16th Century Air Pollution Discovered Frozen in Peru's Ice from Spanish Conquistadors

February 10, 2015 3:47 PM

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When did air pollution first appear in South America? Apparently, it was present even during the 16th century. Researchers have discovered remnants of air pollution in the Quelccaya Ice Cap, revealing a bit more about the past history of the region.

In the 16th century, during its conquest of South America, the Spanish Empire forced Incas to work extracting silver from the mountaintop mines of what is now Bolivia; at the time, it was the largest source of silver in the world. In 1572, the Spanish introduced a new technology that boosted product...

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