21st century climate change - consequences for arctic marine radioactivity

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme AMAP releases scientific assessment reports (AARs) that provide the fully-referenced scientific basis for an assessment of pollution in the Arctic. Contributing to the new AMAP Radioactivity Assessment for 2008 put together by Mark Dowdall (NRPA), we have compiled information on anticipated changes of marine transport routes to the Arctic for the 21st century.

Despite an agreement in several basic aspects of climate change, there remains a considerable spread of IPCC class model results in a lot of regional features. Since a number of processes relevant for the marine transport of radionuclides, such as convection, depend on subtle balances, uncertainty for the consequences remains high. Therefore conclusions have to remain tentative. We have discussed a number of anticipated changes which, however, exhibit some robustness, when comparing different model experiments.
21st century climate change andMost importantly, the reduction of ice cover, especially in summer, will lead to less importance of sea ice a transport medium for radionuclides from atmospheric fallout and from incorporated sediment. This will likely lead to a reduced export and a larger fraction of the radionuclides staying in the Arctic Ocean.