During the 13th and 14th Centuries, the wrath of Genghis Khan and his henchmen sent a swift and somber cloud over the plains of Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Over 40 million civilians met their death at the end of this tyrant’s callous arrows, in what has been touted “one of the bloodiest crusades in history”.
However, after some consideration and revision, scientists have now decided that Genghis Khan and his bloodthirsty Mongolian Empire were the “greenest” oppressors ever.
No, it wasn’t that the soldiers were naive, or that they were donned in Earthly robes and smeared in chlorophyll war paste. Rather, the heavy death toll was believed to have erased roughly 700 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere (roughly equal to the amount produced globally by petrol).
According to the Carnegie Institution‘s Department of Global Ecology (CIDGE), the 40 million people that were annihilated inhabited roughly 22% of the Earth’s total land area. Since the majority of these were agricultural workers, vast tracts of harvested land were restored to forest after the deaths, resulting in a drastic reduction in CO2.
Although many have scoffed at the institute’s research methods, some ecologists believe this may be the first instance of “successful man-made global cooling”.
Other major depopulation episodes (which caused reforestation) that came under revision were the Black Death, the fall of China’s Ming Dynasty, and the conquest of the Americas. However none of these made anywhere near the environmental impact of the Mongol Empire.
Lead author of CIDGE, Julia Pongratz, says it’s a misconception that human impact on climate change began with the industrial revolution. She adds although the find is unlikely to alter the pages of history, it may lead to better land use.
While the analyses was intended as a ‘harmless environmental study’, its results have nonetheless sparked pandemonium across the fields of Mongolia. As hundreds of alleged descendants, from the numerous children Genghis conceived in his debaucherous harems, are now in disarray over their family icon’s new soft ‘tree hugger’ label.