Skip to comments.Traces of Roman-era pollution stored in the ice of Mont Blanc
Posted on 05/14/2019 3:29:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The deepest layers of carbon-14 dated ice found in the Col du Dôme of the Mont Blanc glacier in the French Alps provide a record of atmospheric conditions in the ancient Roman era. Published in Geophysical Research Letters, the study, led by an international team and coordinated by a CNRS scientist at the Institute for Geosciences and Environmental Research (IGE)(CNRS/IRD/UGA/Grenoble INP)*, reveals significant atmospheric pollution from heavy metals: the presence of lead and antimony (detected in ancient alpine ice for the first time here) is linked to mining activity and lead and silver production by the ancient Romans, well before the industrial age, in fact.
Though less well dated than in Greenland, the Alpine record traces the major periods of prosperity in Roman antiquity (see figure 1), with two very distinct peaks in lead emissions noted during the Republican period (between 350 and 100 B.C.) and Imperial period (between 0 and 200 A.D.) Romans extracted lead ore (containing silver) to produce the lead needed to make plumbing and silver for coins. The silver was extracted from the lead by heating the ore to a temperature of 1200°C, releasing significant amounts of lead into the atmosphere. While this was already documented in continental peat records, obtaining global data at the European level was difficult. This first-ever study of Ancient-era pollution using Alpine ice provides better insight into the impact of these ancient emissions on the present-day environment in Europe, as well as a comparison with more recent pollution linked to the use of lead petrol between 1950 and 1985.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
Figure 1: (a) Lead concentrations in ice in Greenland (blue) and in the Col du Dôme (CDD, red). (b) Lead (red) and antimony (green) concentrations in ice from the CDD. On the bottom scale, age is indicated in years, from 1 A.D. onwards). Phases of increasing lead emissions were accompanied by a simultaneous rise in the presence of antimony - another toxic metal - in the alpine ice. Credit: Preunkert et al./CNRS Photo library
Figure 2: Simulations to assess the sensitivity of lead deposits in the Col du Dôme (yellow) to the geographical location of the emission. This map also indicates the location of major mines known to have existed in Roman antiquity. In the approximately 500-km region around the Alps, in blue, mines believed to have been active in the Republican period, and in red, those active later. Outside this radius, all other mines are indicated in red (all eras combined). Alpine ice is therefore representative of the high altitude atmosphere which receives emissions from France, Spain, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean Basin, and, to a lesser degree, Germany and England. Credit: Preunkert et al./CNRS Photo library
Now we know why ancient romans are now extinct
Mont Blanc ? or maybe... Mel Blanc?
Uh, faux news. All the ice on Mt.Blanc has long since melted. Just ask algore. Just like there’s no ice on Iceland anymore.
That did pop to mind almost instantly.
And just ONE Roman Era volcano puts out how much pollution?
GUARD #4: chuckling
PILATE: What's so... funny about the name "Biggus _ickus"?
CENTURION: Well, it's a joke name, sir.
The kinds of pollution they looked for were probably distinct from natural sources, else they'd not be able to study 'em.
Those damnable chariot SUVs!!!!
This was on one episode of Rome Empire without Limits, on Acorn. Mary Beard, the Cambridge classicist, went to that lab and they showed her a slice of the ice, filled with bubbles. All I could think of was how the ice was melting in their hands - liquid again for the first time in a couple thousand years.
All I could thing about what that Beard has gone full idiot.
It was annoying the way Mary Beard kept comparing ancient Rome to modern Europe, talking about asylum-seekers as the first people living in Rome and later accepting people from other countries as Romans. Nothing subtle about that!
Good catch, I'd actually seen that too (the episodes are on YouTube as well), wondering what they'd find in those bubbles. The scope of manufacturing in the Roman Empire is not always appreciated.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.