Why Warmists Think Genghis Khan Was Cool

A study from the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology to be published in The Holocene online journal outlines an unexpected benefit of rampaging Mongolian hordes – they’re great for helping remove Co2 from the atmosphere.

How did Genghis and his hordes manage to have such an effect? Simple – massive depopulation led to reforestation. Less people = more trees. As greenie website Mongabay notes:

The answer to how this happened can be told in one word: reforestation. When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Mongabay. How Genghis Khan Cooled the Planet.

The author of the study, Julia Pongratz, looked at other instances of massive die-offs of human population, but concluded they didn’t quite cut it in terms of reducing Co2 output:

“We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn’t enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil,” explains Pongratz. “But during the longer-lasting ones like the Mongol invasion and the conquest of the Americas there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon.”

You see, it just goes to show you – if you’re going to do a job, you need to do it properly. Ms Pongratz believes that her work can be of great use in planning future carbon reduction strategies:

Pongratz argues that her study has relevance for the world’s current climate crisis: “Today about a quarter of the net primary production on the Earth’s land surface is used by humans in some way, mostly through agriculture. […]. In the past we have had a substantial impact on global climate and the carbon cycle, but it was all unintentional. Based on the knowledge we have gained from the past, we are now in a position to make land-use decisions that will diminish our impact on climate and the carbon cycle. We cannot ignore the knowledge we have gained.”

Call me cynical, but what’s with this latest trend amongst the warmists to link all historical events with climate change? Here again we have a study which links pre-industrial human activity with the climate. I thought the IPCC – holder of the holy consensus – had stated that anthropogenic influence on the climate could only be detected from 1970?

——————————————————————–

UPDATE:

Looks like The Daily Mail and others have picked up on this story and are now running it.

Cheers!

10 responses to “Why Warmists Think Genghis Khan Was Cool

  1. I wonder if they are going to take their argument to its logical conclusion and find a beneficial climate effect in “depopulations” within living memory e.g. in Cambodia or 1940s Europe – or perhaps those didn’t go far enough for them!
    Actually, I don’t really wonder because I’m sure they don’t have the guts, but I’d love to see them try – preferably in a Jerusalem press conference.

  2. In a way this illustrates yet again the hate the AGW religionists have for all humanity. It doesn’t come as a surprise any longer – but it is interesting to note that they themselves assume they’ll be on the side of those who kill, rather than amongst those who will be killed. (See the 10:10 video …).

    All I shall say to that is ‘whatever gave you that idea?’. Just because you have submitted to group think doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to succumb and allow ourselves herded like sheeple.

  3. Great hypothesis, if you are into propaganda and genocide (can you say Nazi?). Trees and grasses take up almost identical amounts of CO2, but unlike trees, grasses do not emit CO2. Plus grasses use far less water than trees. Just like with AR4, somebody forgot to actually factcheck the work before publishing.

  4. So, if you follow that line of thought, the arrival of Europeans in the America’s must have been great for the climate. Charles Mann in “1491” lays out the case that the America’s were more populated than Europe at that time.

    “The Indians in Peru, Dobyns concluded, had faced plagues from the day the conquistadors showed up—in fact, before then: smallpox arrived around 1525, seven years ahead of the Spanish. Brought to Mexico apparently by a single sick Spaniard, it swept south and eliminated more than half the population of the Incan empire. Smallpox claimed the Incan dictator Huayna Capac and much of his family, setting off a calamitous war of succession. So complete was the chaos that Francisco Pizarro was able to seize an empire the size of Spain and Italy combined with a force of 168 men.

    Smallpox was only the first epidemic. Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618—all ravaged the remains of Incan culture. Dobyns was the first social scientist to piece together this awful picture, and he naturally rushed his findings into print. Hardly anyone paid attention. But Dobyns was already working on a second, related question: If all those people died, how many had been living there to begin with? Before Columbus, Dobyns calculated, the Western Hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people. Another way of saying this is that in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/2445/

    Seems morbid to be declaring death on that scale to be a “good” thing.

  5. Interesting that native Americans died in great numbers when they were exposed to European diseases that they had no resistance to and yet Eurpoeans did not seem to suffer from American diseases in the same way. Does anyone have any idea why that should be?

    • Jared Diamond in “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies” says that it was due to the Europeans having cities which spread disease quickly and keeping pigs and chickens domestically, which were vectors and incubators of diseases. Also, more contact from other parts of the world via traders from the east or from Africa, which the Americas didn’t have.

      These caused diseases to spread quickly and many people died in Europe, but over centuries. Gradually, a resistance built up, so that by the time the settler’s landed, Europeans were the vectors themselves, but immune – a bit like Typhoid Mary.

      In this, I think Diamond is probably right, though I think the rest of his book is a little jejune and simplistic in places. A bit like his later book, “Collapse” which blamed the fall of civilizations on environmental factors. He seems to get a lot of mileage out of fancy-sounding but ultimately facile theories which don’t stand up to analysis.

      Cheers,

      HtL.

  6. Meanwhile in the real world the biosphere is greening.

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003451/index.html
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2008/06/biomass_boosting.html
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5625/1560
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2009/06/090624_greeningdesert1.shtml

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=MOD17A2_M_PSN#

    The following study found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole saw an increased greening of 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth’s vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometres — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines.
    http://modis.cn/pubs/PERS_2007_Liang.pdf

    Sahel is greening
    http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/trends_africa2008/desertification.pdf

    Biological Productivity of the Tundra Has Increased Since 1981, Perhaps Due to Warming.
    http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/09-0102.1

    1982 – 1999
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5625/1560

    Fungal Co2 uptake forecast to increase
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/05/21/0912421107.abstract

  7. Wonder why then the UK government is selling all of our forests off??

  8. How remarkable. Genghis Khan single-handedly saved the planet from natural global warming and evil CO2 in a few short years. Someone give that man a posthumous Nobel! If just one man can apparently effect such a profound change on climate in less than a nano-blink of a geological eye then how come all of the industrialised west has singularly failed to destroy the planet over a number of generations with their nasty anthropogenic variety of warming?

    Shome mishtake, shurely?

  9. An interesting study and one well worth funding.
    It clearly shows that to save the planet we need to
    (a) introduce radical programmes of post-facto birth control
    (b) get rid of motor transport and replace with private ownership of multiple units of all-terrain ponies
    (c) cultivate huge herds of sheep and goats that crop vast acreages of land to feed the victorious tribes
    (d) terrorise and enslave everyone else

    Yup, that should work.

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