04/01/2012 1 Comment
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
In the process of writing my piece about Lisa Jackson and the EPA, I got to reading about the EPA passing new mercury regulations. Their regulations are supposed to save the lives of some 11,000 people per year. So I figured I should learn something about mercury. It turned out to be quite surprising … here was my first surprise:
Figure 1. Natural and anthropogenic sources of atmospheric mercury emissions. About 7,500 tonnes of mercury are emitted into the atmosphere each year. Named countries show anthropogenic (human caused) emissions for that country.
My first surprise was that far and away the largest emitter of atmospheric mercury is the ocean. The ocean? I’d never have guessed that. Other huge emitters are various lightly vegetated land areas. In addition, forests, volcanoes, and geothermal vents are significant emitters … which is the reason for my new religious crusade:
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