Skip to comments.Research team suggests European Little Ice Age came about due to reforestation in New World
Posted on 10/17/2011 6:43:48 AM PDT by Red Badger
A team comprised of geological and environmental science researchers from Stanford University has been studying the impact that early European exploration had on the New World and have found evidence that they say suggests the European cold period from 1500 to 1750, commonly known as the Little Ice Age, was due to the rapid decline in native human populations shortly after early explorers arrived.
Following up on their paper published in 2008, the team has now brought their findings before the Geological Society of America. The researchers say that the population decrease, which came about due to the introduction of previously unknown diseases, led to the rapid reforestation of the Americas. This led to a sudden increase in the amount of carbon dioxide being pulled from the air, which meant the atmosphere wasnt able to hold as much heat, which led to colder air covering Europe.
The team, led by visiting scholar Richard Nevle, came to this conclusion after analyzing charcoal remnants in soil and lake sediments left behind by early American inhabitants as they burned forests to make room for farmland. They found that starting approximately 500 years ago, the charcoal accumulations came to a virtual standstill, coinciding with the death of native peoples.
Nevle et al then got out their calculators and crunched the numbers. They estimate that for a population of some 40 to 80 million indigenous people, the total amount of deforested land would likely have amounted to something the size of California. And since most estimates suggest that close to 90 percent of the native peoples died or were killed after the Europeans arrived, that meant most of that land returned to forest. That many trees, they say, all of a sudden appearing, almost as if out of nowhere, could have resulted in a loss of some 2 to 17 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air.
To further bolster their argument, they say that core samples taken from the ice in Antarctica have air bubbles in them that show a reduction of carbon dioxide by 6 to 10 parts per million between 1525 and the early 1600s.
Of course this isnt concrete proof that humans caused the Little Ice Age, as others in the field point out. Events such as volcanic eruptions, solar flares or even colder ocean currents could also be at play. But so far, the evidence is certainly intriguing, pointing out that human activities, even those that are inadvertent, could be the cause of serious global climate changes.
GGG + AGW ping!........
Re: Bush’s fault... yes and no, tis a variation... it’s the WHITE guy’s fault!
"Following up on their paper published in 2008, the team has now brought their findings before the Geological Society of America. The researchers say that the population decrease, which came about due to the introduction of previously unknown diseases, led to the rapid reforestation of the Americas. This led to a sudden increase in the amount of carbon dioxide being pulled from the air, which meant the atmosphere wasnt able to hold as much heat, which led to colder air covering Europe."
CO2 keeps the earth temperate ... right?
This is science??? This is way beyond just "curve fitting" - this is creating facts and a evidence from scratch to match a ridiculous hypothesis.
Total BS. The sun was the cause, not man.
Where do these guys keep getting money for the garbage?
Not ‘Bush’s”...Bushes....as in reforestation......oh, nevermind.............
Let's see; 8 years after Columbus the temperature in Europe does a nose dive, yeah. That damn Columbus.
Agreed. If 90% had died, it would have made settlement of America VERY easy! I’ve never seen any estimate like that!
So the number of indigs at 80 million would mean the
population at the time was equal to one fifth of our
Ain’t buying it.
what about the Indians that were here burning large tracks of land to plant their crops on ...or forest fires started by lightning...
“This is science??? This is way beyond just “curve fitting” - this is creating facts and a evidence from scratch to match a ridiculous hypothesis. “
Well spoken and 100% correct. This isn’t science. It belongs in an education major’s grad thesis...and should be treated as such.
Yep TOTAL BS. This is probably a back door effort to bring AGW back.
Columbus arrives in 1492. The Little Ice Age begins approximately 8 years later. So, in 8 years 70 million people die and the land they previously farmed is reforested enough that it aborbs amounts of carbon which are adequately large to cool the earth and kick off the Little Ice Age.
First the alarmists try to make us believe that natural variations in gobal temperatures, like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period either did not exist or were not truly gobal in nature. When it is shown that their methods of doing so (the Mann hockey stick and tree ring data) are rigged to arrive at the result they desire, they are now saying that, yes, the variations did exist and were global, but at least one of them (the Little Ice Age) was the result of humams causing a decrease in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The alarmists truly are a bunch of one trick ponies.
Global cooling because the white man gave the red man blankets infected with smallpox.
This is the craziest conclusion ever made. This is a backwards step for science.
This is unbelievable. What a reach!
They’re seriously trying to say that the relatively small human population, and it’s numbers change, in the 1500s impacted the global climate?
If these guys are scientists, I fear for the future of humanity.
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