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Study: Amazon rain forest grew after climate change

By Reuters in Oslo, Norway ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-09 07:33:53

Switch to wetter conditions may have led to tree coverage 2,000 years ago

Swaths of the Amazon may have been grassland until a natural shift to a wetter climate about 2,000 years ago let the rain forests 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 US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study: Amazon rain forest grew after climate change

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