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Hemispheric-scale heavy metal pollution from South American and Australian mining and metallurgy during the Common Era

McConnell, Joseph R.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Wensman, Sophia M.; Plach, Andreas; Stanish, Charles; Santibáñez, Pamela A.; Brugger, Sandra O.; Eckhardt, Sabine; Freitag, Johannes; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Stohl, Andreas



A scalable method for identifying key indicators to assess urban environmental sustainability: A case study in Norway

Liu, Hai Ying; Ebrahimi, Babak

Urbanization presents numerous societal challenges and exacerbates environmental issues. It is crucial to comprehend the current state and future direction of cities to formulate strategies and actions that mitigate negative consequences while ensuring a prosperous future for citizens. This study presents a universally applicable method for selecting indicators to gauge urban environmental sustainability. It aims to aid in structuring thinking for understanding and implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within urban settings, using Norway as a case study but with a clear potential for broader applications. To achieve this, a comprehensive literature survey was conducted to gain insight into how urban environmental sustainability is conceptualized and operationalized in Norway. This involved assessing the key environmental challenges, as well as the strategies and action plans associated with them. Standardized sustainable cities' indicators served as references, which were then tailored to the municipal level to address the identified environmental challenges specific to Norwegian cities. Furthermore, the study discussed the proposed indicators for tracking the progress and state of these specific environmental challenges. In doing so, it establishes a foundation for comprehending environmental issues and establishing connections between indicators and environmental strategies and action plans in the urban sustainability context. Importantly, the methodologies and indicators we have unveiled in this study are designed to be applicable to cities beyond Norway, offering a scalable and adaptable approach for evaluating environmental challenges internationally. This work proposes a novel approach for evaluating the status and trends of environmental challenges by employing targeted indicators. These indicators can be expanded to include social and economic dimensions, enabling decision-makers and stakeholders to prioritize actions towards urban sustainability.



Global Vegetation Fires in 2023 As Seen By GFAS in CAMS

Kaiser, Johannes; Parrington, Mark; Inness, Antje; Flemming, Johannes; Remy, Samuel; Huijnen, Vincent


Estimating volcanic ash emissions using retrieved satellite ash columns and inverse ash transport modelling using VolcanicAshInversion v1.2.1, within the operational eEMEP volcanic plume forecasting system (version rv4_17)

Brodtkorb, André R.; Benedictow, Anna Maria Katarina; Klein, Heiko; Kylling, Arve; Nyiri, Agnes; Valdebenito Bustamante, Alvaro Moises; Sollum, Espen; Kristiansen, Nina Iren

Accurate modeling of ash clouds from volcanic eruptions requires knowledge about the eruption source parameters including eruption onset, duration, mass eruption rates, particle size distribution, and vertical-emission profiles. However, most of these parameters are unknown and must be estimated somehow. Some are estimated based on observed correlations and known volcano parameters. However, a more accurate estimate is often needed to bring the model into closer agreement with observations.

This paper describes the inversion procedure implemented at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute for estimating ash emission rates from retrieved satellite ash column amounts and a priori knowledge. The overall procedure consists of five stages: (1) generate a priori emission estimates, (2) run forward simulations with a set of unit emission profiles, (3) collocate/match observations with emission simulations, (4) build system of linear equations, and (5) solve overdetermined systems. We go through the mathematical foundations for the inversion procedure, performance for synthetic cases, and performance for real-world cases. The novelties of this paper include a memory efficient formulation of the inversion problem, a detailed description and illustrations of the mathematical formulations, evaluation of the inversion method using synthetic known-truth data as well as real data, and inclusion of observations of ash cloud-top height. The source code used in this work is freely available under an open-source license and is able to be used for other similar applications.


