There are several incentives for improving our understanding of the role of snow and ice as determinants of the behaviour of organic chemicals in the environment. Snow scavenges organic chemicals from the atmosphere both by adsorbing gaseous chemical to the ice surface and by scavenging aerosol particles with their associated chemical. Snow undoubtedly influences soil-air transfer of chemicals, and ice probably prevents water-air transfer in lakes, rivers and oceans. The period of snow melt may cause a pulse in organic chemical loading to receiving waters and to groundwater. This is obviously of particular importance in arctic and sub-arctic regions. Finally, it is possible that the glacial record of concentration may contain valuable information about chemical concentrations in past atmospheres, similarly to that of lead. Unlike lead, organic chemicals have an appreciable volatility. It is thus likely that when they are present in snowpack they are subject to evaporation back to the atmosphere. This complicates their behaviour and the interpretation of glacial records.
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- The Behaviour of Organic Chemicals in Snow
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg