MSC-E continues co-operation with the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP) on assessment of Hg and POP pollution. In particular, the Centre took part in the TF HTAP virtual meetings focused on global emissions and modelling of Hg (May 18, 2022, http://htap.org/event/global-emissions-and-modeling-of-mercury/) and POPs/CEC (May 25, 2022, http://htap.org/event/global-emissions-and-modeling-of-pops-cec/). The meetings were aimed at discussion of practical programs for fulfilment of the near-term plans of Hg and POP activities formulated at the TF HTAP Workshops (April 2021).
The meeting on Hg, which was attended by over 50 experts, reviewed the current state of knowledge and on-going activities within various national and international research groups focused on Hg pollution assessment. In particular, available global Hg emissions inventories and future projections were presented and discussed. New developments in Hg multi-media modelling, model applications for near-term and longer-term decision-making and model assessment of Hg pollution in particular regions (the Arctic) were also overviewed. It was agreed that near-term TF HTAP activities on Hg would benefit if formulated in line with the on-going effectiveness evaluation procedure performed under the Minamata Convention on Mercury (MCM). To facilitate further development of the activities program it was decided to form an ad hoc group of scientific experts and hold a number of planning meetings.
During the meeting on POPs, the outcome of recent assessments prepared under AMAP and Stockholm Convention in a field of monitoring and assessment of pollution levels in the Arctic and on the global scale was presented. In addition, development and application of global inventories for unintentionally emitted legacy POPs was overviewed. A number of experts presented results of monitoring studies and progress in the development of advanced modelling techniques to study pollution levels, transport and fate of the CECs and microplastics. Plans of near-term TF HTAP activities in line with on-going and future work of experts in POPs/CECs were discussed. It was agreed to consider opportunities of multi-pollutant studies of combustion-related POPs (e.g. PAHs, PCDD/Fs) and particulate matter, and to continue reviewing the progress in the studies of CECs and microplastics on global and regional scales.
Two scientific workshops on Hg and POPs were jointly organized by Meteorological Synthesizing Center-East (MSC-E) and the Task Force on Hemispheric transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP) in April 2021. Within the next 2-5 years, the LRTAP Convention is likely to conduct a review of the effectiveness and sufficiency of the Protocols on Heavy Metals and POPs as revised in 2012 and 2009, respectively. The purpose of these workshops was to begin to design cooperative research activities that will enable TF HTAP to better contribute to such a future review. Specifically, to help TF HTAP better assess the regional and extra-regional contribution to long term trends in Hg and POPs and identify additional issues or measures that might be addressed by the LRTAP Convention to protect the environment and human health. Recognizing that Hg, POPs and Chemicals of Emerging Concern are addressed in the Minamata and Stockholm Conventions as well as other regional bodies, including but not limited to the Arctic Council and the European Union, the future work of TF HTAP should be designed to both build upon the findings of recent efforts in other forums and provide useful information back to these other forums to the extent possible.
The workshops were particularly focused on:
- Anticipating assessment needs of the LRTAP, Minamata, and Stockholm Conventions
- Reviewing progress made in other forums, including recent AMAP assessments.
- Identifying cooperative activities that can be undertaken in the short term (2 years) and longer term (4-5 years) to improve our understanding and ability to estimate Hg and POPs pollution levels, trends and source attribution.
Major aims and problems of Hg and POP pollution assessment were discussed by the scientific community including emission estimates, monitoring and modelling. Follow up meetings will be scheduled to further organize cooperative activities identified in the workshops.