New York Times cites More in article on Europe’s past frozen in Swiss ice

Alexander More, a historian and climate scientist at Harvard University and the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, was quoted in the New York Times article, “Europe’s triumphs and troubles are written in Swiss ice.” As plague swept through Europe in the mid-1300s, wiping out more than a third of the region’s population, pollen from the plants, trees and crops growing in Western Europe were swept up by the winds and carried toward the Alps, according to the article. Centuries later, the crop pollens trapped in a glacier reveal the collapse of agriculture associated with the pandemic, as bad weather led to poor harvests and fields lay fallow because there was no one left to work them, the article states. Although poets, landowners, chroniclers and others have noted these historical events, manual record-taking can be imperfect and limited in geography, and they don’t quantify their scale over the whole region, the NYT reported. Coupling ice-core data with historical records can yield new insights, More said. “The combination provides a level of insight that is just not matched by either type on their own,” he said.