A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Scientific American: black death and slavery cause the little ice age?

Looks like Scientific American has gone a bit “cosmic”: The Little Ice Age was apparently caused by black death, small pox, and slavery. The theory goes that there was a small spikey dip in CO2 levels in 1610, which was man-made. So hold your breath, that means a whole new era should start from then. This small dip of dubious causality, plus the correlation of oddly unclimatic things like slavery, seems to make the spike worthy of an impressive sciencey title, lo, a new era is born  — The start of the Anthropocene.

Let’s not mention that temperatures started falling from 1400 AD. That’s 200 years  before the CO2 spike down. Cause and effect are so passe in postmodern science.

Mass Deaths in Americas Start New CO2 Epoch

Scientific American:

The atmosphere recorded the mass death, slavery and war that followed 1492. The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands. By 1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least [...]