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Colonization of the Americas May Have Cooled Global Climate

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Wood Carving New World GenocideLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM—BBC reports that a team of scientists from University College London have determined that European colonization of the New World caused the death of so many indigenous people that the event, known as the “Great Dying,” may have impacted the world's climate. Led by geographer Alexander Koch, the team calculated that some 60 million people lived in the Americas before European contact, and that the population dropped to just five or six million within a hundred years as a result of newly introduced diseases, warfare, and social upheavel. The demographic collapse allowed cleared land equal to the area of France to be reclaimed by forest and savannah. The team hypothesizes that the new vegetation would have taken enough carbon from the atmosphere to cause global surface temperatures to fall, resulting in a cooling period known to history as the “Little Ice Age.” To read more about the Great Dying, go to “Conquistador Contagion.”

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