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Abstract Title: Update to Canadas Global mercury passive sampling network study
Presenter Name: Alexandra Steffen
Company/Institution: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Session: Addressing global Hg challenges in a changing world
Day and Session: Monday 25th July - Session One
Start Time: 0600 UTC
Co-Authors: Alexandra Steffen,Katrina Macsween,Geoff Stupple,Frank Wania

Abstract Information :

Mercury has a long residence time in the atmosphere and as such can easily travel significant distances from source regions, making it a global pollutant. The atmosphere is a key pathway for the distribution of mercury; thus, monitoring its spatial and temporal variation in the atmosphere is key to evaluating regulatory measures, such as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and for understanding responses to climate perturbations. Whereas there are several regional and multi-regional measurement programs, there are no truly global scale programs and many areas of the world have little to no monitoring. New technologies such as the Tekran mercury passive sampler (MerPAS?) allow atmospheric monitoring of mercury in areas without access to conventional technologies. Using established infrastructure, Canada has created a network of networks to increase global coverage of mercury monitoring using the MerPAS?. This study, initiated in 2019, has over 60 sites operating across 26 countries. The MerPAS? works by diffusive uptake of mercury onto sulphur-impregnated carbon housed within a mesh tube in a protective container. Concentrations are determined based on accumulated mercury over time exposed and the sampling rate. Initial results from 2019-2021 show a global average atmospheric mercury concentration of 1.45ng m-3 (SD 0.61 ng m-3). Concentrations from the data collected show significant spatial variability with concentrations ranging from 5.08ng m-3 in Indonesia to 0.60g m-3 in Columbia. Although this network is in its infancy and is currently a pilot study, the success of demonstrating its value is clearly starting to emerge. As more data comes in, and sites added to this collaboration, a strong global picture of atmospheric mercury concentrations will appear. We hope that this network will be adopted globally and the results collected within will help to provide information to inform the progress of regulatory actions.

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