Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) wrote,
Dave Van Domelen

Nerdly Schadenfreude

The impact of European colonization on the population of the Americas may have been a major contributor to the Little Ice Age that caused so much grief in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s.

Long associated mostly with the Maunder Minimum in solar activity and perhaps some vulcanism, the Little Ice Age profoundly changed the balance of a lot of things in Europe, killed off the Greenland colony, and generally messed up a lot of things. And now it looks like a big contributor to the severity of the Little Ice Age might have been the reforestation resulting from the population crash caused by introduction of European diseases in the early 1500s. (Dead people don't need cropland, so the trees came back in a big way.)
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