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47 Research products, page 1 of 5

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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Westerhold, Thomas;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | EARTHSEQUENCING (617462), EC | TiPES (820970), EC | MIONIÑO (796220)

    Much of our understanding of Earth's past climate states comes from the measurement of oxygen and carbon isotope variations in deep-sea benthic foraminifera. Yet, major intervals in those records that lack the temporal resolution and/or age control required to identify climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we document 66 million years of global climate by a new high-fidelity Cenozoic global reference benthic carbon and oxygen isotope dataset (CENOGRID). Using recurrence analysis, we find that on timescales of millions of years Earth's climate can be grouped into Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse and Icehouse states separated by transitions related to changing greenhouse gas levels and the growth of polar ice sheets. Each Cenozoic climate state is paced by orbital cycles, but the response to radiative forcing is state dependent.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dinh, Ngoc Thi;
    Publisher: Yrkeshögskolan Novia
    Country: Finland

    Purpose: Identify impacts of Song Bung 4 Hydropower project to diversity and hydrology; Criticise on mitigation practice and impacts. Method: Screen of impacts from records of other projects and mitigations; Compare with identified impacts and mitigation practices. Findings: Direct lost of some species; environmental flow is not implemented regularly; higher fish yield in reservoir; threaten migratory fish

  • English
    Authors: 
    Spilling, Kristian;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: AKA | Changing phytoplankton co... (259164), EC | ASSEMBLE (227799)

    In an enclosure experiment, we employed two levels of inorganic NP ratios (10 and 5) for three distinct plankton communities collected along the coast of central Chile (33ºS). Each combination of community and NP level was replicated three times. The experiment lasted 12 days, and the data set include inorganic nutrients (NO3, PO4, DSi), particular organic carbon (POC), nitrogen (PON) and phosphorus (POP), Chlorophyll a, a range of fluorescence based measurements such as photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) and community data. The primary effect of the NP treatment was related to different concentrations of NO3, which directly influenced the biomass of phytoplankton. Additionally, low inorganic NP ratio reduced the seston NP and Chl a-C ratios, and there were some effects on the plankton community composition, e.g. benefitting Synechococcus spp in some communities.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    GTN-P;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | PAGE21 (282700)

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) provides the first dynamic database associated with the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) and the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) programs, which extensively collect permafrost temperature and active layer thickness (ALT) data from Arctic, Antarctic and mountain permafrost regions. The purpose of GTN-P is to establish an early warning system for the consequences of climate change in permafrost regions and to provide standardized thermal permafrost data to global models. In this paper we introduce the GTN-P database and perform statistical analysis of the GTN-P metadata to identify and quantify the spatial gaps in the site distribution in relation to climate-effective environmental parameters. We describe the concept and structure of the data management system in regard to user operability, data transfer and data policy. We outline data sources and data processing including quality control strategies based on national correspondents. Assessment of the metadata and data quality reveals 63 % metadata completeness at active layer sites and 50 % metadata completeness for boreholes. Voronoi tessellation analysis on the spatial sample distribution of boreholes and active layer measurement sites quantifies the distribution inhomogeneity and provides a potential method to locate additional permafrost research sites by improving the representativeness of thermal monitoring across areas underlain by permafrost. The depth distribution of the boreholes reveals that 73 % are shallower than 25 m and 27 % are deeper, reaching a maximum of 1 km depth. Comparison of the GTN-P site distribution with permafrost zones, soil organic carbon contents and vegetation types exhibits different local to regional monitoring situations, which are illustrated with maps. Preferential slope orientation at the sites most likely causes a bias in the temperature monitoring and should be taken into account when using the data for global models. The distribution of GTN-P sites within zones of projected temperature change show a high representation of areas with smaller expected temperature rise but a lower number of sites within Arctic areas where climate models project extreme temperature increase.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Foster, Laura C; Schmidt, Daniela N; Thomas, Ellen; Arndt, Sandra; Ridgwell, Andy;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ELISA (226716), UKRI | Past records of ocean aci... (NE/F017383/1), NSF | Collaborative Research: R... (0902959)

