In a new study, scientists and archaeologists from the University of Nottingham, the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, and Harvard University, showed that the highest levels of air pollution before the modern era occurred around 800 years ago.The new data represents the highest-resolution, most detailed and chronologically accurate record in existence for pollution, climate change and economic growth over the past two millennia.The natural record was retrieved from an alpine glacier (Colle Gnifetti) well known among researchers in Germany, Switzerland (as reported in the New York Times), Italy, and the U.S. for the quality of its ice which, due to ideal conditions at the site, allows scientists to chemically identify changes in pollution and climate year by year, and even season by season, thanks to the use of the Climate Change Institute’s cutting-edge laser technology and expertise. Historians then painstakingly matched the data with documents preserved in the archives and libraries of Europe, bringing history to life with a warning for the present.“The mid-late 12th century had the same levels of lead pollution as we see in the mid-17th century and even in 1890, so our notions of atmospheric pollution starting in the industrial revolution are wrong,” said Christopher Loveluck of the University of Nottingham.Comparing data obtained by analyzing glacial ice and historical records, the team showed how political crises and wars left a mark on Europe’s economic growth and environment under some of the most celebrated English kings, Henry II, John Lackland, and Richard the Lionheart.“By shining a laser on centuries-old ice we’ve learned to read glaciers as we read a book. We’re doing both to shed light on economic history and its health implications,” added Alexander More of the Climate Change Institute, Long Island University, and Science of the Human Past at Harvard.,Even low levels of exposure to lead, a toxic metal, can reduce brain function and result in lifelong health complications. Humans have mined and used lead for centuries in coins, roofs, water pipes, and paint.Typically, pre-industrial civilization serves as a baseline to compare today’s pollution levels. However, contrary to assumptions of a much cleaner yesterday, humans have released toxic chemicals into the environment for much longer than the last two centuries. The new study shows that before industry, very high levels of lead pollution came from Great Britain, particularly the mines of Carlisle and the Peak District.In addition to its historic findings, the work of the British-American researchers represents a major innovation in the study of pollution, health and economic history.Michael McCormick, chair of the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard emphasized the consilience of scientific and historical findings.“Thanks to this new technology, those 12th century particulates embedded in the ice core converge with Britain’s medieval royal archives, the Pipe Rolls, to track yearly lead production, casting sharp new light on the dynamics of the medieval economy,” he said.“We have improved the sampling resolution in ice cores from the previous standard of 100 samples per meter to 10,000 samples per meter meaning that even in old, compressed ice at depth, high fidelity data is emerging that remained masked or ‘smoothed out’ in lower resolution records. This leap in data accessibility opens up new realms of investigation into the association between climate, pollution and society,” said Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine.The research is funded by Arcadia, a charitable foundation of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
By Mike HughesHAYS, Kan. (March 27-28) – Jesse Sobbing and Clay Sellard were $1,000 IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature winners at RPM’s Sunflower Classic special.Sobbing took the lead on lap nine and drove on for the Friday checkers. Four-time national champion David Murray Jr. settled in the runner-up spot, followed by Mike Densberger, Dylan Sherfick, and Cody Gearhart.On Saturday, Sellard started outside pole in the 25-lapper, jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back in the caution-free event to make his way to victory lane. Sobbing chased Sellard the second half of the race but settled for the runner-up spot, followed by Gearhart, Ryan Heger and Jeremy Zorn.More than 150 race teams from eight states competed in the season lidlifter at Hays.Kyle Vanover and Mike Nichols were $750 IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature winners.Vanover led all 25 laps on Friday but was challenged throughout the race by Jason Rogers and Nichols. Rogers held off Nichols for runner-up honors.A double winner at last year’s Sunflower show, Nichols took the Saturday lead on lap 10 from Nick Tubbs. Casey Woken finished second in the caution-filled event, followed by Vanover.First in $500 to win Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod mains went to Daniel Gottschalk and Clay Money.Kurtis Pihl led the first four laps of Friday’s 20-lap feature before Gottschalk took control and led the rest of the way. Money got by Tyler Frye on the last lap for second.Money led the distance on Saturday, the same race he won a year ago. Frye chased him most of the race but settled for second. Gottschalk was third.