Did early agriculture knock the climate off track?

During the last 2.5 million years, Earth’s climate has seen cycles of advancing and retreating glaciers over much of the Northern Hemisphere. We are currently in a warm, interglacial period — one that’s been prolonged by increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane. According to a new study in Nature, these high concentrations of greenhouse gases have disrupted the recent pattern of cycling in Earth’s climate and pushed back the next ice age. The study also suggests that human activity, beginning thousands of years ago with early agriculture and continuing through to the present day, has fueled the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations.

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Adityarup "Rup" Chakravorty

Chakravorty is a postdoctoral researcher studying herpesviruses by day, and a freelance writer once the sun goes down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 06:00