Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Recent evidence points to climate shift causing the growth of massive forest

Researchers have recently revealed that parts of the immense Amazon rainforest may have been grassland until just about 2,000 years ago, citing that a shift to a wetter climate may have been the culprit.

As little as 2,000 years ago, the parts of the Amazon rainforest might have actually been savannah, new evidence suggests.

As little as 2,000 years ago, the parts of the Amazon rainforest might have actually been savannah, new evidence suggests.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/9/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Science, International, South America

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study, which challenges the widely held belief that the world's biggest tropical forest is older than 2,000 years.

Be a light in the darkness through "prayer and action."

The arrival of European diseases brought by Columbus as he made his way to the New World in 1492 may have been part of the process that first grew the forest. These diseases killed off many of the indigenous population that farmed the region, keeping the spread of the forest at bay, reported scientists in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The dominant ecosystem was more like a savannah than the rainforest we see today," wrote the study's lead author, John Carson of the University of Reading in England.

The scientists conducting the study looked at man-made earthworks that were recently uncovered by logging in Bolivia, which includes ditches up to about 1,100 years long and up to three meters deep and four meters wide.

They also found large amounts of grass pollen in ancient sediments of nearby lakes, and evidence of maize farming, evidence that the area was a savannah that was utilized for farming.

Traditionally, the Amazon has been seen as a pristine, dense rainforest, populated by tribal hunter-gatherers, untouched four many thousands of years. Recent studies have suggested that indigenous peoples did live in heavy forested areas, but where capable of clearing vast tracks of land, and that the forest simply didn't exist in some regions.

These findings do suggest that these ancient inhabitants were not rainforest dwelling hunter-gatherers or large-scale clearers, but farmers that did not have to fight the thick forest.

Carson suggests that perhaps a fifth of the southern Amazon basin may have been savannah until the climate shift, leaving the majority heavily forested.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

Two of Mexico's most dangerous criminal imprisoned on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Forty-two-year-old Valdez, who also goes under the name of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two of Mexico's most violent and dreaded criminals are now imprisoned on U.S. soil. Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal and Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla Sanchez are among the most notorious of 13 suspects sent to the U.S. in an unusually high-level judicial ... continue reading

Cuban President pressured by Obama to make moves Watch

Image of


President Barack Obama has broadened opportunities for Americans to spend money, travel, and open businesses in Cuba following two rounds of regulatory reforms since December. While America has been on the move, it seems Cuba has limited its movements to reopening its ... continue reading

Cuba's homeless mysteriously vanish prior to the papal visit Watch

Image of Cuba's homeless vanish before Pope Francis' visit and reemerge just as mysteriously afterward.


The streets of eastern Holguin, Cuba are now flooded with homeless people, following Pope Francis's visit; the homeless went missing during the Pope's tour of the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dozens of homeless now re-flood the streets of eastern ... continue reading

First U.S. Hispanic Saint: Pope Francis to canonize Junipero Serra during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Father Junipero Serra's canonization will

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced plans to canonize the Blessed Junipero Serra during the Pope's visit to the United States on September 23. Serra will become the United States' first Hispanic saint. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Often times, the ... continue reading

The 'silent genocide' of the Brazilian Guarani tribe Watch

Image of Guarani tribe members were promised land in 1993 and have yet to see it, so they fight (Survival International).

By Talia Ramos

One of the oldest tribes in South America, the Guarani Indian tribe, was displaced after ranchers claimed their lands, forcing them to sleep on roadsides. Due to their persecution from the politically-powered land owners, the surviving Guarani people have been asking ... continue reading

South American femicide continues to increase at shockingly high rates Watch

Image of Rape, murder, and kidnapped victims in Mexico continues to increase.


Aidé Nava, a mayoral candidate and mother from Ahuacuotzingo Village in Mexico was found decapitated on the streets of her own town. Gangsters are believed to be behind several kidnappings where women are tortured, raped and decapitated.  MUNTINLUPA CITY, ... continue reading

Why Pope Francis' last speech in Cuba was a masterstroke of genius Watch

Image of Pope Francis has become a political force to be reckoned with.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis concluded his visit to Cuba by delivering a masterful speech calling for a new revolution in the socialist country. He delivered his speech just before departing on Tuesday. Though steeped in religious tones, the call to action is courageous and clear. LOS ... continue reading

'It's like a sign of God': Costa Rican community amazed by unusual cloud formation Watch

Image of Beautiful display of cloud iridescence.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last Tuesday a cloud phenomenon occurred in Costa Rica, leaving people both mystified and horrified. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Several cities such as San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo reported the colorful cloud anomaly. Hundreds posted ... continue reading

Pope Francis wasn't the first to visit Cuba - what happened during previous Papal visits? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro (L'Osservatore Romano Vatican-Pool/Getty Images).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is the third pope to visit Cuba. Who were the first two and why did they decide to visit? LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II each made the trip to Cuba in 2012 and 1998 respectively.TIME called John Paul's ... continue reading

Pope Francis brings hope to Cuba Watch

Image of Pope Francis with Cuban President Raul Castro.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On the 62nd anniversary of Pope Francis' first calling from God, the pontiff celebrated Mass in east Cuba and was the first pope to visit Holguin, the province's capital.The pope not only delivered a beautiful mass but also met with Fidel Castro and made a few pointed ... continue reading

All Americas News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
1 This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
3 take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 7th, 2015 Image

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More