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Human Settlers Caused Destruction of Madagascar Forests

New research into the impetus behind the widespread loss of forestland in Madagascar around 1,000 years in the past suggests it was due to human intervention in the form of setting fires.

A team of scientists from both UMass Amherst and MIT joined together in order to investigate the origins of the events that led to such widespread destruction. Theories abounded prior to the research, including a natural disaster or some sort of natural climate change, but a careful study of a pair of stalagmites sourced from a cave in the northwest corner of the island revealed the truth of the matter: it was the hand of man, not an act of God, that was ultimately responsible for the massive deforestation.

Mariusz Kluzniak

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