Results from a new study conducted by a team of researchers at the Marine Geoscience Unit - Ifremer (Brest, France) have been released by Science this Thursday. The geochemical investigation of a marine sediment core recovered off Congo, at 900 meters water depth, suggests that the settlement of early farmers in Central Africa, about 3000 years ago, had a significant environmental impact on the rainforest.
A sudden pulse of the chemical weathering of soils was inferred for this time period, which the scientists interpret as the consequence of intensifying human activities, most likely related to the introduction of agriculture. These findings suggest that the rainforest crisis that occurred in Central Africa during the third millenium before present may be partly related to enhanced land-use.
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