Date of Award

Fall 9-18-2020

Semester of Degree

December

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Science

Department

Environmental Science, Division of

Major Professor

Huiting Mao

Steering Committee Member

Charles T. Driscoll

Steering Committee Member

Barkely C. Sive

Abstract

Wintertime Arctic frontal positions are particularly important in determining the inclusion of mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources in the Arctic. Using the streamline confluence method, the 30-year average positions of wintertime (November-March) Arctic fronts exhibited similar spatial variability (39°N-67°N) over North America and Eurasia during 1988-2017 with considerable interannual variations up to 10° year-to-year shifts in latitude. The long-term variations in Arctic frontal positions partly superseded the impact of the decreasing North American anthropogenic mercury emissions by up to 30%, leading to no significantly detectable emission trend in the North American Arctic. The northward shifts in Arctic frontal positions in some winters in Eurasia have counteracted the impacts of anthropogenic emission changes by 5.3%. This is the first study to examine and quantify the impact of long-term variations in Arctic frontal positions on Arctic anthropogenic mercury emissions; it provides insight into the impact of climate change on Arctic anthropogenic emissions.

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