How is it that toxins, from thousands of miles away can enter an ecosystem that previously had no trace of these pollutants? The answer is the grasshopper effect, which iscausing a health crisis among the Inuit people in the Arctic Circle. The grasshopper effect is the name used to describe how the pollutants are able to travel.
Toxic pollutants released thousands ofmiles to the south evaporate in the warm climate. They then ride the winds until they reach the cold air of the Arctic, where they eventually fall to the eart.
As a result, both land and sea dwellinganimals ingest the toxins. On land the toxins are deposited into the plant life and eaten by Caribou, once source of food for the Inuit. In the water, the toxins are found in plankton, which fish inturn eat. These fish then become a source of food for seals and polar bears.
Recent studies show that Inuits have some of the world’s highest levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies.Biodiversity
Is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or on the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. The biodiversityfound on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species. The year 2010 has been declared as the International Year of Biodiversity.Rooterdam convention
The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions are participating in the 18th session of the Commission onSustainable Development which takes place in New York from 3 to 14 May 2010. At this session, the Commission will be focusing on reviewing progress and identifying policy actions in implementingChapters 19 and 20 of Agenda 21. In line with this, the Conventions will be taking an active role in the discussions, including through information sharing on the opportunities offered under the...