Helen M. Amos

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[1] Elevated mercury (Hg) in marine and terrestrial ecosystems is a global health concern because of the formation of toxic methylmercury. Humans have emitted Hg to the atmosphere for millennia, and this Hg has deposited and accumulated into ecosystems globally. Here we present a global biogeochemical model with fully coupled atmospheric, terrestrial, and(More)
Atmospheric deposition of Hg(II) represents a major input of mercury to surface environments. The phase of Hg(II) (gas or particle) has important implications for deposition. We use long-term observations of reactive gaseous mercury (RGM, the gaseous component of Hg(II)), particle-bound mercury (PBM, the particulate component of Hg(II)), fine particulate(More)
The intentional use of mercury (Hg) in products and processes ("commercial Hg") has contributed a large and previously unquantified anthropogenic source of Hg to the global environment over the industrial era, with major implications for Hg accumulation in environmental reservoirs. We present a global inventory of commercial Hg uses and releases to the(More)
Observations of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) at sites in North America and Europe show large decreases (∼ 1-2% y(-1)) from 1990 to present. Observations in background northern hemisphere air, including Mauna Loa Observatory (Hawaii) and CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container) aircraft flights,(More)
Mercury (Hg) is a global health concern due to its toxicity and ubiquitous presence in the environment. Here we review current methods for measuring the forms of Hg in the atmosphere and models used to interpret these data. There are three operationally defined forms of atmospheric Hg: gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM), and(More)
Methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in aquatic food webs. Human activities, including industry and mining, have increased inorganic mercury inputs to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Methylation of this mercury generates methylmercury, and is thus a public health concern. Marine methylmercury is a particular concern in the Arctic, where(More)
Rivers are an important source of mercury (Hg) to marine ecosystems. Based on an analysis of compiled observations, we estimate global present-day Hg discharges from rivers to ocean margins are 27 ± 13 Mmol a(-1) (5500 ± 2700 Mg a(-1)), of which 28% reaches the open ocean and the rest is deposited to ocean margin sediments. Globally, the source of Hg to the(More)
Centuries of anthropogenic releases have resulted in a global legacy of mercury (Hg) contamination. Here we use a global model to quantify the impact of uncertainty in Hg atmospheric emissions and cycling on anthropogenic enrichment and discuss implications for future Hg levels. The plausibility of sensitivity simulations is evaluated against multiple(More)
RATIONALE Triple oxygen isotopes of sulfate and nitrate are useful metrics for the chemistry of their formation. Existing measurement methods, however, do not account for oxygen atom exchange with quartz during the thermal decomposition of sulfate. We present evidence for oxygen atom exchange, a simple modification to prevent exchange, and a correction for(More)
[1] Long-term observations at Arctic sites (Alert and Zeppelin) show large interannual variability (IAV) in atmospheric mercury (Hg), implying a strong sensitivity of Hg to environmental factors and potentially to climate change. We use the GEOS-Chem global biogeochemical Hg model to interpret these observations and identify the principal drivers of spring(More)