Skip to comments.New World post-pandemic reforestation helped start Little Ice Age, say Stanford scientists
Posted on 12/18/2008 8:57:54 AM PST by Red Badger
The power of viruses is well documented in human history. Swarms of little viral Davids have repeatedly laid low the great Goliaths of human civilization, most famously in the devastating pandemics that swept the New World during European conquest and settlement.
In recent years, there has been growing evidence for the hypothesis that the effect of the pandemics in the Americas wasn't confined to killing indigenous peoples. Global climate appears to have been altered as well.
Stanford University researchers have conducted a comprehensive analysis of data detailing the amount of charcoal contained in soils and lake sediments at the sites of both pre-Columbian population centers in the Americas and in sparsely populated surrounding regions. They concluded that reforestation of agricultural lands-abandoned as the population collapsed-pulled so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it helped trigger a period of global cooling, at its most intense from approximately 1500 to 1750, known as the Little Ice Age.
"We estimate that the amount of carbon sequestered in the growing forests was about 10 to 50 percent of the total carbon that would have needed to come out of the atmosphere and oceans at that time to account for the observed changes in carbon dioxide concentrations," said Richard Nevle, visiting scholar in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford. Nevle and Dennis Bird, professor in geological and environmental sciences, presented their study at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 17, 2008.
Nevle and Bird synthesized published data from charcoal records from 15 sediment cores extracted from lakes, soil samples from 17 population centers and 18 sites from the surrounding areas in Central and South America. They examined samples dating back 5,000 years.
What they found was a record of slowly increasing charcoal deposits, indicating increasing burning of forestland to convert it to cropland, as agricultural practices spread among the human population-until around 500 years ago: At that point, there was a precipitous drop in the amount of charcoal in the samples, coinciding with the precipitous drop in the human population in the Americas.
To verify their results, they checked their fire histories based on the charcoal data against records of carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon isotope ratios that were available.
"We looked at ice cores and tropical sponge records, which give us reliable proxies for the carbon isotope composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And it jumped out at us right away," Nevle said. "We saw a conspicuous increase in the isotope ratio of heavy carbon to light carbon. That gave us a sense that maybe we were looking at the right thing, because that is exactly what you would expect from reforestation."
During photosynthesis, plants prefer carbon dioxide containing the lighter isotope of carbon. Thus a massive reforestation event would not only decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but would also leave carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was enriched in the heavy carbon isotope.
Other theories have been proposed to account for the cooling at the time of the Little Ice Age, as well as the anomalies in the concentration and carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric carbon dioxide associated with that period.
Variations in the amount of sunlight striking the Earth, caused by a drop in sunspot activity, could also be a factor in cooling down the globe, as could a flurry of volcanic activity in the late 16th century.
But the timing of these events doesn't fit with the observed onset of the carbon dioxide drop. These events don't begin until at least a century after carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to decline and the ratio of heavy to light carbon isotopes in atmospheric carbon dioxide begins to increase.
Nevle and Bird don't attribute all of the cooling during the Little Ice Age to reforestation in the Americas.
"There are other causes at play," Nevle said. "But reforestation is certainly a first-order contributor."
Too many trees bad ping............
so the cure for global warming is pandemic?
To paraphrase Sarah Palin: “Log, baby, log!”
It would seem so.......Now everything is clear...........
It’s because South Korea reforested after most of its trees were taken during Japanese occupation.
Haiti is safe.........
Fire good. Trees bad.
“Fire good. Trees bad.”
Trees wood. Wood burn. Circle of life. Life good.
Jeez, how low have academic standards gone? The numbers of data points (15, 17, 18) seem, IMHO, too low for defensible statistical accuracy.
It seems to me that the ultimate goal of the far left is a massive reduction of human population, by whatever means necessary.
Abortion is one vector.
The promotion of homosexuality is another.
are these “scientists” suggeting that the way to stop global warming is to reduce population?
Apollo 1 all over again, I’m afraid. :(
(God rest Gus, Ed, and Roger.)
Now you are on to something. All environmental wacko theory is built on the idea that there are too many people. The craziest is the idea that the earth can only support 1M people. Do the math on how many of us need to go to make that a reality.
