EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Spatial variability in biomass burning in the northern extratropics since the Last Glacial Maximum

David Kesner1,2, Sandy Harrison1,2, Tatiana Blyakharchuk3, Mary Edwards4, Michelle Garneau5, Gabriel Magnan5, and Colin Prentice6
David Kesner et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • 2Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, United Kingdom
  • 3Tomsk State University Department of Botany, Lenina 36, 634050 Tomsk, Russia
  • 4Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 5GEOTOP Research Center, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • 6Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Fire is an important environmental and ecological process in northern high latitude environments. It is currently unclear how fire regimes will change in response to current environmental change in this region and the implications this may have for ecosystem processes and human societies. We reconstruct changes in biomass burning since the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern extratropics (>45°N), using data from the Global Charcoal Database complemented by new records from Canada, Beringia and Russia. A clustering machine-learning algorithm (K-means) is used to delimit regions that show similar burning histories. Comparison of the regional trajectories of change in biomass burning provides insights into the environmental drivers of fire. Generalised linear modelling is then used to explore the independent roles of climate, vegetation changes and human activities on changes in fire regimes for each region and for the northern extratropics as a whole. This study provides quantitive information about the differential importance of the drivers of changes in fire regimes in different regions and at different timescales since the Last Glacial Maximum, and provides insights about how these may influence future fire regimes across this region.


How to cite: Kesner, D., Harrison, S., Blyakharchuk, T., Edwards, M., Garneau, M., Magnan, G., and Prentice, C.: Spatial variability in biomass burning in the northern extratropics since the Last Glacial Maximum, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2730,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 2 – uploaded on 05 May 2020 , no comments
Improved slide text, incorporated another figure.
Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020 , no comments