News Center Maine reports on Miner’s glacier research

News Center Maine reported on the discovery of pesticide pollutants in a remote glacier and its meltwater by Kimberley Miner, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute. Miner led a team of researchers that analyzed ice core and meltwater samples from the Jarvis Glacier in Alaska and compiled the first data on organochlorine compounds (OCPs) in an Alaskan alpine glacier, News Center Maine reported. Concentrations of the pollutants are low, but they could be absorbed by more animals as the glacier continues to melt. People living in the area who rely on fish from local streams could face health impacts, according to Miner. “Though OCPs are only one contributor to emergent pollution within glacial ecosystems, they form part of a greater picture of the long-term fingerprint humans have left on even the most remote locations,” said Miner. Pesticides containing OCPs are banned in many countries because they can cause negative side effects ranging from fatigue and headache to death, the article states. The DDT in the Jarvis Glacier was likely transported through the atmosphere from Asia, where it is used to prevent malaria, Miner said. The research team also included UMaine researchers Karl Kreutz, Seth Campbell, Christopher Gerbi, Brian Perkins and Steve Bernsen; University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers Anna Liljedahl and Tiffany Gatesman; and Husson University researcher Therese Anderson, News Center Maine reported.