Europeans Killed So Many Indigenous It Caused Global Climate Change
Europeans killed so many indigenous people during the 16th century that it actually caused climate change on a global scale.
In just 100 years, European colonizers wiped out 90% of the native population of the Americas - over 50 million people.
When the European colonizers arrived in the Americas 500 years ago, they brought death with them. Over 50 million indigenous people were killed by the conquistadores' swords or by the diseases they brought with them. By 1600, there were only 5-6 million indigenous people left.
This catastrophic loss, known as the Great Dying, actually caused a global climate shift.
According to a new study in Quaternary Science Reviews, fewer people meant fewer CO2 molecules to trap heat on Earth, so global temperatures dropped 0.15°C causing an event called the Little Ice Age.
“We conclude that the Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas [...] had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO2 and global surface air temperatures.”
Motherboard reports that the Great Dying and resulting Little Ice Age marks the beginning of human beings, to put it pretty bluntly, screwing with the earth in a major way.