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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 7:29 EDT

Latest Joel Blum Stories

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2010-05-06 09:57:58

Among the worrisome environmental effects of global warming is the thawing of Arctic permafrost---soil that normally remains at or below the freezing point for at least a two-year period and often much longer. Monitoring changes in permafrost is difficult with current methods, but a study by University of Michigan researchers offers a new approach to assessing the extent of the problem. The new study approach, which relies on chemical tracers in stream water, is described in the journal...

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2010-03-02 12:16:26

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With concern over mercury contamination of tuna on the rise and growing information about the health effects of eating contaminated fish, scientists would like to know exactly where the pollutant is coming from and how it's getting into open-ocean fish species. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology uses chemical signatures of nitrogen, carbon and mercury to get at the question. The work also paves the way to new means of tracking...

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2010-02-11 11:20:00

A study by University of Michigan researchers offers new insight into what happens to mercury deposited onto Arctic snow from the atmosphere. The work also provides a new approach to tracking mercury's movement through Arctic ecosystems. Mercury is a naturally occurring element, but some 2000 tons of it enter the global environment each year from human-generated sources such as coal-burning power plants, incinerators and chlorine-producing plants. "When released into the atmosphere in its...

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2009-12-09 10:55:00

With growing concerns about the effects of global warming on polar bears, it's increasingly important to understand how other environmental threats, such as mercury pollution, are affecting these magnificent Arctic animals. New research led by biogeochemists Travis Horton of the University of Canterbury and Joel Blum of the University of Michigan lays the groundwork for assessing current and future effects of mercury deposition and climate change on polar bears. The study appears in the...

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2008-10-10 12:47:08

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new tool that uses natural "fingerprints" in coal to track down sources of mercury polluting the environment. The research is published in today's online issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Mercury is a naturally occurring element, but some 2000 tons of it enter the environment each year from human-generated sources such as incinerators, chlorine-producing plants and coal-burning power plants. Mercury is deposited...