Paleofire: data-model comparisons for the past millenium

27 September – 2 October 2015, Harvard Forest USA 

A final synthesis workshop of the GPWG was held at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. The workshop aim was to bring researchers with paleodata expertise together with global fire modelers in order to improve both the data and the models. Scientists also brought expertise in atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, modern ecology, statistics, remote sensing, anthropology, and regional-to-global scale fire history. To see a description of who we are, take a look at a survey of the participants and their expertise.

View the workshop agenda, or the participant list.


Participants (left to right, back to front): Alex Schaefer, Xu Yue, Brian Magi, Tim Brücher, Mitchell Power, Sam Rabin, Michael Coughlan, Malcolm Itter, Patrick Bartlein, Olivier Blarquez, Sam Munoz, Yongming Han, Rebecca Muthoni, Sylvia Kloster, Gilbert Ayodele, Sergey Malyshev, Boris Vannière, Julie Aleman, Daniele Colombaroli, Stijn Hantson, Jennifer Marlon, Jed Kaplan, Esther Githumbi, Donna Hawthorne, Natalie Kehrwald, Colin Mustaphi, Anne-Laure Daniau, Florent Mouillot, Carla Staver, Margreet van Marle


Changes in burned fraction over the course of the 20th century.

Changes in burned fraction over the course of the 20th century.               (P. Bartlein)

Plenary Presentations

Plenary presentations laid the groundwork for the discussions that would occur over the course of the workshop. Links to the presentations can be found below, with more being added in the future.

Charcoal Data, Julie Aleman

The Global Charcoal Database, Boris Vanniere

The Paleofire R Package, Olivier Blarquez

Strategies and Methods in Fire Models, Sam Rabin

Charcoal Synthesis, Anne-Laure Daniau

Fire Model Intercomparison Project (FireMIP), Stijn Hantson

Modeling Fire in Preindustrial Time, Jed Kaplan


Fire over the Past 150 Years, Florent Mouillot


Workshop Reports

Summaries describing discussion topics and outcomes from the workshop have been submitted to Eos, the American Geophysical Union’s monthly news publication, and to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Pending publication, these meeting reports will be available here in the future.

Our workshop coincided with a rare “supermoon” eclipse on September 27th-28th, which afforded participants a chance to take some fantastic photos:

Photo: Xu Yue.