American reforestation may have led to "Little Ice Age"

A new study by Stanford University researchers suggests that the reforestation of areas in the Americas following the collapse of pre-Columbian population centers may have triggered the Little Ice Age which occurred from 1500 to 1750.

The researchers studied the layers of charcoal and lake sediments in what had once been densely-populated areas, and suggested that the earth cooled once these agricultural areas reverted to forestlands." There are other causes at play," said Richard Nevle, visiting scholar in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford. "But reforestation is certainly a first-order contributor."