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Antarctica, traces of past epidemics in the ice

Antarctica, traces of past epidemics in the ice

Past epidemics have also left traces of their passage in the Antarctic ice: samples recovered from the continent, which allow us to reconstruct the Earth's climate history going back in time, show a decrease in carbon dioxide simultaneously with a decrease in carbon dioxide. Epidemics that broke out after the first contacts between Native Americans and Europeans, during the 16th and 17th centuries.

According to the study published In Nature Communications led by the British Antarctic Survey, human populations have declined dramatically as a result of the disease, and many areas are likely deserted, allowing plants to regrow and absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide. Researchers led by Amy King attempted to reconcile conflicting results obtained from two different ice cores excavated in Antarctica: while one showed a sharp decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that occurred over a period of about 90 years, a peak was reached Around 1610, the other highlights a gradual decline extending even further during the 17th century. To resolve the dispute, the study authors examined a third ice core, extracted between 2018 and 2019 in the western part of Antarctica, focusing on the section covering a time period between 1454 and 1688. The results indicate that carbon dioxide levels did not change. The decline, especially from 1516 to 1670, but it was a more gradual decline.

“This confirms scenarios of large-scale reorganization of land use in the Americas – commented the researchers – after contact between the New and Old Worlds.”


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