    Predicting the impact of ongoing anthropogenic CO2 emissions on calcifying marine organisms is complex, owing to the synergy between direct changes (acidification) and indirect changes through climate change (e.g., warming, changes in ocean circulation, and deoxygenation). Laboratory experiments, particularly on longer-lived organisms, tend to be too short to reveal the potential of organisms to acclimatize, adapt, or evolve and usually do not incorporate multiple stressors. We studied two examples of rapid carbon release in the geological record, Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (~53.2 Ma) and the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, ~55.5 Ma), the best analogs over the last 65 Ma for future ocean acidification related to high atmospheric CO2 levels. We use benthic foraminifers, which suffered severe extinction during the PETM, as a model group. Using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy, we reconstruct the calcification response of survivor species and find, contrary to expectations, that calcification significantly increased during the PETM. In contrast, there was no significant response to the smaller Eocene Thermal Maximum 2, which was associated with a minor change in diversity only. These observations suggest that there is a response threshold for extinction and calcification response, while highlighting the utility of the geological record in helping constrain the sensitivity of biotic response to environmental change.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Parrenin, Frédéric; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Köhler, Peter; Raynaud, Dominique; Paillard, Didier; Schwander, Jakob; Barbante, Carlo; Landais, Amaelle; Wegner, Anna; Jouzel, Jean;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | AMON-RA (214814), ANR | DOME A (ANR-07-BLAN-0125), SNSF | Klima- und Umweltphysik (135152), SNSF | Climate and Environmental... (147174)

    Understanding the role of atmospheric CO2 during past climate changes requires clear knowledge of how it varies in time relative to temperature. Antarctic ice cores preserve highly resolved records of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the past 800,000 years. Here we propose a revised relative age scale for the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the last deglacial warming, using data from five Antarctic ice cores. We infer the phasing between CO2 concentration and Antarctic temperature at four times when their trends change abruptly. We find no significant asynchrony between them, indicating that Antarctic temperature did not begin to rise hundreds of years before the concentration of atmospheric CO2, as has been suggested by earlier studies.

  • Other research product . Collection . 2020
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kazanidis, Georgios; Henry, Lea-Anne; Vad, Johanne; Johnson, Clare; De Clippele, Laurence Helene; Roberts, J Murray;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ATLAS (678760)

    The presence-absence data for macrobenthic fauna that has been collected in Mingulay Reef Complex (Scotland, UK) across 79 stations over the years 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The collection of the benthic samples has been carried out using a Van-Veen grab, mainly from hard habitats (e.g. live and dead coral framework). About 60% of the macrofaunal specimens have been identified at species level using high quality taxonomic keys and advice from taxonomy experts. Most common taxonomic groups analysed here are molluscs, polychaetes, arthropods, bryozoans, anthozoans, tunicates and brachiopods. The collection of the specimens is now deposited at the National Museums of Scotland (see the attached excel file for details). The enviromental data contains information about coordinates and environmental settings at stations where macrobenthic samples mentioned above, were collected. The environmental settings that are included in the file refer to the years 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011. For more information on the environmental variables have a look in Henry et al. 2010 (doi:10.1007/s00338-009-0577-6) and Henry et al. 2013 (doi:10.5194/bg-10-2737-2013). The environmental variables included in the excel file are: type of macrohabitat (i.e. muddy sand, rubble, rock, live coral, dead framework, live & dead framework), depth (m), slope, ruggedness, broad-scale bathymetric position index, fine-scale bathymetric position index, average current speed (m/s), maximum current speed (m/s), northness, eastness, winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index (same year), winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index (previous year), annual average bottom temperature (same year), annual average bottom salinity (same year). Extraction of bathymetric (depth) and topographic data [slope, aspect, northness, eastness, ruggedness, standardised broad-scale bathymetric position index (BPI; with an inner radius of 1 cell and an outer radius of 5 cells), fine-scale BPI (with an inner radius of 1 cell and an outer radius of 3 cells)] was based on multibeam echosounder data, using the Spatial Analyst and Benthic Terrain Modeler toolboxes in ArcGIS v.10.6.1 Average and maximum current speed values (m/s) were extracted by the ArcGIS v. 10.6.1 Spatial Analyst toolbox using data generated by a high-resolution 3D ocean model created for the MRC by Moreno-Navas et al. (2014). Data for the winter NAOI (DJFM) (Hurrell et al., 2003) were downloaded from the National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research website (climatedataguide.ucar.edu; data accessed on 28/02/2019).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rybakova, Elena; Kremenetskaia, Antonina; Vedenin, Andrey; Boetius, Antje; Gebruk, Andrey V;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    Quantitative camera surveys of benthic megafauna were carried out during the expedition ARK-XXVII/3 to the Eastern Central Arctic basins with the research icebreaker Polarstern in summer 2012 (2 August-29 September). Nine transects were performed for the first time in deep-sea areas previously fully covered by ice, four of them in the Nansen Basin (3571-4066m) and five in the Amundsen Basin (4041-4384m). At seven of these stations benthic Agassiz trawls were taken near the camera tracks for species identification.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kiesel, Joshua; Bienhold, Christina; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Link, Heike;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    During the RV Polarstern expedition PS94, we gathered sediment samples in the Barents Sea and the central Arctic Ocean by deploying both a multiple corer (MUC) and a giant boxcorer (GKG). After retrieval of the MUC or GKG, replicate sediment cores with a visibly intact sediment surface were chosen for further laboratory analysis. The selected cores were brought to the laboratory on board RV Polarstern for further analysis. While data on chlorophyll pigments, total organic carbon, microbial cell numbers and diffusive oxygen uptake rates were taken from the same cores, total oxygen uptake rates were measured in three additional cores.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Daniau, Anne-Laure; Sanchez Goñi, Maria Fernanda; Martinez, Philippe; Urrego, Dunia H; Bout-Roumazeilles, Viviane; Desprat, Stéphanie; Marlon, Jennifer R;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | TRACSYMBOLS (249587)