Start by killing more Christmas trees today!
Split atoms, not wood.
Except...didn’t the little Ice Age start in the 1200s? Wasn’t that why the Vikings had to abandon Greenland?
Theories based on conjecture based on broken models. Why is this superstitious faith-based articled called “science”?
Correct. The Little Ice Age started circa 1270 - 1300, and lasted until 1850.
Damn that Al Gore and his "carbon credit" idiocy.
Look what he's done. It's - 40 out when it should be only -11. He and his tree planting enviro geeks have brought on an ice age...
As for these so called "Scientists", it's a JOKE to consider that all the "reforested land" was somehow "aboriginal farmland". How about reforestation after recession of the great ice age? Carbon in lakes and sub souls? How about thousands of years of forest fires burning out of control year after year?
Or did Aboriginals have giant flying pelicans that they used for water bombers?
Don’t let facts get in the way of hysteria.
Also notice the attempt to blame the Little Ice Age on the evil white man!
These so called 'enviro-mental "scientists" have seen how easy it was to make the sheeple believe in "Gore-bull warming", that they now feel they can say anything, no matter how ridiculous, and it will be accepted without question.
In case you do not like to read scientific stuff, I can give you a synopsis:
“I heat up; I cool down . . . I got the music in me.”
OR, “Hey, we can be no more certain about any of this than anyone else can.”
I also heard something on the radio today that heating causes water vapor to rise, which then turns into ice crystals which then form clouds, which then block the sunlight, which then cause cooling, which then causes a decrease in rising water vapor, which then causes fewer clouds, which then causes more sunlight to reach the Earth's surface, which then causes heating, which then causes water vapor to rise. . . .”
It's weird! Creepy even. It's like there is this CYCLE thing that is going on with the weather.
I guess no one can control the Sun, water, air, Earth, so they better control the people? Makes perfect sense to me.
OK, let me understand this: Columbus discovers some Caribbean islands in 1492. This causes a massive pandemic which in eight years kills off enough people to allow massive reforestation of abandoned farms and causes the Little Ice Age.
They should cut to the chase and just blame it on Karl Rove.
Actually, increased cloud cover causes "global warming" especially in regions north and south of the equator(where "scientists" are crying about arctic ice melting when it's -50 outside). Water vapor (cloud cover) traps heat and prevents it from radiating out into space as fast as it does on clear cloudless days. In the arctic, it's always warmer during overcast days and especially nights, while a clear sky always results lower daytime temperatures, and rapid temperature drops when the sun dips below the horizon. You'd think this simple to see radiant loss of heat would be proof enough to these "scientists" that co2 does NOT cause global warming, that the strength of solar radiation does. The earth looses heat rapidly to space, and that the only "greenhouse gas" out there is water vapor, which is ironically an element "missing" from their computer models.
But, but, I thought trees are good and noble and must be planted and preserved, above human life!
Yet another pseudo-scientific theory that further muddies the clarity of the debate, I’m afraid.
Nearly every environmentalist is a Luddite and a Malthusian............
Here’s some more disturbing news: recycling plants are among the largest generators of pollution.
It gets cold
I cut down trees, build fires to stay warm
Deforestation takes place
It gets warm
I don't cut down trees to stay warm
Reforestation takes place..........
Just like we’ve always said, it’s cyclic!............
I think you are making a too logical assumption. :)
It should be “All environmental wacko theory is built on the idea that there are too many OF YOU people.”
The ones stating the theory don't factor themselves into what they are saying
What do you stand unter to get out of the sun on a hot sunny day? A tree! Isn't the sand cooler o your feet under the shade of a palm tree than the sand in the direct sun?
Therefore, trees cause global cooling. All that forest cover prevents rocks from warming up during the day and radiating their heat at night, keeping cavemen warm.
Here's a better theory. Aboriginals caused the massive deforestation spoken of in this article. they chopped down all the trees so that their caves would stay warmer.
When white man came, they planted trees around their homes they made out of all that lumber the aboriginals left laying around, plus the white man burnt it in wood stoves inside their wooden homes. The caves become cooler because of all the trees white man planted, causing aboriginals to make wig-wams and tee-pees and make fires of their own inside them to keep warm.
