Earliest evidence of large-scale human-produced air pollution in South America found

February 9, 2015 8:10 PM

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The north dome of the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru in 2003. Researchers at The Ohio State University found evidence of human-produced air pollution within the ice that predates the industrial revolution by more than 200 years. Photo by Paolo Gabrielli, courtesy of The Ohio State University.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—In the 16th century, during its conquest of South America, the Spanish Empire forced countless Incas to work extracting silver from the mountaintop mines of Potosí, in what is now Bolivia—then the largest source of silver in the world. The Inca already knew how to refine silver, but i...

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