Did the Amazon rainforest contribute to the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the 1600s?
Scientists have found new evidence as they scrutinize a theory that Amazon re-growth, following European colonization, affected global climate.
In the century after Europeans arrived in the Americas in the late 1400s, more than 50 million Indigenous people are estimated to have died from epidemics, warfare, and slavery. This human-caused tragedy, also known as the Great Dying, may also have left its mark on the landscape and climate.
In a 2019 analysis, U.K. researchers proposed that the regrowth of forests in places where Native people had cleared the land may have absorbed and stored enough carbon to contribute to a 17th-century dip in global atmospheric CO2 levels. This anomaly is thought to be one of the causes of an unusually cold period known as the Little Ice Age.
But a study published last week in the journal