Man-made environmental change isn't new: A study found human activities such as farming and logging led to erosion around the Dead Sea some 11,500 years ago, the earliest ever discovered.
Scientists from Israel's Tel Aviv University took a core sample — a long, cylindrical section of rock and dirt — from under the Dead Sea. The sample gave the team an accurate sediment record of the past 220,000 years.
Looking at a sample from 11,500 years ago, the researchers detected rates of erosion that could not have occurred naturally.
"Natural vegetation was replaced by crops, animals were domesticated, grazing reduced the natural plant cover, and deforestation provided more area for grazing," said geologist Shmuel Marco, who led the study.
The researchers argue human activity at that time disrupted the natural surface around the Dead Sea, bringing about intensified erosion, Marco said. "We see it in the form of triple and even four times the increase of the sediment supply to the lake."
Read more at USAToday
Humans were already changing the environment 11,500 years ago
Get latest news delivered daily!
We will send you breaking news right to your inbox