By Anupum Pant
The impact of human activities on climate change is by no means new. It is not an 1800s or 1900s thing. It did not start happening when we started burning huge amounts of coal or oil. In fact, human impact on the climate has been here for a long long time now. It started happening about thousands of years ago when our ancestors started clearing forests to make land for cultivation. The impact was less back then, but it had started.
So, basically an overly simplified equation has been like this – more humans, more cleared forests (for cultivation), more carbon emissions.
All these years humans have also been hit by some very unfortunate historical events which have resulted in the death of a great number of people. Of course these events like the fall of Ming dynasty, Black death and Conquest of America were sad events. They resulted in a massive wipe-out of human population which we would not wish to see ever again.
However, the huge number of deaths that happened due to these unfortunate events did have a common salubrious effect on our planet. Huge tracts of cultivated lands turned back into forests. As a result, great amounts of carbon dioxide got absorbed and there was effectively a global cooling happening.
The Mongol Invasion
Among all these historical events, one stands out – The Mongol invasion which lasted for about 150 years and covered more than 20% of Earth’s surface.
After founding the Mongol empire, Genghis Khan has been believed to have started these Mongol invasions. Time and again he was involved in the decimation of huge settlements. It is estimated that these invasions led by Genghis Khan resulted in the death of a whopping 40 Million people!
Death of so many people meant that the cultivated lands of settlements started turning back into forests and these forests ended up absorbing huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air. Result – Global cooling (kinda).
It is estimated that the Genghis Khan invasions helped remove about 700 Million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. That about the same as a whole year of carbon that is being put back into the air due to burning of petrol today, in this industrialised world!
Genghis Khan has been branded the greenest invader in history.
Random Genghis Khan fact:
1 in 200 men are direct descendants of Genghis Khan – [Source]
Hit like if you learnt something today.