Reassessing the role of urban green space in air pollution control

Venter, Zander; Hassani, Amirhossein; Stange, Erik; Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria

The assumption that vegetation improves air quality is prevalent in scientific, popular, and political discourse. However, experimental and modeling studies show the effect of green space on air pollutant concentrations in urban settings is highly variable and context specific. We revisited the link between vegetation and air quality using satellite- derived changes of urban green space and air pollutant concentrations from 2,615 established monitoring stations over Europe and the United States. Between 2010 and 2019, stations recorded declines in ambient NO2, (particulate matter) PM10, and PM2.5 (average of −3.14% y−1), but not O3 (+0.5% y−1), pointing to the general success of recent policy interventions to restrict anthropogenic emissions. The effect size of total green space on air pollution was weak and highly variable, particularly at the street scale (15 to 60 m radius) where vegetation can restrict ventilation. However, when isolating changes in tree cover, we found a negative association with air pollution at borough to city scales (120 to 16,000 m) particularly for O3 and PM. The effect of green space was smaller than the pollutant deposition and dispersion effects of meteorological drivers including precipitation, humidity, and wind speed. When averaged across spatial scales, a one SD increase in green space resulted in a 0.8% (95% CI: −3.5 to 2%) decline in air pollution. Our findings suggest that while urban greening may improve air quality at the borough- to- city scale, the impact is moderate and may have detrimental street- level effects depending on aerodynamic factors like vegetation type and urban form.
vegetation | urban planning | green infrastructure | ecosystem service | public health


Query-driven Qualitative Constraint Acquisition

Belaid, Mohamed-Bachir; Belmecheri, Nassim; Gotlieb, Arnaud; Lazaar, Nadjib; Spieker, Helge

Many planning, scheduling or multi-dimensional packing problems involve the design of subtle logical combinations of temporal or spatial constraints. Recently, we introduced GEQCA-I, which stands for Generic Qualitative Constraint Acquisition, as a new active constraint acquisition method for learning qualitative constraints using qualitative queries. In this paper, we revise and extend GEQCA-I to GEQCA-II with a new type of query, universal query, for qualitative constraint acquisition, with a deeper query-driven acquisition algorithm. Our extended experimental evaluation shows the efficiency and usefulness of the concept of universal query in learning randomly-generated qualitative networks, including both temporal networks based on Allen’s algebra and spatial networks based on region connection calculus. We also show the effectiveness of GEQCA-II in learning the qualitative part of real scheduling problems.


Environmental impacts and risks of car tire and styrene-butadiene rubber: microplastic pollution and contaminant transport

Halsband, Claudia; Sørensen, Lisbet; Khan, Farhan; Herzke, Dorte; Wagner, Stephan

Frontiers Media S.A.


Her fyrer vi mest og minst med ved

Grythe, Henrik (intervjuobjekt); Leine, Jan Erlend (journalist)


Design of multi-luminescent silica-based nanoparticles for the detection of liquid organic compounds

Delic, Asmira; Lindgren, Mikael; Psarrou, Maria; Economopoulos, Solon; Mariussen, Espen; Krivokapic, Alexander; Torsæter, Ole; Omran, Mohamed ; Einarsrud, Mari-Ann

Tracer testing in reservoir formations is utilised to determine residual oil saturation as part of optimum hydrocarbon production. Here, we present a novel detection method of liquid organic compounds by monodisperse SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) containing two luminophores, a EuIII:EDTA complex and a newly synthesised fluorophore based on the organic boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-moiety. The particles exhibited stable EuIII PL emission intensity with a long lifetime in aqueous dispersion. The fluorescence of the BODIPY was also preserved in the aqueous environment. The ratiometric PL detection technique was demonstrated by using toluene and 1-octanol as model compounds of crude oil. The optimal synthesis conditions were found to give NPs with a diameter of ~100 nm, which is suitable for transport through porous oil reservoir structures. The cytotoxicity of the NPs was confirmed to be very low for human lung cell and fish cell lines. These findings demonstrate the potential of the NPs to replace the hazardous chemicals used to estimate the residual oil saturation. Moreover, the ratiometric PL detection technique is anticipated to be of benefit in other fields, such as biotechnology, medical diagnostics, and environmental monitoring, where a reliable and safe detection of a liquid organic phase is needed.



The challenges of opportunistic sampling when comparing prevalence of plastics in diving seabirds: A multi-species example from Norway

Benjaminsen, Stine Charlotte; Dehnhard, Nina; Herzke, Dorte; Johnsen, Arild; Anker-Nilssen, Tycho; Bourgeon, Sophie; Collard, France; Langset, Magdalene; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Signe; Gabrielsen, Geir W.

