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Vestjord Glacier
Vestjord Glacier


Scoresby Sound, Greenland




View of the Vestjord glacier entering Scoresby Sound on the east side of Greenland. Nature Geoscience published a study earlier this week showing that mercury concentrations in the fjords of southeast Greenland were an order of magnitude higher than waters further away from these glaciers. Unlike many other waterways entering the Atlantic Ocean, industrial pollution is not the source of mercury in Greenland. Instead, it is coming from the bedrock beneath the Greenlandic ice sheet as its glaciers grind above and meltwaters drain across it. As Greenland melts at a steadily accelerating pace, mercury concentrations in its fjords will likely also increase. It’s unknown just how much of this mercury is entering the food stream or settling down into nearby marine sediments, but adding any more mercury into the equation is a bad idea and another example of the collateral damage that global warming is having on our ecosystems.

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Daniel Beltra
Photographer/artist documenting man's impact on the planet.
Learn more about Daniel Beltra.

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