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock victories, also good for $500, went to Andrew Burg and Jesse VanLaningham.Burg made his first ever appearance at RPM Speedway and made it worth the long drive as he led all 20 laps on Friday. Kyle Bond and Colton Pfeifer were next to the stripe.Duane Wahrman led the opening lap on Saturday before VanLaningham took a lead he would not relinquish. Adam Armstrong finished in the second spot with Garrett Hager third.The only double winner of the weekend was Ramsey Meyer, $200 richer for each Mach-1 Sport Compact victory.Meyer led all 12 laps of Friday’s caution-free feature. Second was Kiowa Higdon and third went to Art Herzog.Meyer took the Saturday lead from Herzog on lap four. Higdon passed Herzog for second.The Sunflower Classic was sponsored by Xtreme Motorsports and D & B Motors and powered by Casey’s General Stores,March 27 Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Jesse Sobbing; 2. David Murray Jr.; 3. Mike Densberger; 4. Dylan Sherfick; 5. Cody Gearhart; 6. Eddie Belec; 7. Kyle Rohleder; 8. Ryan Heger; 9. Jeremy Frenier; 10. Greg Gustus; 11. Corey Lagroon; 12. Anthony Roth; 13. Mike Petersilie; 14. Joel Lane; 15. Jason Schoenberger; 16. Nate Moore; 17. Jesse Richter; 18. Rick Fierro; 19. Joe Cleveland; 20. Dusty Springer; 21. Nick Link; 22. Jeremy Zorn; 23. Clay Sellard; 24. Brian Calhoon.Stock Cars – 1. Kyle Vanover; 2. Jason Rogers; 3. Mike Nichols; 4. Tyler Tipton; 5. Casey Woken; 6. Nick Tubbs; 7. Jody York; 8. Chad Sterling; 9. Trevor Schmidt; 10. Andrew Altenburg; 11. Tyler Hahn; 12. Nolan Remus; 13. Michael Pepper; 14. Kevin Wagoner; 15. Lloyd Meeske; 16. Cody Zimmerman; 17. Aaron Gray; 18. Josh Crombie; 19. B.J. Wagoner; 20. Geoff Jermark; 21. Brandon Conkwright; 22. Jason Schoenberger; 23. Luke Pfannenstiel; 24. Justin Lewis.Northern SportMods – 1. Daniel Gottschalk; 2. Clay Money; 3. Tyler Frye; 4. Dakota Sproul; 5. Joe Couse; 6. Austin Carter; 7. Trenton Kleweno; 8. Kurtis Pihl; 9. Ryan Moser; 10. Jeremy Sigler; 11. Brian Cross; 12. Pat Bedore; 13. Cameron Meyer; 14. Justin Gibbens; 15. Shane Meeks; 16. Kenny Schmidt; 17. Bentley Pywell; 18. Angel Munoz; 19. Tyler Watts; 20. Brendon Damon; 21. Kevin Tabor; 22. Henry Henderson; 23. Bryan Herrick; 24. Blaine Walt.Hobby Stocks – 1. Andrew Burg; 2. Kyle Bond; 3. Colton Pfeifer; 4. Jesse VanLaningham; 5. Tyrel Smith; 6. Kyle Pfeifer; 7. Brock Beeter; 8. Eric Cross; 9. Monte Honas; 10. Zach Olmstead; 11. Garrett Hager; 12. Jamie Songer; 13. Tommy Fose; 14. Cody Williams; 15. Reagan Sellard; 16. Brady Bencken; 17. Brandon Beeter; 18. Shay Simoneau; 19. Duane Wahrman; 20. Brian Stich; 21. Ron Wehling; 22. Adam Armstrong; 23. Cody Graham; 24. Jason Sucky.Sport Compacts – 1. Ramsey Meyer; 2. Kiowa Higdon; 3. Art Herzog; 4. Kirk Pfannenstiel; 5. Randy Murphy; 6. Brandon Lobdell; 7. Andrew McClellan; 8. Nathan Barton.March 28 Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Sellard; 2. Sobbing; 3. Gearhart; 4. Heger; 5. Zorn; 6. Sherfick; 7. Belec; 8. Murray; 9. Jeff Hunter; 10. Frenier; 11. Larry Sutton; 12. Rohleder; 13. Moore; 14. Roth; 15. Jacob Adler; 16. Cleveland; 17. Densberger; 18. Schoenberger; 19. Richter; 20. Link; 21. Fierro; 22. Calhoon; 23. Trent Gray; 24. Heath Steffen.Stock Cars – 1. Nichols; 2. Woken; 3. Vanover; 4. Sterling; 5. Nick Tubbs; 6. Shannon Maughlin; 7. Hahn; 8. Tipton; 9. Remus; 10. Altenburg; 11. Jeff Tubbs; 12. Jason Davis; 13. Jeff Whiting; 14. Chase Conaway; 15. Robert Rutherford; 16. Trevor Schmidt; 17. York; 18. Lewis; 19. Conkwright; 20. Pfannenstiel; 21. Zimmerman; 22. B.J. Wagoner; 23. Rogers; 24. Schoenberger.Northern SportMods – 1. Money; 2. Frye; 3. Gottschalk; 4. Walt; 5. Delbert Smith; 6. Carter; 7. Nate Ginest; 8. Kleweno; 9. Couse; 10. Munoz; 11. Moser; 12. Henderson; 13. Sigler; 14. Meyer; 15. Sproul; 16. Kaid Calhoon; 17. Gibbens; 18. Pywell; 19. Eric Pfeifer; 20. Cross; 21. Thomas Nelson; 22. C.J. Pfannenstiel; 23. Watts; 24. Damon.Hobby Stocks – 1. VanLaningham; 2. Armstrong; 3. Hager; 4. Tyrel Smith; 5. Bond; 6. Bencken; 7. Jeromy Wagner; 8. Cross; 9. Brock Beeter; 10. Wahrman; 11. Songer; 12. Fose; 13. Colton Pfeifer; 14. Stich; 15. Olmstead; 16. Sucky; 17. Jace Smith; 18. Simoneau; 19. Brandon Beeter; 20. Kurt Hansen; 21. Graham; 22. Kyle Pfeifer; 23. Williams; 24. Honas.Sport Compacts – 1. Meyer; 2. Pfannenstiel; 3. Herzog; 4. Higdon; 5. Murphy; 6. Lobdell; 7. McClellen; 8. Barton.