The global array of ice and lake cores in this study supply high-resolution Quaternary proxy records that provide a nearly-continuous record of climate parameters (temperature, accumulation, atmospheric chemistry, tropospheric turbidity, aridity, pollen assemblages and vegetation change). In addition, these cores present the opportunity for the use of a novel technique to examine regional and global fire history. Ice and lake cores that we will investigate in the course of our proposal are almost all already available for the project and have been drilled near many of the locations of the earliest centers of food production (Figure 5 and Table 2). To correlate ice and lake core records in Southern Europe, we will drill a lake core in the Italian Alps. These locations allow for the direct comparison between the advent of agriculture and associated increases in biomass burning.
Figure 5: Locations of ice and lake core records to be analyzed for past biomass burning and evidence of early anthropogenic influence on the climate system. Modified from Diamond, Nature, 2003.
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