Did Native Americans contribute to global warming?

April 15, 2010 – Courtesy of Ohio University and World Science staff

Early Native Americans caused more carbon dioxide emissions than previously thought—and they thus contri­buted to global warming even before the industrial era began, a new study suggests.

The in dig e nous peo ples burned trees as part of for est-manage ment strategies that ultimately led wood lands to yield more of the nuts and fruit that the peoples ate in abundance, according to scientists. The re sult: emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the key heat-trapping gas es blamed by climatologists for global warming.

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