Commercial and industrial processes have emitted lead into the atmosphere for 1000’s of years, from the mining and smelting of silver ores to make currency for ancient Rome to the burning of fossil fuels in the present day. This lead air pollution travels on wind currents by the ambiance, ultimately deciding on places just like the ice sheet in Greenland and different elements of the Arctic.
Due to lead’s connection to valuable metals like silver and the truth that pure lead ranges within the atmosphere are shallow, scientists have discovered that lead deposits in layers of Arctic ice are a delicate indicator of total financial exercise all through historical past.
In a brand new research revealed within the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the University of Oxford, NILU — Norwegian Institute for Air Research, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Rochester, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research used thirteen Arctic ice cores from Greenland and the Russian Arctic to measure, date, and analyze lead emissions captured within the ice from 500 to 2010 CE, a time frame that prolonged from the Middle Ages via the Modern Period to the current.
This work builds on research printed by a few of the similar researchers in 2018, which confirmed how lead pollution in a single ice core from Greenland tracked the ups and downs of the European financial system between 1100 BCE and 800 CE, a period which included the Greek and Roman empires.