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AGU Journal Highlights -- March 19, 2008
Date:3/19/2008

clined after pollution controls phased out leaded gasoline, little is known about lead pollution trends in regions surrounding the North Pacific. Aerosol monitoring stations in western North America have only been operating since the late 1970s and thus cannot quantify lead levels prior to industrialization. Using an ice core collected from Mt. Logan, in Canadas Yukon Territory, Osterberg et al. study ice layers to develop the first continuous, 8000-year-long record of North Pacific atmospheric lead concentrations. They find that the largest rise in North Pacific lead pollution occurred after 1970, postdating the implementation of pollution controls in North America and Europe. The authors hypothesize that the elevated lead levels stem from the later industrialization and more relaxed pollution regulations in Asian countries compared to North America and Europe.

Title: Ice core record of rising lead pollution in the North Pacific atmosphere

Authors: E. Osterberg, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.; also at Department of Earth Science, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.; now at Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A.;

P. Mayewski and K. Kreutz: Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.; also at Department of Earth Science, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.;

D. Fisher, C. Zdanowicz, J. Zheng, M. Demuth, and J. Bourgeois: Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;

M. Handley and S. Sneed: Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.;

M. Waskiewicz: Datalogging North, Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL032680, 2008; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL032680


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Contact: Peter Weiss
pweiss@agu.org
202-777-7507
American Geophysical Union
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