    Although grassland and savanna occupy only a quarter of the world's vegetation, burning in these ecosystems accounts for roughly half the global carbon emissions from fire. However, the processes that govern changes in grassland burning are poorly understood, particularly on time scales beyond satellite records. We analyzed microcharcoal, sediments, and geochemistry in a high-resolution marine sediment core off Namibia to identify the processes that have controlled biomass burning in southern African grassland ecosystems under large, multimillennial-scale climate changes. Six fire cycles occurred during the past 170,000 y in southern Africa that correspond both in timing and magnitude to the precessional forcing of north-south shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Contrary to the conventional expectation that fire increases with higher temperatures and increased drought, we found that wetter and cooler climates cause increased burning in the study region, owing to a shift in rainfall amount and seasonality (and thus vegetation flammability). We also show that charcoal morphology (i.e., the particle's length-to-width ratio) can be used to reconstruct changes in fire activity as well as biome shifts over time. Our results provide essential context for understanding current and future grassland-fire dynamics and their associated carbon emissions.

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
includes
arrow_drop_down
Include:
The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
47 Research products, page 1 of 5
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Westerhold, Thomas;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | EARTHSEQUENCING (617462), EC | TiPES (820970), EC | MIONIÑO (796220)

    Much of our understanding of Earth's past climate states comes from the measurement of oxygen and carbon isotope variations in deep-sea benthic foraminifera. Yet, major intervals in those records that lack the temporal resolution and/or age control required to identify climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we document 66 million years of global climate by a new high-fidelity Cenozoic global reference benthic carbon and oxygen isotope dataset (CENOGRID). Using recurrence analysis, we find that on timescales of millions of years Earth's climate can be grouped into Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse and Icehouse states separated by transitions related to changing greenhouse gas levels and the growth of polar ice sheets. Each Cenozoic climate state is paced by orbital cycles, but the response to radiative forcing is state dependent.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Dinh, Ngoc Thi;
    Publisher: Yrkeshögskolan Novia
    Country: Finland

    Purpose: Identify impacts of Song Bung 4 Hydropower project to diversity and hydrology; Criticise on mitigation practice and impacts. Method: Screen of impacts from records of other projects and mitigations; Compare with identified impacts and mitigation practices. Findings: Direct lost of some species; environmental flow is not implemented regularly; higher fish yield in reservoir; threaten migratory fish

  • English
    Authors: 
    Spilling, Kristian;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: AKA | Changing phytoplankton co... (259164), EC | ASSEMBLE (227799)

    In an enclosure experiment, we employed two levels of inorganic NP ratios (10 and 5) for three distinct plankton communities collected along the coast of central Chile (33ºS). Each combination of community and NP level was replicated three times. The experiment lasted 12 days, and the data set include inorganic nutrients (NO3, PO4, DSi), particular organic carbon (POC), nitrogen (PON) and phosphorus (POP), Chlorophyll a, a range of fluorescence based measurements such as photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) and community data. The primary effect of the NP treatment was related to different concentrations of NO3, which directly influenced the biomass of phytoplankton. Additionally, low inorganic NP ratio reduced the seston NP and Chl a-C ratios, and there were some effects on the plankton community composition, e.g. benefitting Synechococcus spp in some communities.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    GTN-P;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | PAGE21 (282700)

