Sooty Birds Affect The Pollution Perception


Stephanie West, Staff Writer

The start of the climate change in the early 20th century may have been worse than scientists originally thought. This new revelation came from one of the more unlikely places: centuries-old dead birds.

The study was on carbon trapped in the feathers of songbirds from the past century. The carbon came from fossil fuels that were not burned using the right method, and the birds picked this up when they flew over the tops of bustling cities. This revelation has scientists revising their records of air pollution. The levels of carbon lingering in the feathers were contrary to the original belief, so in turn, the research on global warming and air pollution in US history changed as well. This was due to the increase in burning fossil fuels during the beginning of the twentieth century. The increase in burning resulted in extra carbon in the air. The carbon holds the sunlight in the air, and that in turn heats up the atmosphere.

This is a profound breakthrough considering that scientists have been trying to map out the levels of pollution throughout the years. There was no way of knowing if the reports were accurate or not, thus rendering it useless to the studies. When adding this new information onto the studies on air pollution and global warming, we start to get a better picture of how it happens, and how we could slow down and stop global warming.