Studying Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Chemistry in the Arctic



Accentuated by a new record low in 2012, the springtime extent of Arctic perennial sea ice continues its precipitous decline. Consequently, the Arctic sea ice cover is increasingly dominated by seasonal sea ice, consisting of thinner and saltier ice with more leads (fractures), polynyas (areas of open water), nilas (sea ice crust less than about 10 centimeters thick), frost flowers (clusters of salty ice crystals on sea ice surface), and saline snow. The increase in the salinity of the sea ice cover is potentially conducive to ice-mediated photochemical and meteorological processes leading to ozone (O3) and gaseous elemental mercury depletion from the atmosphere.