This paper combines the data sets available today for 14C-age calibration of the last 60 ka. By stepwise synchronization of paleoclimate signatures, each of these sets of 14C-ages is compared with the U/Th-dated Chinese Hulu Cave speleothem records, which shows global paleoclimate change in high temporal resolution. By this synchronization we have established an absolute-dated Greenland-Hulu chronological framework, against which global paleoclimate data can be referenced, extending the 14C-age calibration curve back to the limits of the radiocarbon method. Based on this new, U/Th-based Greenland(Hulu) chronology, we confirm that the radiocarbon timescale underestimates calendar ages by several thousand years during most of Oxygen Isotope Stage 3. Major atmospheric 14C variations are observed for the period of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition, which has significant implications for dating the demise of the last Neandertals. The early part of "the transition" (with 14C ages > 35.0 ka 14C BP) coincides with the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion. This period is characterized by highly-elevated atmospheric 14C levels. The following period ca. 35.0-32.5 ka 14C BP shows a series of distinct large-scale 14C age inversions and extended plateaus. In consequence, individual archaeological 14C dates older than 35.0 ka 14C BP can be age-calibrated with relatively high precision, while individual dates in the interval 35.0-32.5 ka 14C BP are subject to large systematic age-'distortions,' and chronologies based on large data sets will show apparent age-overlaps of up to ca. 5,000 cal years. Nevertheless, the observed variations in past 14C levels are not as extreme as previously proposed ("Middle to Upper Paleolithic dating anomaly"), and the new chronological framework leaves ample room for application of radiocarbon dating in the age-range 45.0-25.0 ka 14C BP at high temporal resolution.
Naturally occurring radionuclides, in particular, polonium-210 (210Po), have a greater contribution than anthropogenic radionuclides to the annual effective dose received by the general public due to consumption of seafood. Knowledge of potential trophic sources and transfer of 210Po to seabird species and subsequently to the Greenlandic people is, however, still poor. Here, we assess the transfer of 210Po and 210Pb to seabirds sampled during autumn and winter 2017 and 2018 in Greenland and provide a dose assessment. The activity concentrations of 210Po in muscle and liver, respectively, ranged from 0.2 ± 0.1 Bq kg-1 w.w. in glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) to 21.2 ± 22.6 Bq kg-1 w.w. in thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) and from 32.0 ± 9.4 Bq kg-1 w.w. in common eider (Somateria mollissima) to 40.5 ± 49.0 Bq kg-1 w.w. in thick-billed murre. 210Po was non-uniformly distributed in the body of thick-billed murre. Kidneys and feathers showed higher 210Po activity concentrations than heart and bone. The 210Po/210Pb activity concentration ratios are higher than unity, indicating that 210Po is preferentially taken up by seabirds compared to its progenitor 210Pb. The derived annual absorbed dose from 210Po to the whole body of thick-billed murre was 6.4 × 102 ± 3.0 × 102 µGy. The annual effective dose to the average adult and representative person in Greenland due to ingestion of 210Po in seabirds was estimated to 13.0 µSv and 57.0 µSv, respectively. This derived dose is low and poses a slight risk, and risk communication is therefore deemed unnecessary.
We report the first high-resolution record of arsenic (As) observed in Greenland snow and ice for the periods 1711-1970 and 2003-2009 AD. The results show well-defined large-scale atmospheric pollution by this toxic element in the northern hemisphere, beginning as early as the 18th century. The most striking feature is an abrupt, unprecedented enrichment factor (EF) peak in the late 1890s, with an ~30-fold increase in the mean value above the Holocene natural level. Highly enriched As was evident until the late 1910s; a sharp decline was observed after the First World War, reaching a minimum in the early 1930s during the Great Depression. A subsequent increase lasted until the mid-1950s, before decreasing again. Comparisons between the observed variations and Cu smelting data indicate that Cu smelting in Europe and North America was the likely source of early anthropogenic As in Greenland. Despite a significant reduction of ~80% in concentration and ~60% in EF from the 1950s to the 2000s, more than 80% of present-day As in Greenland is of anthropogenic origin, probably due to increasing As emissions from coal combustion in China. This highlights the demand for the implementation of national and international environmental regulations to further reduce As emissions.
Viral hepatitis has been known to occur among the Greenland population endemically as well as in smaller and larger epidemics. A large epidemic of acute hepatitis comprising around 9% of the entire population, viz. more than 4000 notified cases, swept through Greenland between October 1970 and December 1972. 996 verified cases were seen in the Godthaab district and subjected to more detailed studies. Most of the Godthaab cases were seen among children and adolescents, and no disease was observed in children less than one year of age. Out of 996 diagnosed cases 9 showed acute hepatic failure with coma. Two further cases of hepatic coma were referred for treatment from outside the district. Three of these 11 patients recovered spontaneously. Of the residual 8 cases 6 were treated with exchange transfusions and steroids. Four of these survived and recovered completely. No lasting sequelae had been registered in any of the surviving cases of the epidemic up to June 1975 (2 1/2 years after cessation of the epidemic). Prophylaxis with gamma-globulin was undertaken in a medium-sized settlement in which practically the entire population received gamma-globulin when the first case of hepatitis was diagnosed. In this settlement only 7 out of 297 inhabitants contracted hepatitis. By contrast, in a similar settlement where no gamma-globulin was given, more than 30% of the population developed icteric hepatitis. The clinical features and the prophylactic effect of gamma-globulin seem to indicate that the epidemic was caused by the hepatitis A virus. In accordance with this, transitory Australia-antigenaemia was demonstrated in the acute phase in only 2.6% of the cases, possibly inidicating a small admixture of acute hepatitis type B to the epidemic predominantly caused by hepatitis A virus.
In the last decades, an increasing rate of gastroschisis but not of omphalocele has been reported worldwide. Greenland is the world's largest island, but 80% is covered by an ice cap, it has a small population of around 56,000 peoples (as of 2016). The occurrence of abdominal wall defects has never been investigated in Greenland.
The present study is based on data retrieved from three nationwide and two local registries in the Greenlandic health care system over 27 years (1989-2015).
We identified 33 infants with abdominal wall defects born in the study time period. All cases were reclassified to 28 cases of gastroschisis, four cases of omphalocele, and there was 1 infant in the indeterminate group. The point prevalence at birth for gastroschisis increased significantly from 8 to 35 (average 10.7) per 10,000 liveborn and -stillborn infants. Mothers below 20 years of age represented 23% of all cases and the prevalence for this group was 17 per 10,000 liveborn and stillborn. Perinatal mortality for infants with gastroschisis was high (18%), and 1 year survival was 71%. For omphalocele, the prevalence varied from 8 to 11 per 10,000 liveborn and stillborn infants. There was no increasing rate in the period, further highlighting an etiological difference between gastroschisis and omphalocele.