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) provides the first dynamic database associated with the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) and the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) programs, which extensively collect permafrost temperature and active layer thickness (ALT) data from Arctic, Antarctic and mountain permafrost regions. The purpose of GTN-P is to establish an early warning system for the consequences of climate change in permafrost regions and to provide standardized thermal permafrost data to global models. In this paper we introduce the GTN-P database and perform statistical analysis of the GTN-P metadata to identify and quantify the spatial gaps in the site distribution in relation to climate-effective environmental parameters. We describe the concept and structure of the data management system in regard to user operability, data transfer and data policy. We outline data sources and data processing including quality control strategies based on national correspondents. Assessment of the metadata and data quality reveals 63 % metadata completeness at active layer sites and 50 % metadata completeness for boreholes. Voronoi tessellation analysis on the spatial sample distribution of boreholes and active layer measurement sites quantifies the distribution inhomogeneity and provides a potential method to locate additional permafrost research sites by improving the representativeness of thermal monitoring across areas underlain by permafrost. The depth distribution of the boreholes reveals that 73 % are shallower than 25 m and 27 % are deeper, reaching a maximum of 1 km depth. Comparison of the GTN-P site distribution with permafrost zones, soil organic carbon contents and vegetation types exhibits different local to regional monitoring situations, which are illustrated with maps. Preferential slope orientation at the sites most likely causes a bias in the temperature monitoring and should be taken into account when using the data for global models. The distribution of GTN-P sites within zones of projected temperature change show a high representation of areas with smaller expected temperature rise but a lower number of sites within Arctic areas where climate models project extreme temperature increase.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Foster, Laura C; Schmidt, Daniela N; Thomas, Ellen; Arndt, Sandra; Ridgwell, Andy;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ELISA (226716), UKRI | Past records of ocean aci... (NE/F017383/1), NSF | Collaborative Research: R... (0902959)

    Predicting the impact of ongoing anthropogenic CO2 emissions on calcifying marine organisms is complex, owing to the synergy between direct changes (acidification) and indirect changes through climate change (e.g., warming, changes in ocean circulation, and deoxygenation). Laboratory experiments, particularly on longer-lived organisms, tend to be too short to reveal the potential of organisms to acclimatize, adapt, or evolve and usually do not incorporate multiple stressors. We studied two examples of rapid carbon release in the geological record, Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (~53.2 Ma) and the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, ~55.5 Ma), the best analogs over the last 65 Ma for future ocean acidification related to high atmospheric CO2 levels. We use benthic foraminifers, which suffered severe extinction during the PETM, as a model group. Using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy, we reconstruct the calcification response of survivor species and find, contrary to expectations, that calcification significantly increased during the PETM. In contrast, there was no significant response to the smaller Eocene Thermal Maximum 2, which was associated with a minor change in diversity only. These observations suggest that there is a response threshold for extinction and calcification response, while highlighting the utility of the geological record in helping constrain the sensitivity of biotic response to environmental change.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Parrenin, Frédéric; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Köhler, Peter; Raynaud, Dominique; Paillard, Didier; Schwander, Jakob; Barbante, Carlo; Landais, Amaelle; Wegner, Anna; Jouzel, Jean;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | AMON-RA (214814), ANR | DOME A (ANR-07-BLAN-0125), SNSF | Klima- und Umweltphysik (135152), SNSF | Climate and Environmental... (147174)

    Understanding the role of atmospheric CO2 during past climate changes requires clear knowledge of how it varies in time relative to temperature. Antarctic ice cores preserve highly resolved records of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the past 800,000 years. Here we propose a revised relative age scale for the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the last deglacial warming, using data from five Antarctic ice cores. We infer the phasing between CO2 concentration and Antarctic temperature at four times when their trends change abruptly. We find no significant asynchrony between them, indicating that Antarctic temperature did not begin to rise hundreds of years before the concentration of atmospheric CO2, as has been suggested by earlier studies.

