Dirty Birds Are Refining Climate Models

Enterprising researchers working at the Field Museum in Chicago dusted off a collection of Horned Larks to get a better look at the dirt trapped in their wings.

That’s because these birds, some more than a century in age, together form a unique, physical record of industrial-era air pollution. Using soot that billowed from smokestacks and onto feathers during the factory¬†boom, two University of Chicago graduate students updated estimates of atmospheric soot levels in the early 20th centur

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