There is a need for baseline information about how much plastics are ingested by wildlife and potential negative consequences thereof. We analysed the frequency of occurrence (FO) of plastics >1 mm in the stomachs of five pursuit-diving seabird species collected opportunistically.

Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) found emaciated on beaches in SW Norway had the highest FO of plastics (58.8 %), followed by emaciated common guillemots (Uria aalge; 9.1 %) also found beached in either SW or SE Norway. No plastics were detected in razorbills (Alca torda), great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), and European shags (Gulosus aristotelis) taken as bycatch in northern Norway. This is the first study to report on plastic ingestion of these five species in northern Europe, and it highlights both the usefulness and limitations of opportunistic sampling. Small sample sizes, as well as an unbalanced sample design, complicated the interpretation of the results.




Grythe, Henrik (intervjuobjekt); Leine, Jan Erlend (journalist)


Høysesong for dårlig luftkvalitet

Høiskar, Britt Ann Kåstad (intervjuobjekt); Brønn, Kathrine; Stenbek, Finn Børge (journalister)


Varsler dårlig luftkvalitet de neste dagene

Grythe, Henrik (intervjuobjekt); Stokholm, Ane Rostad (journalist)


Dårlig luftkvalitet

Grythe, Henrik (intervjuobjekt); Baisotti, Valentina (journalist)


Vedfyring kan gi farlig luft

Grythe, Henrik (intervjuobjekt); Aasen, Kristine Ramberg (journalist)


Opinion of the Scientific Committee on health, environmental and emerging risks on the safety of titanium dioxide in toys

Bodin, Laurent; Dusinska, Maria; Stepnik, Maciej; Wijnhoven, Susan; Autrup, Herman; von Goetz, Natalie; Vermeire, Theo G.; Hoet, Peter; Ion, Rodica Mariana; Krätke, Renate; Proykova, Ana; Scott, Marian; de Jong, Wim H.

The Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks advises the European Commission on whether the uses of titanium dioxide in toys and toy materials can be considered to be safe in light of the identified exposure, and the classification of titanium dioxide as carcinogenic category 2 after inhalation. Four toy products including casting kits, chalk, powder paints and white colour pencils containing various amounts of TiO2 as colouring agent were evaluated for inhalation risks. For the oral route, childrens’ lip gloss/lipstick, finger paint and white colour pencils were evaluated.

When it can be demonstrated with high certainty that no ultrafine fraction is present in pigmentary TiO2 preparations used in toys and toy materials, safe use with no or negligible risk for all products considered is indicated based on the exposure estimations of this Opinion. However, if an ultrafine fraction is assumed to be present, safe use is not indicated, except for white colour pencils.



Enhanced electrochemical activity of boron-doped nanocarbon functionalized reticulated vitreous carbon structures for water treatment applications

Kaczmarzyk, Iwona; Banasiak, Mariusz; Jakobczyk, Pawel; Sobaszek, Michał Sobaszek; Strugala, Gabriel; Seramak, Tomasz; Rostkowski, Pawel; Karczewski, Jakub; Sawczak, Mirosław; Ryl, Jacek; Bogdanowicz, Robert

An extraordinary charge transfer kinetics and chemical stability make a boron-doped diamond (BDD) a promising material for electrochemical applications including wastewater treatment. Yet, with flat geometrical surfaces its scaling options are limited. In this study, the reticulated Vitreous Carbon (RVC) served as a substrate for boron-doped diamondized nanocarbons (BDNC) film growth resulting with complex heterogeneity carbon structures with different morphologies defined by using electron microscopy, microtomography, activation energy studies, and Raman spectroscopy.

The proposed modification significantly boosted the electrochemical Fe(CN)63−/4− redox activity. The voltammetry and impedimetric studies revealed its origin as a significantly higher share of electrochemically active sites at the BDNC@RVC electrode (increased by 114 %) combined with enhanced heterogeneous rate constant (2× increase up to 8.24·10−4 cm s−1). Finally, to establish its applicability for water treatment, the BDNC@RVC was studied as the anode in electrochemical paracetamol decomposition. Boron-enriched nanoarchitecture formed at the RVC electrode surface substantially reduced the oxidation energy barrier manifested as a decrease in activation overpotential by 212 mV, which gave a consequence in a 78 % removal rate (in 4 h, at 0.7 mA cm−2), 12 % higher than bare RVC and yielding lower amounts of APAP decomposition intermediates.


