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Lead trapped in Arctic ice reveals economic impact of wars, plagues

Lead trapped in Arctic ice reveals economic impact of wars, plagues

Science
July 10 (UPI) -- Today, economists use a wide variety of sophisticated tools to measure economic output. But how does one measure economic activity that happened 1,000 years ago? One way is measure changes in lead pollution levels trapped in ancient ice. Using Arctic ice cores, an international team of researchers successfully retraced the economic ups and down of the last 1,500 years. The findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed the the economic impacts of wars and plagues. "We all were surprised at how similarly lead pollution varied across this half of the Arctic and how closely those variations coincided with known historical events," Joe McConnell, director of DRI's Ultra-Trace Ice Core Chemistry Laboratory at the Desert ...