Guns, Germs and Carbon: post-Colombian pandemics drive global cooling
Now, researchers, led by Richard Nevle and Dennis Bird have investigated the climate consequences of this massive decline in agriculture and the burning of forests in the Americas, and demonstrated that the carbon stored in soils and vegetation as a result drove global cooling by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, helping to explain the “Little Ice Age” of the 1500s to 1900s.
This is really a groundbreaking paper, further demonstrating the major role of preindustrial human populations in altering global climate, and further strengthens Bill Ruddiman’s Early Anthropocene Hypothesis.
- The scientific paper is available here : http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.03.008 (paper download requires permission).
- A news summary of the work is here: http://news.mongabay.com/2008/1218-little_ice_age.html
Tags: agriculture, anthromes, Anthropocene, burning, carbon, carbon dioxide, climate change, deforestation, disease, fire, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, Holocene, land use change, pandemics