New study suggests link between mercury in the Yukon River Basin and climate change

Yukon River Basin (USGS)
The Yukon River Basin, which spans parts of Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory, has been found to contain 32 times the amount of mercury than other comparable sites. A five-year study, recently published in Environmental Science and Technology, shows that the Yukon River delivers more than five tons per year to the surrounding environment. Although the researchers believe there is no immediate threat to fish, wildlife, and humans, they are concerned that continued atmospheric deposition and more rapid permafrost thawing caused by increasing temperatures could exacerbate the issue. Reducing non-climate stressors like pollution may help decrease overall system vulnerability.