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Fire history and the Global Charcoal Database: a new tool for hypothesis testing and data exploration

Power, M. J., Marlon, J. R., Bartlein, P. J. and Harrison, S. P. (2010) Fire history and the Global Charcoal Database: a new tool for hypothesis testing and data exploration. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 291 (1-2). pp. 52-59. ISSN 0031-0182 (special issue, SI)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.09.014

Abstract/Summary

Version 1 of the Global Charcoal Database is now available for regional fire history reconstructions, data exploration, hypothesis testing, and evaluation of coupled climate–vegetation–fire model simulations. The charcoal database contains over 400 radiocarbon-dated records that document changes in charcoal abundance during the Late Quaternary. The aim of this public database is to stimulate cross-disciplinary research in fire sciences targeted at an increased understanding of the controls and impacts of natural and anthropogenic fire regimes on centennial-to-orbital timescales. We describe here the data standardization techniques for comparing multiple types of sedimentary charcoal records. Version 1 of the Global Charcoal Database has been used to characterize global and regional patterns in fire activity since the last glacial maximum. Recent studies using the charcoal database have explored the relation between climate and fire during periods of rapid climate change, including evidence of fire activity during the Younger Dryas Chronozone, and during the past two millennia.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:35881
Uncontrolled Keywords:Charcoal; Database; Fire history; Dynamic global vegetation models
Additional Information:Charcoal and its use in palaeoenvironmental analysis — Selected papers from: 4th International Meeting of Anthracology, Brussels, 8-13 September 2008
Publisher:Elsevier

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