Europe’s triumphs and troubles are written in Swiss ice
Pollen frozen in ice in the Alps traces Europe’s calamities, since the time Macbeth ruled Scotland
New York Times
As plague swept through Europe in the mid-1300s, wiping out more than a third of the region’s population, a glacier in the Alps was recording the upheaval of medieval society.
While tens of millions of people were dying, pollen from the plants, trees and crops growing in Western Europe were being swept up by the winds and carried toward the Alps.
They became trapped in snowflakes and fell onto the region’s highest mountain, the Monte Rosa massif. Over time, the snow flattened into ever-growing layers of ice, storing a blow-by-blow record of regional environmental change.
Researchers in two separate studies documented dramatic changes beginning in the 1990s after decades of stability.
Warming temperatures and shrinking sea ice threaten a way of life.
Business is booming for the state’s peony growers. Will climate change ruin things?
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