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Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 1;601-602:1814-1823. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.038. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

The influence of climate change on the accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, black carbon and mercury in a shrinking remote lake of the southern Tibetan Plateau.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address: wangxp@itpcas.ac.cn.
3
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
4
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
5
China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing 100083, China.

Abstract

A sediment core from a remote lake, Pumoyum Co, located in the southern TP, was analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), black carbon (BC) and mercury. Concentrations ranged from 30 to 229ng/g for PAHs, 0.46 to 1.48mg/g for BC and 10 to 30ng/g for mercury. Significant correlations were found among the concentrations of PAHs, BC and mercury, suggesting the sources of these pollutants to be similar; mainly from combustion processes. Further diagnosis of the likely sources of BC and PAHs suggested that petroleum combustion has been one of the increasing sources in the last few decades, but biomass burning remains the dominant source of these pollutants. The historic trends of the three pollutants closely followed historic BC emission trends from Europe (before 1970) and southern Asia (after 2000). With economic development in southern Asia, concentrations of pollutants in the sediments of Pumoyum Co have increased during the past decade. However, the accumulation fluxes of the pollutants during that period remained stable, which may be due to the recent low precipitation and less catchment erosion of Pumoyum Co (experienced a drier climate and shrinking of lake area).

KEYWORDS:

Climate warming; Combustion pollutants; Lake sediment; Tibetan plateau

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