Relative Impacts of Sea Ice Loss and Atmospheric Internal Variability on the Winter Arctic to East Asian Surface Air Temperature Based on Large-Ensemble Simulations with NorESM2

He, Shengping; Drange, Helge; Furevik, Tore; Wang, Hui-Jun; Fan, Ke; Graff, Lise Seland; Orsolini, Yvan Joseph Georges Emile G.

To quantify the relative contributions of Arctic sea ice and unforced atmospheric internal variability to the “warm Arctic, cold East Asia” (WACE) teleconnection, this study analyses three sets of large-ensemble simulations carried out by the Norwegian Earth System Model with a coupled atmosphere–land surface model, forced by seasonal sea ice conditions from preindustrial, present-day, and future periods. Each ensemble member within the same set uses the same forcing but with small perturbations to the atmospheric initial state. Hence, the difference between the present-day (or future) ensemble mean and the preindustrial ensemble mean provides the ice-loss-induced response, while the difference of the individual members within the present-day (or future) set is the effect of atmospheric internal variability. Results indicate that both present-day and future sea ice loss can force a negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation with a WACE pattern in winter. The magnitude of ice-induced Arctic warming is over four (ten) times larger than the ice-induced East Asian cooling in the present-day (future) experiment; the latter having a magnitude that is about 30% of the observed cooling. Sea ice loss contributes about 60% (80%) to the Arctic winter warming in the present-day (future) experiment. Atmospheric internal variability can also induce a WACE pattern with comparable magnitudes between the Arctic and East Asia. Ice-loss-induced East Asian cooling can easily be masked by atmospheric internal variability effects because random atmospheric internal variability may induce a larger magnitude warming. The observed WACE pattern occurs as a result of both Arctic sea ice loss and atmospheric internal variability, with the former dominating Arctic warming and the latter dominating East Asian cooling.

Science Press


Impact of Biomass Burning on Arctic Aerosol Composition

Gramlich, Yvette; Siegel, Karolina; Haslett, Sophie L.; Cremer, Roxana S.; Lunder, Chris Rene; Kommula, Snehitha M.; Buchholz, Angela; Yttri, Karl Espen; Chen, Gang; Krejci, Radovan; Zieger, Paul; Virtanen, Annele; Riipinen, Ilona; Mohr, Claudia

Emissions from biomass burning (BB) occurring at midlatitudes can reach the Arctic, where they influence the remote aerosol population. By using measurements of levoglucosan and black carbon, we identify seven BB events reaching Svalbard in 2020. We find that most of the BB events are significantly different to the rest of the year (nonevents) for most of the chemical and physical properties. Aerosol mass and number concentrations are enhanced by up to 1 order of magnitude during the BB events. During BB events, the submicrometer aerosol bulk composition changes from an organic- and sulfate-dominated regime to a clearly organic-dominated regime. This results in a significantly lower hygroscopicity parameter κ for BB aerosol (0.4 ± 0.2) compared to nonevents (0.5 ± 0.2), calculated from the nonrefractory aerosol composition. The organic fraction in the BB aerosol showed no significant difference for the O:C ratios (0.9 ± 0.3) compared to the year (0.9 ± 0.6). Accumulation mode particles were present during all BB events, while in the summer an additional Aitken mode was observed, indicating a mixture of the advected air mass with locally produced particles. BB tracers (vanillic, homovanillic, and hydroxybenzoic acid, nitrophenol, methylnitrophenol, and nitrocatechol) were significantly higher when air mass back trajectories passed over active fire regions in Eastern Europe, indicating agricultural and wildfires as sources. Our results suggest that the impact of BB on the Arctic aerosol depends on the season in which they occur, and agricultural and wildfires from Eastern Europe have the potential to disturb the background conditions the most.

