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When Did Human Influenced Warming First Occur

Most people imagine that global warming started with the industrial revolution from around 1750 to 1900 and that was the time that we really started to impact the environment.

And particularly since things like fossil fuels started to get burnt and we released huge amount of greenhouse gases into the environment.

But to perhaps a lesser extent new research has suggested that humans actually started to have a global impact on the environment up to around 8,000 years ago!

That's because research has show how the increase in agriculture from humans from that time onwards seems to coincide when greenhouse gas methane levels in the atmosphere shot up and led to the environment warming up by as much as 1 degree.

So how is that the case? Well it seems that there was a change in vegetation patterns that coincides with when people started to do a lot more agriculture and do it more successfully and the change let to increasing tree cover and less open land as a result of our activity: in other words we helped to influence the change to increased vegetation.

So there you go - it could be the case that we have actually influenced the environment and global temperatures long before we even knew what we were doing!

Date published: 23 Jul 2010

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