Europe on fire three thousand years ago: Arson or climate?

Piero Zennaro, Natalie Kehrwald, Jennifer Marlon, William F. Ruddiman, Tim Brücher, Claudio Agostinelli, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Roberta Zangrando, Andrea Gambaro, Carlo Barbante
2015 Geophysical Research Letters  
The timing of initiation of human impacts on the global climate system is actively debated. Anthropogenic effects on the global climate system are evident since the Industrial Revolution, but humans may have altered biomass burning, and hence the climate system, for millennia. We use the specific biomarker levoglucosan to produce the first high-temporal resolution hemispheric reconstruction of Holocene fire emissions inferred from ice core analyses. Levoglucosan recorded in the Greenland North
more » ... reenland Eemian ice core significantly increases since the last glacial, resulting in a maximum around~2.5 ka and then decreasing until the present. Here we demonstrate that global climate drivers fail to explain late Holocene biomass burning variations and that the levoglucosan maximum centered on~2.5 ka may be due to anthropogenic land clearance.
doi:10.1002/2015gl064259 fatcat:wyx5obegx5elbcc76evrlsuia4