There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
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“[S]traight forward, to the point, using household chemicals…this is the lab book for you.
I teach high school chemistry and this is exactly what [I] was looking for. Labs included simple household chemicals that could be easily found. Nice format, easy to follow along procedures, and touches on every topic of our chemistry curriculum.”
You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. It will take 1-2 weeks to get to you -- Order Now. It’s a great resource!
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*Some of you have already purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
“Scientists have discovered the world’s largest amount of mercury trapped inside the Arctic’s frozen ground. At least 15 trillion tons of mercury is estimated to be lying dormant in Arctic permafrost, according to a new study published in the American Geophysical Union. That’s 10 times more than the total amount of human-caused mercury released over the last 30 years."
“Permafrost is ground that remains frozen for longer than two consecutive years, and it may or may not contain significant amounts of ice.”
“In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, scientists recorded mercury concentrations within permafrost cores in Alaska and extrapolated how much of it is estimated to have been trapped in northern permafrost since the last Ice Age. The researchers found that permafrost soils of the north contain the largest store of mercury on the planet, nearly twice as much as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined. The mercury originally became trapped within the permafrost when atmospheric mercury bonded to organic material in the soil, then became frozen, stuck until melting.”
“The mercury trapped in the Arctic has been frozen in place since the last Ice Age. Mercury is mostly found in the atmosphere, but it can bind to particles in soil and water.
The latest findings are the results of nearly a decade of sediment core sampling in Alaska. Scientists measured 793 gigagrams, or 15 million gallons, of mercury in frozen soil samples. Researchers estimate the Arctic region is home to 1,656 gigagrams of mercury.”
“Mercury is a bioaccumulator, meaning that, up the food chain, species absorb higher and higher concentrations. That could be particularly dangerous for native people in the Arctic who hunt and fish for their food.
Exposure to even small amounts of mercury can cause serious health effects and poses particular risks to human development.”
“The natural mercury gets into the permafrost from the atmosphere. In a part of something called the mercury cycle, atmospheric mercury vapor binds with organic material in the soil, which then gets buried by sediment. As time passes, it gets frozen and turns into permafrost.
According to the calculations done by the team, there are 793 gigagrams, or more than 15 million gallons, of frozen mercury located in the northern hemisphere’s permafrost. According to the researchers, that’s about 10 times the amount of all human-caused mercury emissions in the last 30 years.
If the non-permafrost soils in the permafrost regions are included, there are 1,656 gigagrams of mercury tucked away there also. If it somehow entered the water, it could result in massive implications, as inorganic mercury can get transformed by microbes into methylmercury, which is a potent neurotoxin.
There have been cases of methylmercury poisoning in humans after they ate fish which lived in methylmercury-contaminated water. It can result in central nervous system damage, and even birth defects.”
“Mercury is a toxin that can cause birth defects and neurological damage in animals, including humans. And mercury levels accumulate as you go up the food chain, which is why king-of-the-jungle species like tuna and whale can be unsafe to eat in large quantities.
As thawing permafrost releases more mercury into the atmosphere and oceans, the implications for human health are troubling. Locally, many northern communities rely on subsistence hunting and fishing, two sources of possible mercury contamination. Globally, the toxin could travel great distances and collect in distant ecosystems.”
This is a brief article that may be useful as a homework assignment.
“Birds and mammals that eat fish are have more exposures to methylmercury than other animals in water ecosystems. Predators that eat these birds and mammals are also at risk. Methylmercury has been found in eagles, otters, and endangered Florida panthers. At high levels of exposure, methylmercury's harmful effects on these animals include:
- reduced reproduction,
- slower growth and development, and
- abnormal behavior. “
Other related blog posts that may be useful include:
09/24/2015 Facts about the element Mercury
01/27/2017 2016 Warmest Year on Record
03/24/2017 Toxic Mercury Levels in Sea Life
06/23/2017 Antarctica Melting
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Remember, buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Have a great weekend and, for some, enjoy your mid-Winter vacation!