Category: Analyses

Biomass Burning on the Rise Again

Levels of biomass burning in parts of the world are now higher than at any time in the past 22,000 years, according to our most recent fire history reconstructions from the Global Charcoal Database version 3 (GCDv3), just published today in

7000-year human legacy of elevation-dependent European fire regimes

Highlights: • 18 southern European charcoal records document 16,000 years of fire regime changes. • Since the Neolithic, land uses have artificially maintained high fire frequencies. • Human-induced decreases in forest cover led to a reduction in the biomass burned.

Reconstructions of biomass burning from sediment charcoal records to improve data-model comparisons

Abstract. The location, timing, spatial extent, and frequency of wildfires are changing rapidly in many parts of the world, producing substantial impacts on ecosystems, people, and potentially climate. Paleofire records based on charcoal accumulation in sediments enable modern changes in

paleofire: An R package to analyse sedimentary charcoal records from the Global Charcoal Database to reconstruct past biomass burning

Abstract: We describe a new R package, paleofire, for analysis and synthesis of charcoal time series, such as those contained in the Global Charcoal Database (GCD), that are used to reconstruct paleofire activity (past biomass burning). paleofire is an initiative of

A 21 000-Year History of Fire (Power, 2013)

This chapter provides a global perspective on palaeofire activity through the analysis of over 650 stratigraphic sedimentary charcoal records spanning the last 21000 years. Regional time series analysis provides empirical evidence for global-scale trends in fire since the last glacial

Circum-Mediterranean fire activity and climate changes during the mid-Holocene environmental transition (8500-2500 cal. BP) (Vannière et al. 2011)

A mid- to late-Holocene synthesis of fire activity from the Mediterranean basin explores the linkages among fire, climate variability and seasonality through several climatic and ecological transitions. Regional fire histories were created from 36 radiocarbon-dated sedimentary charcoal records, available from

Predictability of biomass burning in response to climate changes (Daniau et al. 2012)

Climate is an important control on biomass burning, but the sensitivity of fire to changes in temperature and moisture balance has not been quantified. We analyze sedimentary charcoal records to show that the changes in fire regime over the past

Long-term perspective on wildfires in the western USA (Marlon et al. 2012)

Understanding the causes and consequences of wildfires in forests of the western United States requires integrated information about fire, climate changes, and human activity on multiple temporal scales. We use sedimentary charcoal accumulation rates to construct long-term variations in fire

16th Century burning decline in the Americas: Population collapse or climate change? (Power et al. 2012)

During the Holocene, the last 11,000 years, climate, vegetation, and likely, humans have been key controls to changing fire regimes in the Americas. A long-accepted paradigm is that of the ‘noble savage’, whereby indigenous peoples lived in harmony within a pristine

Global biomass burning: a synthesis and review of Holocene paleofire records and their controls (Marlon et al. 2012)

We synthesize existing sedimentary charcoal records to reconstruct Holocene fire history at regional, continental and global scales. The reconstructions are compared with the two potential controls of burning at these broad scales – changes in climate and human activities –