Human activity contaminated glacier long before people arrived, study shows.
Human beings altered one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there, new research has found.
The study, publishing today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the byproducts of burning coal in Europe in the late 18th century made their way to the Dasuopu glacier in the central Himalayas, some 6,400 miles as the crow flies from London, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
“The Industrial Revolution was a revolution in the use of energy,” said Paolo Gabrielli, lead author of the study and a principal investigator and research scientist at The Ohio State University Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center and the School of Earth Sciences.
“And so the use of coal combustion also started to cause emissions that we think were transported by winds up to the Himalayas.”
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