Other Publications

Global change and mercury cycling: Challenges for implementing a global mercury treaty

by Selin, N.E.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, in press, doi: 10.1002/etc.2374, 2013

(MIT News Story)


The Minamata Convention aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury. The provisions of the Minamata Convention are examined to assess their influence on global biogeochemical cycling of mercury. Though the Convention's scope covers all major categories of atmospheric emissions, the degree to which it will affect future emissions trajectories remains unclear. A box model analysis shows that future global biogeochemical cycling under projected technological provisions would mainly result in avoided increases, and that estimated differences in atmospheric concentrations resulting from policies would be on the order of 1–2% per year. Present experience suggests that scientific knowledge at present is not sufficient to attribute causes to changes of this magnitude. Enhancements to capacity to measure the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention are suggested, including both measurement and modeling. 

© 2013 SETAC

Full article available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.2374