GOS4M Knowledge Hub

Welcome to the GOS4M Knowledge Hub in support of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

GOS4M is a GEO Flagship aimed to support implementation of the Convention.

This Knowledge Hub as a part of the GEO Knowledge Hub can support decision-makers in the assessment of the effectiveness of measures by co-designing different policy scenarios at national or regional levels. It will permit the assessment of mercury fate, from sources to receptors, and estimate of costs associated with policies. This Virtual Laboratory includes complex chemo-physical atmospheric models that pre-process data and genearte depositions over land and oceans, bio-geochemical models to simulate processes in the ocean and ecological models to estimate mercury uptake by the throphic net. Effect of emission reduction can be applied and impact on seafood observed.

Policy Questions

Mercury is harmful when ingested. This occurs primarily through eating seafood and is of particular concern for pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children. The Knoewledge Hub aims to to support the Effectiveness Evaluation of the Minamata Convetion by answering Policy Questions:


Source of mercury pollution

A1: Mercury in the environment comes from both anthropogenic and natural sources. While natural sources cannot be controlled, the major anthropogenic source sectors are known, and potentially can be controlled. Mercury may be emitted to the atmosphere or released to land and water bodies. The most recent Global Mercury Assessment 2018 published in 2018 by UN Environment. A tool to visualize Global Mercury Emissions by Country and by Source Sector can be explored here.


Mercury measurements

A2: Mercury concentrations in ambient air are monitored at numerous sites, mostly within regional and global networks. The GOS4M was established to create a partnership to provide access to these measurements.
GOS4M provides two option for data access:
GOS4M Catalog reports data and services with related metadata.
GOS4M mirror portal supports information/data searches and allows users to discover who is measuring what, and where.


Hermes: from emissions to deposition

A3a: Complex atmospheric chemico-physical models are used simulate mercury transport, transformation and depostion from a specific emission database. Model outputs are then used as input to the Hermes Decision Support System (HDSS), which is a web-based downstream service that calculates the effects of perturbing anthropogenic mercury emissions on the resulting short term (nominally after one year) deposition pattern. HDSS allows users to adjust the amount and type of anthropogenic mercury emissions in 13 source regions and for major industrial sectors, and to evaluate in real time how this impacts deposition in 21 receptor regions.
Output from HDSS is used to run a geo-chemical model and examine mercury fate in different oceanic compartments.


Mercury uptake

A3b: An ecological model then assesses the uptake of mercury from marine waters into the trophic net, giving an indicator of the impact on humans, wildlife and ecosystems. (Tool under construction).



GOS4M Knowledge Hub: from data to knowledge.

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