Blame the ancestors: Ancient farmers altered climate using ‘slash and burn’ methods

I suppose I’m posting this because of the total absurdity of the article. Think about it: how much “slashing and burning” could ancient farmers have actually done? Would the CO2 output from then compare in any way with the output by humanity today? Yet you’re expected to believe that they influenced the climate then even more than man does today. Are these people openly grasping at straws; has it come to that?

From MailOnline:

Stone-age farmers were responsible for global warming 7,000 years ago, scientists claimed yesterday.

They said the ‘slash and burn’ method of clearing forests released greenhouse gases that would otherwise have been locked up in soil and vegetation.

Early farmers burned vast tracts of land to get rid of pests and established plants and enrich the soil. When crop yields fell after a few years, they simply set fire to a new area.

slash and burnSlash and burn techniques, used today by loggers in Panama, devastate forests. Some scientists believe our ancestors altered the climate by using these methods

Lead author Professor William Ruddiman of the University of Virginia, said they normally cleared five or more times as much land as they needed.

‘There was plenty of forest to burn,’ he said. ‘They may have altered the climate.’

The study, published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, said that today about 90 per cent less land is used for growing food per person.

But previously scientists have claimed that humans’ impact on the climate began with the Industrial Revolution and the population boom that followed.

Prof Ruddiman first published a hypothesis five years ago suggesting people began altering the global climate thousands of years ago, with human activity accounting for rises in carbon dioxide that began about 7,000 years ago.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1207033/Blame-ancestors-Ancient-farmers-altered-climate-using-slash-burn-methods.html#ixzz0OmqvN9SV

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