The Australian monsoon tropics used to be covered with rainforests until settlers cleared most for agricultural purposes. Despite Australia's infamous forest/brush fires, the monsoon rainforests have expanded since the mid-20th century.
New peer-reviewed research by Bowman et al. confirms, like so many of the world's tropical rainforests, that the Australian monsoon rainforest expansion is most likely due to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 and improved rainfall amounts.
"...the authors write that "a large research program in the Australian monsoon tropics has concluded that monsoon rainforests have expanded within the savanna matrix" since "the middle of the last century," while noting that a similar trend "has been emulated throughout the tropics worldwide,".....At the conclusion of their study, the three researchers write that they "consider it most likely that the expansion of rainforest patches is related to global climate change via increased rainfall and/or the CO2 'fertilizer effect'," since the expansion of Australia's monsoon rainforests occurred "despite hostile fire regimes."". [Bowman, D.M.J.S., Murphy, B.P. and Banfai, D.S. 2010: Landscape Ecology 25: 1247-1260]