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Digging in the Mire for the Air of Ancient Times

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Science  07 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5416, pp. 900-901
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5416.900

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BERN-- Certain types of peat bogs are proving to be invaluable archives of trace metals, capturing year-by-year records of these atmospheric contaminants from the rain and snow that fall on the surface, as several recent studies including a 4000-year record of mercury deposition in a Spanish bog (see report on page 939) show. The records reflect human activities such as mining; recent results have shown that they also open a window on temperature and humidity trends over thousands of years.