Friday, 17 April 2015

Conquistadors Carbon Conquest

Who would have thought it ..... but the latest theory on the causes of global warming is that the Conquistadors in South America were the cause.

How? Well it appears that their slaughter of the natives of South America was so great, via all the illnesses that they took with them and that the natives had no resistance to, that vast native farm lands returned to forest, and this caused the worlds CO2 levels to drop. This theory was proposed on the BBC World Service's Science in Action programme, when a Dr Lewis told the programme that there was a new possible explanation behind the current CO2 rise.

The Moment When CO2 Levels First Dropped .....

He said that the Conquistadors caused the deaths of "Around 50 million people" in the Americas, and that "most of those people were farmers, and this farmland grew back to the original vegetation - tropical forest, dry forest or savannah. And about half the dry weight of a tree is carbon, so all that growing vegetation removed enough carbon from the atmosphere to see a pronounced dip in the global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration that can be seen in ice core records. It provides an exact marker of the Anthropocene at 1610, the lowest point of CO2 in the ice-core record at that time."

So what is now happening, according to this theory, is that the destruction of the forests to create cattle ranches or palm oil plantations, is returning the worlds CO2 levels, to those last seen before the Conquistadors arrived in the lands of Incas and Mayans.

What all this means if its true, it is hard to say ..... I don't know what the world temperatures were before Columbus, nor what the sea levels were, but I do know that this is also a theory that has been backed by Jeremy Clarkson ..... funny old world.


  1. Well I wouldn't want to argue with Jeremy.

    1. LOL ..... well not when he's hungry.

  2. You asked what this all means for the weather. Well if this theory is true, then the warmer weather of the middle ages, with wine made in northern Europe would be explained. It would also mean that we are returning to that time, weather wise.

    1. Yes, that looks like being the case. I wonder if we would have had global warming during the Victorian Industrial revolution if the Indians hadn't been massacred? Thanks for the comment..


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