American Chemical Society (ACS)


Towards a circular phosphorus economy in Norway - Strategies for integrating agriculture and aquaculture at multiple scales

Müller, Daniel Beat; Las Heras Hernandez, Miguel; Pandit, Avijit Vinayak; Øgaard, Anne Falk; Reitan, Kjell Inge

Phosphorus is a building block for all life and therefore plays an essential role in food production. Currently, large amounts of phosphorus enter the Norwegian food system from abroad in the form of mineral fertilizer, feedstuff, food, as well as micro-ingredients for animal feed, mainly in salmon farming. However, only a small fraction of this phosphorus ends up as food for humans, while the largest part accumulates in soil and water systems. This inefficiency entails two challenges:

1. Phosphorus supply is critical. Phosphate rock, the primary source of phosphorus for fertilizer and micro-ingredient production, is a limited resource that is highly concentrated in a few countries. Over 80% of global phosphate rock reserves are found in only 5 countries, and ~70% are located in Morocco and Morocco-occupied Western Sahara. The high concentration renders many countries vulnerable to geopolitical and economic instabilities and threatens food safety. The EU has therefore included phosphate rock on its list of Critical Raw Materials.
2. The accumulation of phosphorus in water systems can lead to eutrophication and dead zones, threatening fish stocks and other aquatic life. The high phosphorus concentration in soils due to overfertilization over long periods of time increases the danger of losses to water systems by runoff, further exacerbating the eutrophication risk.

A more circular use of phosphorus could simultaneously reduce supply and pollution risks. This is particularly relevant in Norway, where the government has an ambition to increase salmon and trout production from currently 1,5 to 5 million tons by 2050.

Achieving a circular phosphorus economy is a complex task: (i) The land- and the sea-based food systems are increasingly interlinked, for example through agricultural production of fish feed or the application of fish sludge on agricultural land. (ii) The Norwegian phosphorus cycle is increasingly interlinked with that of other countries as trade flows along the entire food supply chain are growing. (iii) Phosphorus fertilizers, both primary and recycled, are often contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium, uranium, and zinc, which tend to accumulate in soils. Cleaning the phosphorus cycle is therefore vital for soil fertility and human health.

This report is based on the MIND-P project, which studied the Norwegian phosphorus cycle for both agriculture and aquaculture at a farm-by-farm basis and explored options for increasing circularity. The project identified farm-level and structural barriers to managing phosphorus resources more effectively.

We propose four fundamental strategies to overcome these barriers:
1. Develop and maintain a national nutrient accounting.
2. Minimize phosphorus losses and accumulations at farm level.
3. Establish infrastructures for capturing, processing, trade, and use of manure and fish sludge to produce high-quality recycled fertilizers that are tailored to the needs of the users in Norway and abroad.
4. Adopt a regulatory framework to promote a market for recycled fertilizer.
The strategies proposed here were developed with the support of an Advisory Panel consisting of representatives from government, industry, industry associations, and NGOs in an online and two physical workshops conducted in 2022.



ACTRIS Data Portal

Rud, Richard Olav


Advanced biological models in vitro for hazard assessment of nanomaterials on human health

Camassa, Laura Maria Azzurra; Sadeghiankaffash, Hamed; Zheng, Congying; Ervik, Torunn Kringlen; Anmarkrud, Kristine Haugen; Elje, Elisabeth; Shaposhnikov, Sergey; Rundén-Pran, Elise; Zienolddiny-Narui, Shan


Nord Stream-sabotasjen sprengte metanrekorder lokalt, men forble likevel en dråpe i havet

Platt, Stephen Matthew (intervjuobjekt); Karlsen, Tia (journalist)


Development of an AOP-based IATA for genotoxicity

Demuynck, E.; Vanhaecke, T.; Thienpont, A.; Rogiers, V.; Winkelman, L. M. T.; Beltman, Joost B.; Reus, A.; Marcon, F.; Bossa, C.; Peijnenburg, A.; Machera, K.; Nikolopoulou, D.; Hatzi, V.; Paparella, M.; Kohl, Y.; Narui, Shan; Mollerup, Steen Kristen; Dusinska, Maria; Runden-Pran, E.; El Yamani, Naouale; Longhin, Eleonora Marta; Svendsen, Camilla; Gutleb, Arno; Pennings, J.; Luijten, Mirjam; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Laurent, O.; Armant, O.; Pachoulide, C.; Bouwmeester, Hans; Raitano, G.; Benfenati, Emilio; Wyrzykowska, E.; Stepnik, M.; Puzyn, T.; Audebert, Marc; Mertens, Birgit