The first aboriginal "sweat lodge" was discovered after an aboriginal pee'd on the hot rocks around his fire because it was too hot in his wig-wam. He created a "sauna" and had "spiritual dreams" as he slept in that urine steam.
See how easy it is to create a plausible theory?
A date of ca. 1270-1300 sounds right--clearly caused by the Sicilian Vespers (1282), the revolt against the rule of Charles of Anjou. Charles was a white man (younger brother of St. Louis IX), so the evil white man is still to blame.
I can do better than that. The first Ice Age is tied directly to the evolving of the first white tribe from the other ethnic tribes that existed then. This white tribe cut down trees for heat and cooking and this made the earth too warm, and then when they didn’t have to burn trees anymore for warmth and could cook their food off of hot rocks heated by the sun, the trees all grew back and caused the first known Ice Age, all attributable to the first white tribe. Neat huh?(Don’t bother to ask me why there wasn’t an Ice Age before the white tribe cut down the trees for fire wood, logic is no good here)
I'll give you the impact/effect of clouds forming after and above a surface that is heated/warmed PRIOR to the formation of said clouds. This is not a “cause” of warming anymore than insulating a house causes warming or cooling. Heating and cooling have to come from somewhere—that is, they are a result, not a cause in and of themselves. Unless those clouds are so moisture laden as to generate that heat at such a rate as to create a surplus (moisture-laden air being more dense/heavier and able to hold more heat than drier/less dense air) necessary to perpetuate the cycle there is no cycle, no heating, no cooling, no clouds, nothing. Wobbling axial tilt, ecliptics, the Earth as a heat sink—periods of coolest and warmest temps lag weeks behind the respective solstices—and a zillion other factors are in play.
Ebb and flow. A flat line has no life.
Point being that the Earth will regulate itself as it always has done. Mass extinctions, “nuclear winters,” the effects of super-volcano eruptions, forest fires . . . herds of bison, elk, deer, vs herds of cattle belching away. . . . Yawns and sneezes at worst.
We heat the place up enough the Earth will sweat itself cool again. It gets too hot, it will again do what it needs to do to maintain homeostasis. None of this was intended to last forever. Big bang, single strand, whatever works for each of us. Doesn't matter in the end. Some run with “God made it and God said he'll destroy it, and He will”; others see the inherent flaws and cracks in the system's design and use science to map the self-destruct mechanisms in play courtesy of simple laws of physics. Still others believe in neither and delude themselves and each other into believing they can “so order the universe.” What were those laws pertaining to matter and energy? Something about created or destroyed? Or was it transferred?
God invented the Havens and the Earth and all the rest, and then He gave us just enough knowledge of physics so we could see but not understand the way it works. He has a sense of humor.
As far as I know this is a novel theory since it relies on manmade activity at a time when there were very few people to account for a significant change; worldwide population in 1600 was maybe 70-75 million while in the Americas there were maybe 5 million since no census was ever done of native Americans.
The real point of this report is likely to be to establish a direct correlation to changes in CO2 content and climate, which is rather like untying one’s shoes to learn how to tie them again.
Deconstructive climatology.........the new way to predict Global war...,,,,,er, uh... Climate Change...8^)
"The epidemic of cocoliztli from 1545 to 1548 killed an estimated 5 million to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population of Mexico (Figure 1). In absolute and relative terms the 1545 epidemic was one of the worst demographic catastrophes in human history, approaching even the Black Death of bubonic plague, which killed approximately 25 million in western Europe from 1347 to 1351 or about 50% of the regional population.
"The cocoliztli epidemic from 1576 to 1578 cocoliztli epidemic killed an additional 2 to 2.5 million people, or about 50% of the remaining native population. Newly introduced European and African diseases such as smallpox, measles, and typhus have long been the suspected cause of the population collapse in both 1545 and 1576 because both epidemics preferentially killed native people. But careful reanalysis of the 1545 and 1576 epidemics now indicates that they were probably hemorrhagic fevers, likely caused by an indigenous virus and carried by a rodent host."
(You've probaly never seen or heard of this study because it doesn't blame the evil White people.)