What happens when the ice melts? Belugas, contaminants, ecosystems and human communities in the complexity of global change

Mar Pollut Bull. 2016 Jun 15;107(1):7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.03.050. Epub 2016 Apr 7.


In general, it is important to examine the whole spectrum of interrelated fields while comprehending pollution, climate change or the environment, because some of their relevances are expected and others not. This study aims at comparatively examining different but interrelated ways of acquiring and communicating information on environmental changes, focusing on pollution in the Arctic, in particular Greenland. In the context of climate change, it discusses how heavily polluted and stressed Arctic marine ecosystems may be affected when ice melts. Bridging cultures of knowledge, this study claims that traditional knowledge together with natural science and studies of contaminants in Arctic marine ecosystems can indicate behavioural factors, elements acting as additional stressors on animals and communities relying on them. Furthermore, it explains the role of scientific engagement with local communities in not only the identification and verification of stressors, enhancing our understanding of them, but also the proposal of solutions to related problems.

Keywords: Environmental effects; Greenland; Multi-stressors; Natural science; Pollutants; Traditional knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arctic Regions
  • Climate Change*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Pollution*
  • Greenland
  • Humans
  • Ice*


  • Ice