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Web Date: November 2, 2010

Warming Temperatures Alter Arctic Lake Biochemistry

Climate Change: Arctic ice's disappearance may encourage growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria that produce methylmercury
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Climate Change
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: climate change, mercury, sulfate-reducing bacteria, Arctic, methylmercury

Rapidly rising surface temperatures in the Arctic have unleashed a cascade of changes to the region's ecology and geochemistry. Now Canadian, American, and European scientists have found that in high Arctic lakes, climate change may cause population growth in bacteria that reduce sulfate compounds (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es101991p). This bacterial boom could lead to higher levels of methylmercury, a bioavailable form . . .

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