Published January 23, 2023 | Version v1
Report Open

Harmonising Environmental Research and Monitoring of Priority Pollutants and Impurities in the Svalbard Atmosphere (HERMOSA)

  • 1. Institute of Geography, The Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz; Chemical Faculty, Gdansk University of Technology
  • 2. Arctic Technology Department, University Centre in Svalbard; Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • 3. Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon
  • 4. École Centrale de Lyon University of Lyon
  • 5. Institute of Polar Sciences, National Research Council of Italy
  • 6. Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, University of Venice
  • 7. Alfred Jahn Cold Regions Research Centre, Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of Wroclaw; Polar-Geo Lab, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University
  • 8. Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • 9. Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
  • 10. Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
  • 11. Northumbria University at Newcastle; British Antarctic Survey
  • 12. Northumbria University at Newcastle
  • 13. Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences; forScience Foundation
  • 14. Chemical Faculty, Gdansk University of Technology
  • 15. Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • 16. Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology, University of Perugia


This is chapter 4 of the State of Environmental Science in Svalbard (SESS) report 2022.

Many characteristics of atmospheric air are measured in Svalbard, including levels of chemical pollution, dark dust connected to soot, and living organisms, but most of these studies happen in Ny-Ålesund. Air monitoring was initiated as early as the 1970s, and multiple atmospheric components have been added to the monitoring over time (especially since 2010; in the early 2000s a few parameters measured at Hornsund joined the regular programme). New types of contaminants are being discovered and measured in Svalbard. Methods for detecting simpler substances and particles have been established for a long time, while certain complex chemicals and small living organisms are more difficult to capture and study. Laboratory and field equipment upgrades help improve understanding of the Svalbard environment. In this chapter, we find that collecting information on many characteristics of the air at the same time helps solve long-standing scientific questions in Svalbard, such as the origins of pollution in the Arctic air and the future of the Arctic atmosphere in a changing world. This is especially important since the Arctic is changing fast, both due to global warming and to the shift in local people’s activity from mining to services, e.g. tourism.



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