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Massdöden in America may have given the earth to cool

When Christopher Columbus in the year 1492, came to what is now called America, in its quest for a sea route to India – he soon got lots of followers. The european conquerors came and laid on the matter of a few decades in the past mighty kingdoms. It is about one of the major breakpoints in the history of the world, with disruptive consequences on both sides of the Atlantic.

the concrete effects of what took place was what in English is called ”The great dying”, the great dying. The original population of the Americas died in huge amounts – some in the erövringskrigen, still others as a result of slave labor. But the largest proportion died of the diseases that the european conquerors brought with them, and which had not previously been on the american continent. During the more than 15 000 years that have passed since the first humans came to the Americas, Europe and Asia suffered a large amount of epidemics, which, although it killed many, but it still built up a certain resistance to. This was missing completely in the newly conquered population, which meant that diseases such as smallpox and measles resulted in fatalities in a previously unprecedented scale.

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Exactly how many actually died during this period has been difficult to know, because the population statistics are missing from the time before the arrival of europeans. In a new study, conducted by researchers at the university UCL in London, has tried to come up with safer numbers by combining the different data on the population size with data on which part of the surface of the land used for agriculture. Thus it is concluded that around the year 1500 lived about 60 million people in America. One hundred years later, remained only around four million. Approximately 90 percent of the indigenous population had died. It corresponds, in turn, approximately ten percent of the entire world's population at this time, which makes ”The great dying” to one of the worst documented the disasters in historical times – possibly surpassed only by the black death in the mid 1300-century.

this disaster also affected the earth's climate, according to the researchers behind the new study. When land previously used for agriculture were abandoned, grew the forest, which, in turn, reduced the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, with the result that the global average temperature declined for a time. In Europe were you at this time, during the so-called ”little ice age”, a period with significantly lower temperatures than in the day. According to the new study reinforced the cold of the climate change that followed the mass killings in America. The exact relationship will need to be studied closer.

Greenland glaciers reveals the historical hardening of the arteries. Photo: Wolfgang Heumer/TT Greenlandic mummies testify to the timeless heart problems

Already in 1500-century it was relatively common, with cardiovascular disease. This is the conclusion drawn in each case, the researchers behind a new study, which examined five mummified bodies preserved in the ice in Greenland for more than 500 years. Among several of these people, who were relatively young when they died, have been found traces of severe atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is sometimes described as a typical välfärdssjukdom, but a large number of findings in recent years have shown that it occurred far earlier in history. In a survey of 44 egyptian mummies, buried more than 3,500 years ago, it turned out, for example, that 20 of them suffered from hardening of the arteries.

Soviet troops in Afghanistan in 1979. Photo: AP the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan caused by the fear of U.S. influence

the Soviet union's decision in 1979 to invade Afghanistan was mainly due to the man was afraid that the country's leaders would switch sides and ally themselves with the united states. It is clear from the declassified documents from the u.s. secret service, which has recently been published. The then president of Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin, had had secret meetings with american diplomats of the Soviet union's top management was interpreted as that he planned to change the page. Recently claimed the US president Donald Trump that the reason for the invasion was that the Soviets wanted to put a stop to the terrorists who used Afghanistan as a base, but this is contradicted by the new documents.


So many refugees from Norway came to Sweden during the second world war, according to a new doctoral thesis in history, ”At the border” by Lars Hansson, university of Gothenburg. During the war, the first years were sent many back, but in the last years were all received.

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