Pollution in the ARCtic System

Chantier Arctique

** See News from the Field ** Svalbard mesocosm experiment March 2017 **

PARCS has the overall goal to improve understanding about the sources, fate and impacts of pollution in the Arctic system, notably on climate, marine ecosystems and human society with the aim to improve predictive capability and to better inform development of adaptive strategies and sustainable solutions. PARCS is a project of the CNRS French Arctic Initiative (

PARCS employs a multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together groups from 19 French labs and several international partners and coordinated by LATMOS/CNRS. It brings together a cross-disciplinary team to tackle issues related to Arctic air pollution (e.g. aerosols, ozone), and toxic contaminants such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants, and impacts on climate (aerosol-cloud interactions), ecosystems (contaminants in seabirds, pollutant cycling in marine/snow environments), and local societies (air pollution perceptions and risks). PARCS has 4 major research objectives:

- To improve characterization of local pollutant emissions relative to long-range pollution transport from mid-latitude sources, through a combination of new measurements, community based risk assessments and pollution monitoring,
- To increase understanding about interactions between natural cycles and anthropogenic pollution, including pollutant wet/dry deposition, quantification of natural sources (relative to anthropogenic sources), pollutant recycling at the snow/ice-atmosphere interface, quantification of riverine mercury fluxes,
- To examine pollutant impacts on marine biogeochemistry, nutrients and oceanic emissions and improve assessment of marine mercury cycling and contaminant impacts on Arctic fauna (sea-birds),
- To improve understanding about aerosol-cloud interactions and direct/indirect effects on climate.

PARCS is contributing to a new international initiative on Arctic air pollution (PACES - air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies,, endorsed under IASC and IGAC (Future Earth) as well as to, for example, Arctic Council activities under AMAP/CAFF.

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