Arctic Lake Pollution Dates to the Middle Ages

The Toronto Star: Slimy pollution in a shallow Arctic lake is the result of Thule Inuit hunters who dumped sewage and fertilizer into the water between the 13th and 17th centuries. The lake's algae population today continues to be different from other high Arctic lakes because the water contains higher levels of calcium and phosphorus, a legacy from four centuries of whale slaughtering and mounds of still-decaying whale bones. "The perturbations to the system are still being felt centuries afterwards," said Marianne Douglas, the University of Toronto geology professor who has led this study.