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LandCover6k: Paleoclimate experiments to evaluate the impact of LULC on climate and the carbon cycle

Sitges, B, Spain
Workshop report
Contact person
Sandy Harrison
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

The LandCover6k working group will conduct a joint workshop with the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) from 24-28 September 2018 in Sitges, Spain.

The workshop is titled "Paleoclimate experiments to evaluate the impact of LULC on climate and the carbon cycle: a joint co-design workshop of LandCover6k and the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project."


Hotel Port Sitges

Passeig de les Drassanes 1-20

08870 Sitges


The meeting will run from 25-27 September, but arrival at and departure from the meeting should be planned for 24 and 28 September respectively.

Participation will be limited to 25 people, with representatives from LandCover6k, the Palecoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) and the carbon-cycle modeling communities. Participation from these groups will be by invitation. However, four places will be reserved for other interested scientists to apply to attend.

The workshop is envisaged primarily as a discussion workshop. However, there will be overview presentations (which will be recorded) on the first day. The opportunity for scientists to join this part of the workshop virtually will be available, if there is an interest.


It is still not known whether prehistoric human impacts on land cover (i.e. anthropogenic land-cover change due to land use, LULC) were sufficiently large to have a major impact on regional climates. Although climate model simulations suggest that the impact of LULC could be important, both in and beyond the regions where the LULC changes occurred, the LULC changes used to drive these simulations are known to be unrealistic.

The goal of the LandCover6k working group is to document LULC changes over the Holocene, using paleovegetation (inferred from pollen data) and archaeological data. However, the coverage of data will never be global – in part because of preservation issues for paleoecological and archaeological information about land use and land cover, and in part because of limited resources. Instead, these data will be used as input to integrated assessment models in order to improve their reconstructions of LULC through time. The improved reconstructions can then be used as input scenarios for paleoclimate simulations, to examine the impact of LULC changes on climate and the carbon cycle. This process is likely to be iterative, because the realism of the climate-carbon cycle simulations will provide insights into whether the reconstructed LULC are realistic or not. Analyses of these simulations will pinpoint regions where additional data are crucial to refine the reconstructions further.

LandCover6k has made considerable progress towards producing reconstructions for key regions and times. The time has now come to begin testing these reconstructions. This workshop is intended to co-design the paleosimulations that will both test the LandCover6k products and provide a realistic assessment of the impact of LULC changes on climate and the carbon cycle.

The workshop will produce an experimental protocol for model simulations to quantify the effect of LULC changes.


- Andria Dawson (Mount Royal University, Canada)

- Etienne Fluet-Chouinard (Stanford, USA)

- Marie-Jose Gaillard (Linnaeus University, Sweden)

- Eric Galbraith (ICREA, Spain)

- Esther Githumbi (Linnaeus University, Sweden)

- Sandy P. Harrison (University of Reading, UK)

- Kees Klein Goldewijk (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

- Jed Kaplan (University of Oxford, UK)

- Thomas Kastner (BIK-FI, Germany)

- Alexander Koch (UCL, UK)

- Umbert Lombardo (University of Bern, Switzerland)

- Stephan Lorenz (MPI-Meteorology, Germany)

- Marco Madella (ICREA, Spain)

- Rob Marchant (University of York, UK)

- Kathy Morrison (University of Chicago, USA)

- Louise Parsons Chini (University of Maryland, USA)

- Francesco Pausata (Université de Quebec, Canada)

- Erick N. Robinson (University of Arizona, USA)

- T.P. Sabin (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India)

- Beni Stocker (CREAF, Spain)

- Marc Vander Linden (University of Cambridsge, UK)

- Lucien von Gunthen (PAGES, Switzerland)

- Marco Zanon (Christian Albrecht University, Germany)

- Wanyi Zhao (University of Chicago, USA)


More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Financial support

PAGES has provided some financial support to allow for the attendance of four extra, interested scientists (priority will be given to early-career researchers). Send your application by 31 July to Sandy Harrison: (s[dot]p[dot]harrison[at]reading[dot]ac[dot]uk)

Applications should include i) your CV with full name and current affiliation ii) PhD thesis subject iii) a summary (max 1/2 page) of your current research interest and why you are interested to take part in the workshop.

Further information

Contact the workshop organizers:

Sandy Harrison

Benjamin Stocker

Marie-José Gaillard