Mensen die de huidige wetenschappelijke kennis over klimaatverandering maar onzin vinden komen nog wel eens aanzetten met de kleine ijstijd tijdens de middeleeuwen. Wel, de wetenschap heeft nu een mogelijke verklaring:
The UCL researchers found that the European colonization of the Americas indirectly contributed to this colder period by causing the deaths of about 56 million people by 1600. The study attributes the deaths to factors including introduced disease, such as smallpox and measles, as well as warfare and societal collapse.
Researchers then calculated how much land indigenous people required and then subsequently fell into disuse, finding that around 55m hectares, an area roughly equivalent to France, became vacant and was reclaimed by carbon dioxide-absorbing vegetation.