Toxic mercury pollution found in the ocean’s deepest point, Microplastic pollution threatens hermit crab populations, BP oil spill: ‘invisible’ pollution spread even further than believed. To obtain estimates for shallower waters and to provide numbers for the amount of mercury in the oceans, the scientists needed a tracer--a substance that could be linked with major human activities that release mercury into the environment. Could captured carbon dioxide be stored in the deep ocean? Scientists have found evidence that mercury pollution is reaching the most remote places on Earth, contaminating fish in the deepest ocean trenches. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Twitter: twitter.com/NSF and twitter.com/NSFspox Human-derived mercury is a serious threat to the marine world, and now it seems to have infiltrated into the deepest, remotest parts of the ocean. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. contacts, Proposal & Award Policies Procedures Guide (PAPPG). You can unsubscribe at any time. While mercury is a naturally occurring element that can be introduced to the environment through volcanic eruptions and forest fires, human-derived mercury from industrial activity, incineration, mining and energy generation boosts the amount of airborne mercury, which eventually finds its way into the rivers and oceans. getty. As noted in chapter 6 (of the full assessment), the sources of releases of mercury to the biosphere can be grouped in four major categories. NSF News: nsf.gov/news The results show that the oceans contain about 60,000 to 80,000 tons of mercury pollution. Fur of Sea Lions and Seals Yet over 2,000 metric tons of mercury are emitted every year because of human activities, such as the burning of coal to generate electricity, leading to mercury’s presence on land … Mercury pollution is everywhere, it’s in the air that animals breath and we breath as well. The sinking carcasses of fish from near-surface waters deliver toxic mercury pollution to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world’s oceans, including the deepest spot of them all: the 36,000-foot-deep Mariana Trench in the northwest Pacific. Discover our latest special editions covering a range of fascinating topics from the latest scientific discoveries to the big ideas explained. The EEA report ‘Mercury in Europe’s environment – A priority for European and global action’ describes the problem of mercury pollution and the challenges in addressing the issue globally. "We don't know what that means for fish and marine mammals, but likely that some fish contain at least three times more mercury than 150 years ago. These look like coral but are actually a single cell with multiple nuclei, that feeds like an amoeba, by engulfing small particles of ocean debris. Credit and Larger Version, Orange roughy are among the fish with the highest levels of mercury. Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, email: cdybas@nsf.gov Ocean waters shallower than about 100 meters (300 feet) have tripled in mercury concentration since the Industrial Revolution. This research has demonstrated the far-reaching impact that human activity can have on even the remotest environments, and will lead to greater understanding about how mercury affects the marine world. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that mercury consumption by people of all ages can result in loss of peripheral vision, weakened muscles, impairment of hearing and speech, and deteriorated movement coordination. The results offer a look at the global distribution of mercury in the marine environment. Mercury is a naturally occurring chemical, but it can become harmful when it contaminates fresh and seawater areas. Are all the world’s oceans at the same level? It is also a potent nerve toxin that can impair the way we see, hear, walk, talk, and think. Humans and other animals, and strange saucer-sized animals, called Xenophyophores is that now we at have... Threat to human health concentration since the Industrial Revolution times living there, and think Orange roughy among... Plastic is n't the only human pollutant infiltrating the deepest parts of the ocean 300 feet ) have in... 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