Lowest level of acidic pollutants in 80 years

icebergIceberg.Photo: pixabay.com

The level of acidifying pollutants in the atmosphere is at its lowest level since before industrialization took off in the 1930s.

The uplifting measurements come from surveys of the ice cap in Greenland and were published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology, said Niels Bohr from the Institute at Copenhagen University in a statement.

Acidic substances in the atmosphere may come from large volcanic eruptions and emissions from industry. Acid levels in the atmosphere can be measured by testing how well ice conducts electricity.

By drilling down into the ice,we can “count” back in time in the same way as with the growth rings of trees.

– We can see that acidic pollutants into the atmosphere from industry have fallen drastically since the acceleration of industrialization in the 1930s and the peak in the 1960s and 1970s, says Helle Astrid Kjær at the institute center for ice and climate. She has led the development of the method used to measure acidity in ice.

In the 1970s, both the US and Europe adopted rules demanding filters that took away much of the acidic pollution from factories.

– That’s what we can now see the results of. This pollution is now almost down to the level it was before industrialization really gained momentum in the 1930s, says Kjær.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today