The influence of humans on the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane dates back to Roman times, which is much earlier than previously assumed. These conclusions of Utrecht University researchers, the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and international fellow-researchers were published in the scientific magazine Nature on 4 October.
It has long been assumed that man only started to make a major contribution to the emission of methane from the Industrial Revolution onwards. However, ten years ago, the famous American climatologist William Ruddiman suggested that humans influenced the climate much sooner, but his hypothesis received much criticism.
“Research conducted over the last ten years has provided clues that the burning of biomass by people in the Middle Ages possible resulted in increased methane emissions. With our research, we can now show that the emissions of methane have indeed been influenced by human activities for at least two-thousand years”, says Dr. C