Have epidemics changed the Earth's atmosphere?  Unusual theses of scientists

The researchers have succeeded in this Ice core analysis Covering the last 2000 years. The samples were recovered from the Law Dome and West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) subdivision. Specialists point out that the individual events contained in the ice (from these two places) complement each other. But there are some discrepancies between them, including: in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

In one of the cores (of the dome of the law) there is a note Very rapid reduction in CO2 emissions in just 90 years Its lowest level was documented in 1610 AD, and researchers indicate that this was the result of the first contact between the Old and New Worlds.

Europeans brought it to the Americas Diseases that were previously unknown there, which decimated the indigenous population. Furthermore, colonists brought a different set of diseases to Europe, which also led to epidemics on the Old Continent.

Researchers think so The human population has declined dramaticallyResulting in previously populated areas becoming almost deserted. This led to the return of vegetation to these areas. Growing forests absorbed huge amounts of carbon dioxide – Such a process is supposed to explain the previously mentioned decrease in the level of this compound in the Earth’s atmosphere.

In contrast, the inversion of the WAIS Divide does not reveal such a large decline in CO2 during this period, but rather a slow and gradual decline extending into the 17th century.

To correct these discrepancies, scientists measured carbon dioxide levels in another ice core from the Skytrain Ice Rise (West Antarctica). Here they focused on analyzing a section of the nucleus dating back to the period from 1454 to 1688 AD, and research reveals that it is in fact During this time, the carbon dioxide level decreased2which may be related to the decline in global population and the development of land vegetation.

“Our analysis confirms this More gradual reduction in carbon dioxide By 0.5 parts per million per decade from 1516 to 1670 AD,” the scientists wrote in their paper. They also found that during the decade, approximately 2.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide were absorbed by replanting forests, while human populations declined. .

The next step was for specialists to simulate changes in carbon levels in the atmosphere based on each kernel. This was accompanied by data on changes in terrestrial vegetation and human population estimates.

It turns out that the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions2 Included in the heart of the dome of law are “Incredibly big“It is not compatible with even the most extreme scenarios of land use change.” At the same time, scientists do not rule out the results obtained from this core, adding that it is possible that a mysterious, as yet unknown event has occurred. commentwhich explains these contradictions.

The results of the research were published in a scientific journal Nature Communications.

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