Columbus' arrival linked to carbon dioxide drop

Depopulation of Americas may have cooled climate

By Devin Powell, 10:32 AM October 13, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — By sailing to the New World, Christopher Columbus and other explorers who followed him may have set off a chain of events that cooled Europe’s climate.

The European conquest of the Americas decimated the people living there, leaving large areas of cleared land untended. Trees that filled in this territory pulled billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Stanford University geochemist Richard Nevle reported October 11 at the Geological Society of America annual m...

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