European colonization of Americas caused climate change

Oct 2015
998
India
#2
This seems to be be very speculative.

Is it a physical scientist trying his hand at history? he may be right that CO2 level went down - but there could several causes for it other than colonization of Americas.

World Wars also caused as many deaths, if not more, in a shorter span of time. No one proposes that CO@ levels fell after that.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,544
US
#3
I am not sure if the colonization of the Americas has caused climate change, but I will propose that the colonization of the Americas has caused a standard of living change, for the better.
 
Mar 2018
598
UK
#4
This seems to be be very speculative.

Is it a physical scientist trying his hand at history? he may be right that CO2 level went down - but there could several causes for it other than colonization of Americas.

World Wars also caused as many deaths, if not more, in a shorter span of time. No one proposes that CO@ levels fell after that.
Not my area of expertise, but I'd say it's plausible at least. I believe it's accepted that the Mongolian conquest of c.1200 caused depopulation and a growth of forests that sucked CO2 out of the air. The same thing could have happened in the Americas, but I don't know if it was on a big enough scale to have a meaningful impact. Certainly saying that it caused the mini-iceage seems a stretch. The climate is a complicated, non-linear, unstable system; small perturbations can have big impacts, but drawing a clear cause->effect relationship is hard.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,521
Dispargum
#5
The paper claims the pre-Columbian population of the Americas was 60 million. That seems a bit high to me, but maybe I'm only remembering the native population of the future US, not the entire New World. This source:
UW Press - : The Native Population of the Americas in 1492: Second Revised Edition, edited by William M. Denevan, With a Foreword by W. George Lovell
claims a spread of 112 million to as little as 8 million. I guess 60 million has the virtue of being about average but I'm still skeptical of any scholarship that claims a human impact when we aren't very sure of the baseline human population.
This source:
Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows
argues for a massive decline in native population after 1492 but makes no claims about numbers.
 
Likes: Olleus

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,247
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#8
No ... not a climate change.

The colonization of America affected nature like the expansion of the Roman Empire [the disappearance of a large part of the great European forests was due to the exploitation of the soil by the growing Roman presence], but we cannot say it affected the global climate of the planet.

At local level, the deforestation changed the cycle of Co2, but not as for quantity, but quality: Romans cultivated where there were forests ... other vegetables.

Only human industrialization has been affecting the climate of our planet, but personally I think that before of the 50's of last century such an influence was irrelevant.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#10
The worse of the little ice age occurred in the 1600, after the population of the Americas had stopped declning and was probably rising again. And the Little Ice Age had ready started by 1300, long before the Americas were discovered.

And if there was a drop.after the European colonization due to the loss of people, there should have been a loss due to the Black Death, yet the Little Ice preceded the Black Death by around 40 years.

If there was a drop in CO2 , by how much? Did their claims.od drop.comd from actual measurements, as from the ice core samples, or is it just speculation ? The article doesn't say.
 

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