CCI, Mayewski cited in Harvard Gazette article on ice core data related to Black Death
Harvard Gazette reported new research using a unique combination of ice core data and written historical records indicates that the cool, wet weather blamed for one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in human history affected a much wider area over a much longer period. The preliminary work suggests a deep, prolonged food shortage occurred in the years leading to the Black Death that swept through Europe in 1347, according to the article. The ice core data is part of a program linking traditional historical research with scientific data-collecting techniques. The program, called the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard (SoHP), is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute and researchers at Heidelberg University. The project’s UMaine researchers, led by CCI director Paul Mayewski, have developed a laser-based method of ice analysis that allows much higher resolution analysis of very thin ice layers and can go back farther than previous techniques, the article states.