Geofysisk institutt

GFI/BCCR Seminar | Dr. Michael S. Bank: Climate Change and Trophic Transfer of Mercury in Marine Food Webs

Climate Change and Trophic Transfer of Mercury in Marine Food Webs

Dr. Michael S. Bank (Institute of Marine Research)

The Minamata Convention on Mercury was recently ratified and went into effect on August 16, 2017. As noted in the convention text, seafood is an important source of nutrition to human consumers worldwide and several marine species represent important links in the global source-receptor dynamics of methylmercury. However, despite its importance, a coordinated global program for marine fish species using accredited laboratories, reproducible data and reliable models is still lacking. In recent years marine and terrestrial mercury science has evolved significantly with its use of advanced technologies and computational models to address this complex and ubiquitous environmental and public health issue. These advances in the field have made it essential that transparency be enhanced to ensure that fish mercury studies used in support of the convention are truly reproducible and scientifically sound. The primary goal of this presentation is to evaluate fish bioinformatics and methods, results and inferential reproducibility as it relates to aggregated uncertainty in mercury fish research models, science, and biomonitoring. I use isotopic niche models, environmental intelligence networks and simulations of the effects of a changing climate on methylmercury in marine fish and shellfish to examine how climate change, other pollutants and the convention itself may create further uncertainties for policymakers to consider. Lastly, I will also present an environmental intelligence framework for fish mercury bioaccumulation models and biomonitoring in support of the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.