The New York Times covered a new study that used natural history specimens to measure historical air pollution. In “The Dirty Secrets Saved in Dead Birds’ Feathers,” author Joanna Klein writes about how the soot on bird specimens collected since 1850 can be used to figure out urban air pollution before federal monitoring standards were created.

“We can estimate how much smoke was actually in the atmosphere,” said Shane DuBay, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at The Field Museum and the University of Chicago and co-author of the study. “It might have been worse than the best estimates have predicted.”

Read the article at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/science/birds-air-pollution.html.