EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics 

David Kesner1,2, Sandy Harrison1,2, Tatiana Blyakharchuk3, Mary Edwards4, Michelle Garneau5, Gabriel Magnan5, and Colin Prentice2,6
David Kesner et al.
  • 1University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, United Kingdom
  • 3Institute of monitoring of climatic and ecological systems of Siberian branch of Russian academy of sciences (IMCES SB RAS)
  • 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 unclear how fire will respond to modern environmental change in this region and its implications for ecosystem processes and human societies. For insight into the long-term evolution of fire regimes, we reconstruct changes in biomass burning in the northern extratropics (>45°N) from the early Holocene (9000 years ago) to the present using the Reading Palaeofire Database, currently the most comprehensive repository of northern extratropical palaeo charcoal records. We examine the different geographic patterns in fire regimes across the northern extratropics from the sub-continental to circum-northern extratropical scale, by quantitatively comparing biomass burning with insolation, CO2,human population records land cover changes. This study provides novel insight into the fire regimes that have characterized the northern extratropics over the Holocene and the differential importance of environmental controls in shaping these burning histories.

How to cite: Kesner, D., Harrison, S., Blyakharchuk, T., Edwards, M., Garneau, M., Magnan, G., and Prentice, C.: Spatial variability in Holocene wildfire responses to environmental change in the northern extratropics , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4846,, 2021.

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