Before Christopher Columbus set his very first footstep onto the continent of America, Native Americans had been living on this land for a very long time. As their community grew bigger and bigger, they needed more land for farming and trees for fuel and shelters. Instead of using axes to cut down trees as in Europe and Asia, Native Indians used fire to clean out a large amount of forests. Their using fire was able not only to save time by burning vast area but also to clear raspy undergrowth and wipe out destructive insects. During fire seasons, smoke from Indian bonfires cloaked the skies of Florida, California and the Great Plains. The amount of smoke was so tremendous that it created a layer of Carbon dioxide that prevented heat radiating from Earth toward space; kept the temperature of the earth at a constant rate. Due to the process of burning trees at a fast rate, Americans forests, especially ones east of the Mississippi, according to English colonist Edward Johnson in 19654, were so vacant and “thin of Timber” that they were “like our Parkes in England”. Natives Americans are also believed to use fire to clear out lands in the midwestern prairie, the grassland of Argentine pampas, the hills of Mexico, the Florida dunes, and the high plains of the Andes.
All of these deforestation processes happened before Christopher Columbus set his very first step on America land. Once the Columbian Exchange was established, as Europeans visited Americas, they brought with them Eurasian bacteria, viruses, and parasites as well. These diseases killed lots of people. As there was no Indians left, the fire gave way to fade out. This resulted in the explosion of tree restoration on a large scale in the 1650s. They found fire-hating trees like oak and hickory muscle together with ones that in favor of fire like loblolly, longleaf, and slash pine. These fire-loving species were so dependent on regular burning that only by being exposed to flame that their cones will open and release seeds. Indians also hunted wild animals for food so when the population of human decreased, the population of animals grew spontaneously. Because of the cessation of enormous deforestation and the growth of reforestation, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere decreased subsequently. There were trees densely covering the sky that hardly any sunspots could get through and get to the ground temperature. In consequence, the temperature of the earth dropped such dramatically resulted in an era called “the Little Ice Age”. According to Robert A. Dull and his research team from University of Texas, a quarter of the earth’s temperature drop in this era was caused by this process.
The Little Ice Age caused lots of changes to the environment, especially the ecology of the North American forests, European agriculture, and the appearance of malaria in the Americas. In North America forests, the once-open grass lands were now filled with trees and snow. Due to cold weather, the ice could not melt that it stayed solid for people to ride carriages on Boston Harbor. The ice covered most of Chesapeake Bay and swept two score French colonists, the founders of Montreal. Introduce cattle and horses in Maine, Connecticut, and Virginia could not survive snowdrifts. In contrast, the cold during the Little Ice Age favored cold-loving species in North America forests like hemlock, spruce, and beech that led to the break out of their population. The Little Ice Age had damaging impacts on European agriculture as well. Cold weather made winters extremely snowy, spring remarkably late and summers severely cold. As summer came late, the wine harvests were delayed until November. A hundred miles of sea between Denmark to Sweden was frozen that people could walk across. Greenland hunters moor their kayaks on the Scottish shore. After three failed harvests, Catholic mobs in Ireland attacked English Protestants serve as an opportunity to seize Catholic land. Being afraid of growing Alpine glaciers will occupy their homes, Swiss villagers set their bishop to exercise a threatening ice front to ask for God’s help against the outbreak of ants. By placing bishop annually, the glacier was driven back by eighty paces. The ice also created stagnant water that helped mosquito larvae growing tremendously. Those kinds of mosquito brought malaria into Americas that later caused this disease to spread widely.