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Predictability of biomass burning in response to climate changes

A.L. Daniau 1 P.J. Bartlein 2 S.P. Harrison 1, 3 I.C. Prentice 3, 4, 5 Scott Brewer 6 Pierre Friedlingstein 7, 8 T. Harrison-Prentice 9 J. Inoue 10 K. Izumi 2 J.R. Marlon 11 S. Mooney 12 Mitchell James Power 13 J. Stevenson 14 W. Tinner 15 M. Andric 16 J. Atanassova 17 H. Behling 18 M. Black 12 O. Blarquez 19 K.J. Brown 20 Christopher Carcaillet 21 E.A. Colhoun 22 D. Colombaroli 15 B.A.S. Davis 23 D. d'Costa 24 J. Dodson 25 L. Dupont 26 Zewdu Eshetu 27 D.G. Gavin 2 Aurélie Genries 19 Simon Haberle 28 D.J. Hallett 29 G. Hope 14 S.P. Horn 30 T.G. Kassa 31 F. Katamura 32 L.M. Kennedy 33 P. Kershaw 24 S. Krivonogov 34 C. Long 35 D. Magri 36 E. Marinova 17 G.M. Mckenzie 24 P.I. Moreno 37 P. Moss 38 F.H. Neumann 39, 40 E. Norström 41 C. Paitre 42 D. Rius 43 N. Roberts 44 G.S. Robinson 45 N. Sasaki 46 L. Scott 47 H. Takahara 48 Valery T. Terwilliger 49, 50 Florian Thevenon 51 R. Turner 44, 52 V.G. Valsecchi 15 Boris Vannière 43 M. Walsh 2, 53 N. Williams 54 Y. Zhang 55
Abstract : Climate is an important control on biomass burning, but the sensitivity of fire to changes in temperature and moisture balance has not been quantified. We analyze sedimentary charcoal records to show that the changes in fire regime over the past 21,000 yrs are predictable from changes in regional climates. Analyses of paleo- fire data show that fire increases monotonically with changes in temperature and peaks at intermediate moisture levels, and that temperature is quantitatively the most important driver of changes in biomass burning over the past 21,000 yrs. Given that a similar relationship between climate drivers and fire emerges from analyses of the interannual variability in biomass burning shown by remote-sensing observations of month-by-month burnt area between 1996 and 2008, our results signal a serious cause for concern in the face of continuing global warming.
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A.L. Daniau, P.J. Bartlein, S.P. Harrison, I.C. Prentice, Scott Brewer, et al.. Predictability of biomass burning in response to climate changes. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, American Geophysical Union, 2012, 26 (GB4007), 12 p. ⟨10.1029/2011GB004249⟩. ⟨insu-00750734⟩

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