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Sunderland’s team also found a relationship between levels of methylated mercury and organic carbon. Particles of organic carbon from phytoplankton or other sources may provide surfaces on which microbes could methylate mercury in the ocean, the researchers suggest. That methylated mercury could then be released back into the water. “We don’t have a causal mechanism yet, but it does seem to be linked to the biological pump in the ocean,” says Sunderland. Previous findings in the southern and equatorial Pacific, she adds, observed similar high methylmercury concentrations where biological activity was highest. That connection has implications for climate change and the mercury cycle: warmer, more productive oceans, with more phytoplankton and more fish, might increase the amount of methylated mercury that ends up on human plates. The researchers also hypothesize that waters in the western Pacific could be picking up mercury deposited from increasing atmospheric emissions in Asia, and then moving to the northeast Pacific. The ocean may only how be responding to higher mercury loads from past atmospheric deposition, Sunderland says. Daniel Cossa of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) in LA Seyne-sur-Mer and his colleagues have gathered another set of mercury data, this time from the Mediterranean, to be published in the May issue of Limnology and Oceanography. Both papers indicate that not all methylated mercury comes direct from coastal or river sources, and confirm that methylation occurs at moderate depth in oceans, says Cossa’s co-author Nicola Pirrone, director of Italy’s National Research Council Institute for Atmospheric Pollution in Rende. よろしくお願いしますorz

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  • ddeana
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サンダーランドのチームは、メチル水銀と有機炭素、それぞれのレベル間での関係性も発見しました。 研究者によると、植物性プランクトンやその他の供給源によって生産された有機炭素の粒子(※1)は、海洋において微生物が水銀をメチル化できる表層を提供するとのことです。 メチル水銀はその後もう一度海中に放出される可能性があります。 「我々はまだ原因メカニズムが何かはつかんでいません。ですが海洋の生物ポンプ(※2)に関連しているらしいです。」とサンダーランドは言います。 彼女は、南および赤道付近の太平洋における過去の調査結果では、生物学的活動がもっとも高い地域で同様の高いメチル水銀濃度が観測されたと付け加えます。 そのつながりは気候変動と水銀サイクルの為の意味合いを有します。つまり、より多くの植物性プランクトンや魚が生息する、より暖かく生産性の高い海は、人間の体内に取り込まれるメチル水銀の量を増加させるかもしれないということです。 加えて研究者達は、西太平洋の海水はアジアでの増加する大気放出物質より堆積した水銀を拾い上げ東北太平洋まで運ぶことができるのではとの仮説を立てています。 おそらく海だけが過去の大気降下物に含まれるより高い水銀量に対応できるのだろうとサンダーランドは言います。 ラ・セーヌ=シュル=メール(※3)にあるフランス国立海洋研究所(IFREMER)のダニエル・コッサとその同僚は、今度は地中海から、「陸水学と海洋学」5月号に発表されるもうひとつの水銀データを集めました。 両方の論文が、すべてのメチル水銀が沿岸や川などの水源から直接運ばれてくるのではないことを示し、メチル化(※4)は海の中間深度で起ることを裏付けていると、レンデにあるイタリア大気汚染国立研究協議会研究所所長で、コッサの共同執筆者、ニコラ・ピオーネは述べています。 ※1:粒状有機炭素とも言われます。 ※2:大気中の二酸化炭素が、海洋に溶けるという形で吸収→表層に存在する植物プランクトンの光合成によって有機物の粒子に固定→この粒子が中深層へ沈降→海洋が生物的に二酸化炭素を吸収。この一連の能力を「生物ポンプ」と呼びます。 ※3:位置については下記をご参照ください。 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%A9%E3%83%BB%E3%82%BB%E3%83%BC%E3%83%8C%EF%BC%9D%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5%E3%83%AB%EF%BC%9D%E3%83%A1%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB ※4:仕組みについては下記をご参照ください。 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%A1%E3%83%81%E3%83%AB%E5%8C%96

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    Mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean are rising, a new study suggests. The increase may mean that more methylmercury, a human neurotoxin formed when mercury is methylated by microbes, accumulates in marine fish such as tuna. The research comes as researchers and policymakers, who have tended to focus on atmospheric concentrations of the element, are looking for a fuller picture of the mercury cycle. US guidelines on methylmercury in fish are currently under review. It remains unclear exactly how atmospheric mercury ― whether dumped directly into oceans or carried there through rivers or coastal deposits ― is methylated and eventually taken up by fish, which are a major source of human exposure to methylmercury. But the new data, collected by Elsie Sunderland of Harvard University and colleagues, also provide a possible mechanism for mercury methylation within the ocean. The researchers collected samples from the eastern North Pacific, an area also monitored by research cruises in 1987 and 2002. They estimate that methylated mercury accounts for as much as 29% of all mercury in subsurface ocean waters, with lower concentrations occurring in deeper water masses. The group’s modeling indicates that atmospheric deposition of the total ocean mercury concentrations recorded in the mid-1990s by 2050. よろしくお願いします( ´_ゝ`)

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  • SPS700
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    また、サンダ-ランドのチームは、メチル水銀のレベルと有機炭素のレベルとの間にも関係があることを発見した。     プランクトン、あるいは他の源からの有機炭素粒子は、微生物が海洋の水銀をメチル化する表面を提供するのではないかと、調査者たちは言う。     こうして出来たメチル水銀は海水に戻される可能性がある。     「まだ、この原因究明には至っていないが、海洋の生物的ポンプに関係があると思う」とサンダーランドは言う。     彼女はさらに「南洋および赤道付近の太平洋での過去の調査は、生物学的活動が最も活発な海域では、(この調査)同様に高いメチル水銀の集積が見られた」と加える。     この関係は、気候変化と水銀周期との間に関係がある、すなわち、より暖かく生産が活発で、プランクとが多く、魚も多い海洋からは、人間の食卓に昇るメチル水銀の量も多いことになる。    この調査団は、太平洋西部の水は、アジアからの排気に含まれる水銀を吸収し、北部太平洋に移動させるという仮説も立てている。    大洋は、過去の大気中のより高い水銀量を反映しているに過ぎないのではないか、とサンダーランドは言う。     LA Seyne-sur-Mer にある、フランス海洋開発研究所 (IFREMER) のダニエル•コスタと彼の調査団は、水銀に関して又別の資料を集めている、これは地中海から取った資料で Limnology and Oceanography の5月号に掲載される。     この二つの研究は、すべての水銀が、沿岸、あるいは河川に直接源泉を有するとは限らず、海洋の中間深度の部分でメチル水銀が形成される、とコスタの共著者で、レンデ(Rende) にあるイタリア国立大気汚染研究所の所長ニコラ•ピローネは言う。

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