bodies for the regulation of chemicals as sound risk-management is not possible without a solid understanding of the link between emissions and human exposure.

 

Giants of the ocean – affected by anthropogenic pollutants?
602018

Heli Routti
heli.routti@npolar.no
Norsk Polarinstitutt

Due to their filter feeding habits and poor capacity to biotransform xenobiotics, blue and fin whales (Balaenoptera musculus and B. physalus) are likely exposed to a wide range of environmental chemicals, which may negatively affect their health. This research project will quantify a wide range of emerging and legacy toxic compounds in the blubber of blue and fin whales sampled from Svalbard. Cause-effect relationships between chemical exposure and effects will be established by testing activation of blue and fin whale nuclear receptors and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) by relevant environmental chemicals and mixtures of compounds. We will also investigate transcriptional and metabolome responses in whale blubber tissue explants and/or cell cultures exposed to pollutants in vitro. Furthermore, we will develop methods to analyse hormones in whale blubber tissue for future correlative studies. Finally, we will compare chemical exposure in blue and fin whales to other whale species feeding in Arctic/sub-Arctic waters in the North Atlantic in relation to their feeding habits. The project will lead to several high quality peer-reviewed publications. In addition, we will communicate this highly relevant research to environmental management agencies as well as to media.

 

Screening for Emerging Arctic health Risks to Circumpolar Human populations (SEARCH) 612018

Nicholas A. Warner
nicholas.warner@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

Despite decreasing levels of many contaminants in Arctic human populations, there is clear indications that the complexity of the contaminant cocktail is increasing and several compounds are increasing in concentration. However, contaminant exposure among circumpolar populations is affected by regional differences in diet, chemical use, and legislation, highlighting the need to establish a collaborative framework within circumpolar nations to address exposure risks to humans from both emerging and unknown contaminants. The primary objective of this project is to establish a collaborative framework (SEARCH) for detecting and describing time trends for emerging contaminants in Arctic populations, which is of great importance for international environmental management. Combining analytical capabilities between NILU (Norway) and INSPQ (Canada) with complementary state of the art technology, we will address analytical challenges associated with emerging classes of contaminants and identification of unknown exposure risks. Through UiT- the Arctic University of Norway and Laval University, use of bio-banked blood samples from Northern Norway and Nunavik (northern Quebec, Canada) populations will address time trends and geographical differences in exposure. Furthermore, recruitment of graduate students will occur through these institutes. Retrospective analysis of stored high-resolution accurate mass data obtained within SEARCH will provide a database to assess unknown exposure risks. Established methodology will be applied to key dietary items provided by Fram Centre (NPI and APN) and Canadian partners (INSPQ) within regions of sampled populations to assess sources of exposure from the surrounding ecosystem.

 

Microplastics from artificial sports pitches: composition, degradation and biological interactions (MARS) 1002018

Dorte Herzke, Claudia Halsband
dorte.herzke@nilu.no
NILU – Norsk institutt for luftforskning

MARS will study the composition, degradation and environmental impacts of rubber particles (ca. 5 mm) used to enhance performance of artificial grass on sports pitches («kunstgressbane») in arctic coastal communities. Samples collected from multiple locations in northern Norway and Svalbard will be analyzed for their composition and the additive profile determined. Physical degradation studies will investigate how the rubber particles interact with sediment particles under energetic conditions representing arctic coastal zones. Changes in particle size, shape and surface characteristics will be monitored over time. UV (sunlight) degradation studies will investigate the stability of the rubber particles under synthetic and authentic sunlight conditions, including chemical changes and physical breakdown. Impact studies will investigate how organisms from different trophic levels and ecosystem compartments (zooplankton and benthic crustaceans) interact with particles from this source of plastic and microplastics (MP). Both particle uptake and egestion of different particle sizes, as well as toxicity of additives will be investigated. Impacts on fitness traits (survival and reproduction) will be studied for planktonic and benthic species in acute (hours) and long-term (weeks) exposure experiments in a range of plastic and MP concentrations. Studies will utilize ‘pristine’ rubber particles and test materials artificially weathered in the laboratory to investigate the role of degradation on subsequent availability and toxicity. Field experiments in Arctic locations (Tromsø and Svalbard) will supply knowledge of their weathering and pollutant de- and adsorption kinetics. The MARS project will produce valuable and timely knowledge for local and national environmental management and provide input towards international regulation for plastic pollution control.

 

Urban development, shipping and tourism impacts on the release of environmental contaminants in Tromsø. Investigation of cocktail effects from wastewater effluents on marine ecosystem using bivalves as sentinel species 1032018

Perrine Geraudie
pge@akvaplan.niva.no
Akvaplan-niva AS

Shipping traffic in Arctic is expected to increase as a result of the reduced ice cover, intensifying anthropogenic activities related to oil and gas exploration, fishing and tourism. Arctic expedition cruise and tourism activities have drastically increased in Tromsø during the last decade reaching 500 000 annual passengers in 2016. Intensification of marine traffic might increase the risk for oil contamination in marine environment, through unexpected oil spills and chronic fuel leakages from vessels. As the result of the intensification of human activities in the North, Tromsø population has increased by 25 % the last 15 years. This might undeniably contribute to the release of large amount of chemicals in the marine environment without adequate wastewater treatment. In addition to wastewater mixture, other legacy substances (e.g, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, siloxanes and heavy metals) have been previously reported locally exposing the marine ecosystem to a complex mixture of chemicals (Velvin et al., 2017). Developing monitoring programs is crucial to investigate impacts of human activities on marine population and to document the health of the ecosystem. The use of invertebrates as sentinel species has been largely demonstrated with bivalves constituting one of the most appropriate model for marine ecotoxicology. The blue mussels Mytilus edulis, and the Icelandic scallops, Chlamys islandica, have been validated as bioindicator for environmental pollution in Barent’s sea and Arctic ecosystems. This proposal aims to investigate the impacts of increased human activities in Tromsø, on the release of a cocktail of environmental contaminants and their impacts on marine ecosystem.

 

ARctic CHarr Super Male quest (ARCHAiSM) 1202018

Marc Anglès d’Auriac
mad@niva.no
NIVA – Norsk Institutt for Vann Forskning

The FRAM pre-project “Endocrine diSruptor SEx ChangE (ESSEnCE)” has showed high rate of Salvelinus alpinus sex reversal associated to a polluted lake (Ellasjøen, Bear Island) and low rate in pristine lakes (Stevatnet and Spelvatnet, Bear Island). However, unanticipated high level of male sex reverted (morphologically females) was also found in another Bear Island pristine location, Laksvatnet. Although reported sex reversed individuals were mainly large individuals, phenotype miscall may be suspected to bias the results. The reproduction of sex reverted males (morphologically females) with normal XY males, will produce a new genotype, YY, AKA super males.
Salmonid super males have been artificially bred for aquaculture purposes but have never, to our knowledge, been reported from the wild although they have been foreseen to exist (Wong, 2000).
Finding and distinguishing YY from XY genotype individuals would alleviate possible phenotype miscall when comparing genetic and phenotypic sex, and unambiguously prove sex-reversal in the wild. Tracking YY individuals would further provide an improved measure of population fitness decrease due to induced sexual ratio imbalance.
Finally, as sex reversal is known to be associated to endocrine disrupting contaminants as well as increased temperatures, hypoxia or pH changes (Baroiller and D’Cotta, 2016), identified sex changed and super male individuals will be studied for association to anthropogenic stressors.

 

 

 

 

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