First paleofires workshop “Dartington I”

29 October-4 November 2006, Dartington Hall, UK

The palaeo-record provides ideal opportunities for evaluating components of earth system models. Charcoal records, in combination with information about changes in vegetation distribution, can be used to evaluate state-of-art coupled vegetation-fire models. A preliminary compilation of qualitative information about the change in fire regimes globally between the mid-Holocene and today (Marlon and Bartlein, unpublished data) shows coherent patterns of regional change in fire regime. However, for an adequate modeling test, this compilation had to be extended to cover the globe and other time periods.

Aims and Achievements of first Palaeofires Workshop:

  • to demonstrate the extensiveness of the data coverage globally
  • to strengthen community perception that charcoal records will provide a useful tool for reconstructing changes in fire regimes during the late Quaternary
  • to create a database archive of charcoal records, currently containing 449 records but expected to at least double in size over the next year
  • to create maps of changing fire regimes for key times in the past and use these to evaluate model simulations of fire regimes during the last glacial maximum and the mid-Holocene
  • to initiate work on two papers (Power et al., Marlon et al.) which, in addition to documenting the analyses carried out at the workshop, will publicise the Palaeofires component of the IGBP FTI on Fire
  • to create concrete plans to take this work forward over the next few years

The first workshop was funded by IGBP and QUEST

1st workshop report | Webpage