The Inca ruler Atahulpa supplicant before the conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1533
The Inca ruler Atahulpa supplicant before the conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1533 CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE
Henry Bodkin, science correspondent
31 JANUARY 2019 • 3:31PM
The “Little Ice Age” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was triggered by the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas by European settlers, new research shows.
Scientists have long wondered what caused the drop in temperatures so severe it sometimes caused the River Thames to freeze over.
Now, new analysis by University College London (UCL) argues that so many people were slaughtered or died of disease that the amount of agricultural land dramatically reduced, in turn sucking carbon dioxide (CO²) from the atmosphere.
Known as the “Great Dying”, the upheavals following the first contact with Europeans in 1492 is thought to have slashed the population of 60 million living across the…