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The authors detected nitrogen derived from human activities in lakes throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The 36 study lakes occur in remote locations hundreds of miles from the nearest city, industrial area or farm, and include lakes on the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska. The findings, recently published in the journal Science, are based on historical changes in the chemical composition of sediment deposits using an approach similar to aquatic archeology. More than three quarters of the lakes, ranging from the U.S. Rocky Mountains to northern Europe, showed a distinctive and coherent signal of nitrogen released from human activities since the Industrial Revolution.
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