New Scientist reveals an ugly, new problem from melting glaciers. They’re dosing penguins with DDT… and us with a whole bunch of other bygone pollutants:
The change means Adélie penguins have recently been exposed to the chemical, according to a new study.
The trace levels found will not harm the birds, but the presence of the chemical could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released because of climate change, says Heidi Geisz, a marine biologist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester in the US. She led a team that sampled DDT levels in the penguins.
She worries that glaciers could release an alphabet soup of chemical pollutants into the ocean, including PCBs and PBDEs – industrial chemicals that have been linked to health problems in humans.
“DDT is not the only chemical that these birds are ingesting and it is certainly not the worst,” Geisz says.