  • Other research product . Collection . 2020
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kazanidis, Georgios; Henry, Lea-Anne; Vad, Johanne; Johnson, Clare; De Clippele, Laurence Helene; Roberts, J Murray;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ATLAS (678760)

    The presence-absence data for macrobenthic fauna that has been collected in Mingulay Reef Complex (Scotland, UK) across 79 stations over the years 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The collection of the benthic samples has been carried out using a Van-Veen grab, mainly from hard habitats (e.g. live and dead coral framework). About 60% of the macrofaunal specimens have been identified at species level using high quality taxonomic keys and advice from taxonomy experts. Most common taxonomic groups analysed here are molluscs, polychaetes, arthropods, bryozoans, anthozoans, tunicates and brachiopods. The collection of the specimens is now deposited at the National Museums of Scotland (see the attached excel file for details). The enviromental data contains information about coordinates and environmental settings at stations where macrobenthic samples mentioned above, were collected. The environmental settings that are included in the file refer to the years 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011. For more information on the environmental variables have a look in Henry et al. 2010 (doi:10.1007/s00338-009-0577-6) and Henry et al. 2013 (doi:10.5194/bg-10-2737-2013). The environmental variables included in the excel file are: type of macrohabitat (i.e. muddy sand, rubble, rock, live coral, dead framework, live & dead framework), depth (m), slope, ruggedness, broad-scale bathymetric position index, fine-scale bathymetric position index, average current speed (m/s), maximum current speed (m/s), northness, eastness, winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index (same year), winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index (previous year), annual average bottom temperature (same year), annual average bottom salinity (same year). Extraction of bathymetric (depth) and topographic data [slope, aspect, northness, eastness, ruggedness, standardised broad-scale bathymetric position index (BPI; with an inner radius of 1 cell and an outer radius of 5 cells), fine-scale BPI (with an inner radius of 1 cell and an outer radius of 3 cells)] was based on multibeam echosounder data, using the Spatial Analyst and Benthic Terrain Modeler toolboxes in ArcGIS v.10.6.1 Average and maximum current speed values (m/s) were extracted by the ArcGIS v. 10.6.1 Spatial Analyst toolbox using data generated by a high-resolution 3D ocean model created for the MRC by Moreno-Navas et al. (2014). Data for the winter NAOI (DJFM) (Hurrell et al., 2003) were downloaded from the National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research website (climatedataguide.ucar.edu; data accessed on 28/02/2019).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Rybakova, Elena; Kremenetskaia, Antonina; Vedenin, Andrey; Boetius, Antje; Gebruk, Andrey V;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    Quantitative camera surveys of benthic megafauna were carried out during the expedition ARK-XXVII/3 to the Eastern Central Arctic basins with the research icebreaker Polarstern in summer 2012 (2 August-29 September). Nine transects were performed for the first time in deep-sea areas previously fully covered by ice, four of them in the Nansen Basin (3571-4066m) and five in the Amundsen Basin (4041-4384m). At seven of these stations benthic Agassiz trawls were taken near the camera tracks for species identification.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kiesel, Joshua; Bienhold, Christina; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Link, Heike;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | ABYSS (294757)

    During the RV Polarstern expedition PS94, we gathered sediment samples in the Barents Sea and the central Arctic Ocean by deploying both a multiple corer (MUC) and a giant boxcorer (GKG). After retrieval of the MUC or GKG, replicate sediment cores with a visibly intact sediment surface were chosen for further laboratory analysis. The selected cores were brought to the laboratory on board RV Polarstern for further analysis. While data on chlorophyll pigments, total organic carbon, microbial cell numbers and diffusive oxygen uptake rates were taken from the same cores, total oxygen uptake rates were measured in three additional cores.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Daniau, Anne-Laure; Sanchez Goñi, Maria Fernanda; Martinez, Philippe; Urrego, Dunia H; Bout-Roumazeilles, Viviane; Desprat, Stéphanie; Marlon, Jennifer R;
    Publisher: PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
    Project: EC | TRACSYMBOLS (249587)

    Although grassland and savanna occupy only a quarter of the world's vegetation, burning in these ecosystems accounts for roughly half the global carbon emissions from fire. However, the processes that govern changes in grassland burning are poorly understood, particularly on time scales beyond satellite records. We analyzed microcharcoal, sediments, and geochemistry in a high-resolution marine sediment core off Namibia to identify the processes that have controlled biomass burning in southern African grassland ecosystems under large, multimillennial-scale climate changes. Six fire cycles occurred during the past 170,000 y in southern Africa that correspond both in timing and magnitude to the precessional forcing of north-south shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Contrary to the conventional expectation that fire increases with higher temperatures and increased drought, we found that wetter and cooler climates cause increased burning in the study region, owing to a shift in rainfall amount and seasonality (and thus vegetation flammability). We also show that charcoal morphology (i.e., the particle's length-to-width ratio) can be used to reconstruct changes in fire activity as well as biome shifts over time. Our results provide essential context for understanding current and future grassland-fire dynamics and their associated carbon emissions.