Jean-Louis Etienne
 
 
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Alone on Ice pack
How man copes with the cold
 
Communications - Safety - Emergency assistance
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Atmosphere & weather
The earth’s atmosphere  
 
Weather forecasting and modeling  
 
The climate and the north pole  
 
The solar energy balance  
 
The greenhouse effect  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Arctic ice
The ice pack: frozen saltwater  
 
Ice pack observation satellites  
 
Icebergs : frozen seawater  
 
The arctic ice: climate archives  
 
Ice ages and landscapes  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - The ocean and marine life
The Arctic Ocean and the ocean currents  
 
Genesis of the arctic ocean  
 
Arctic plankton  
 
Oceanic biodiversity and the food chain  
 
Whales and other cetaceans  
 
Seals and walruses  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Life on land
Arctic flora  
 
Arctic fauna  
 
Polar bears  
 
Birds of the arctic  
 
Evolution of species and climate  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - History and geography
Geography of the Arctic regions  
 
Geographic North Pole and magnetic North Pole  
 
Who owns the arctic ?  
 
Exploring the deep north  
 
The Inuit people  
 
The other peoples of the deep North  
 
The Arctic today  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Man's impact
Man and arctic biodiversity  
 
Pollution in the arctic  
 
Climate warming: the natural cycles  
 
The increase in the greenhouse effect  
 
The impact of global warming  
 
 
 
Man's impact
Pollution in the arctic
 
 

Milieus that are highly sensitive to pollution
Human activity has left a legacy of pollution in the Arctic ranging from mining and oil company waste and town rubbish dumps to military bases and nuclear junkyards (submarines and their reactors). Unfortunately, a combination of low temperatures and long winter nights slows the process of milieu regeneration, and the permafrost makes it difficult to purify and recycle waste water and to dispose of household and industrial waste.

All pollution ends up in the ocean
The atmospheric currents in the Northern Hemisphere carry pollutants (soot, chlorine compounds, pesticides, heavy metals, radioactive waste, etc.) from the industrialised regions of Eurasia and America towards the North Pole. These contaminants fall to the surface with the rain and snow, above all in winter, and accumulate in the watercourses to be eventually washed down into the Arctic Ocean. There, they are absorbed by marine animals.

Food chains and toxic substances
The substances referred to as “organic or organo-chlorinated pollutants” (pesticides, PCB, etc.) and “heavy metals” (lead, mercury, cadmium) are toxic to all forms of life. They accumulate in organisms all along the food chain (from plankton and fish to marine mammals, for example). They are now found in the tissues of human beings as well as Arctic animals.

The Arctic, an international ecosystem
The release and discharge of contaminants in the Arctic is an international problem and requires international solutions. In 1991, an international initiative called the “Strategy for Protecting the Arctic Environment” was launched by the eight countries bordering the Arctic ecosystems. Then in 1996, they set up the Arctic Council whose main aim is to help evaluate and monitor pollution levels in the Deep North and to assess their consequences.

 

 
 
 
 
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