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Changes in the Mercury Cycle: Now and Then

Thursday 11th February, 4 PM CET

Dr. Carl Lamborg 

Authors: Carl Lamborg, Zosia Baumann, Katlin Bowman, Paul Drevnick, Frankie Pavia, and Gretchen Swarr

ABSTRACT: Like most biogeochemical cycles, the mercury cycle is currently undergoing dramatic change. This most alarmingly includes the increase of mercury in the atmosphere and surface ocean of 3-7x. But this degree of perturbation is not necessarily unprecedented in Earth history. This presentation will explore the current perturbation in terms of the amount of mercury involved and where it currently resides in the environment, and then turns to examine the Last Glacial Maximum as well as other, older prominent examples in the geologic record. Do these past examples of the impacts of different mercury cycles have anything to tell us about our current and future situations? The causes are certainly different, but what of the biological impact?