Amazon rainforest grew after climate change 2,000 years ago - study

July 8, 2014 1:00 PM

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Amazon rainforest grew after climate change 2,000 years ago - study

OSLO (Reuters) - Swathes of the Amazon may have been grassland until a natural shift to a wetter climate about 2,000 years ago let the rainforests form, according to a study that challenges common belief that the world’s biggest tropical forest is far older.

The arrival of European diseases after Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492 may also have hastened the growth of forests by killing indigenous people farming the region, the scientists wrote in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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