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Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing.

Mastepanov, Mikhail LU ; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Dlugokencky, Edward J; Houweling, Sander; Ström, Lena LU ; Tamstorf, Mikkel P and Christensen, Torben LU (2008) In Nature 456(7222). p.58-628
Abstract
Terrestrial wetland emissions are the largest single source of the greenhouse gas methane. Northern high-latitude wetlands contribute significantly to the overall methane emissions from wetlands, but the relative source distribution between tropical and high-latitude wetlands remains uncertain. As a result, not all the observed spatial and seasonal patterns of atmospheric methane concentrations can be satisfactorily explained, particularly for high northern latitudes. For example, a late-autumn shoulder is consistently observed in the seasonal cycles of atmospheric methane at high-latitude sites, but the sources responsible for these increased methane concentrations remain uncertain. Here we report a data set that extends hourly methane... (More)
Terrestrial wetland emissions are the largest single source of the greenhouse gas methane. Northern high-latitude wetlands contribute significantly to the overall methane emissions from wetlands, but the relative source distribution between tropical and high-latitude wetlands remains uncertain. As a result, not all the observed spatial and seasonal patterns of atmospheric methane concentrations can be satisfactorily explained, particularly for high northern latitudes. For example, a late-autumn shoulder is consistently observed in the seasonal cycles of atmospheric methane at high-latitude sites, but the sources responsible for these increased methane concentrations remain uncertain. Here we report a data set that extends hourly methane flux measurements from a high Arctic setting into the late autumn and early winter, during the onset of soil freezing. We find that emissions fall to a low steady level after the growing season but then increase significantly during the freeze-in period. The integral of emissions during the freeze-in period is approximately equal to the amount of methane emitted during the entire summer season. Three-dimensional atmospheric chemistry and transport model simulations of global atmospheric methane concentrations indicate that the observed early winter emission burst improves the agreement between the simulated seasonal cycle and atmospheric data from latitudes north of 60 degrees N. Our findings suggest that permafrost-associated freeze-in bursts of methane emissions from tundra regions could be an important and so far unrecognized component of the seasonal distribution of methane emissions from high latitudes. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature
volume
456
issue
7222
pages
58 - 628
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000261340000038
  • pmid:19052625
  • scopus:57349134422
ISSN
0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/nature07464
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f34168cc-e525-4d27-babc-0721bc46029b (old id 1276529)
date added to LUP
2009-04-06 11:44:19
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:27:37
@article{f34168cc-e525-4d27-babc-0721bc46029b,
  abstract     = {Terrestrial wetland emissions are the largest single source of the greenhouse gas methane. Northern high-latitude wetlands contribute significantly to the overall methane emissions from wetlands, but the relative source distribution between tropical and high-latitude wetlands remains uncertain. As a result, not all the observed spatial and seasonal patterns of atmospheric methane concentrations can be satisfactorily explained, particularly for high northern latitudes. For example, a late-autumn shoulder is consistently observed in the seasonal cycles of atmospheric methane at high-latitude sites, but the sources responsible for these increased methane concentrations remain uncertain. Here we report a data set that extends hourly methane flux measurements from a high Arctic setting into the late autumn and early winter, during the onset of soil freezing. We find that emissions fall to a low steady level after the growing season but then increase significantly during the freeze-in period. The integral of emissions during the freeze-in period is approximately equal to the amount of methane emitted during the entire summer season. Three-dimensional atmospheric chemistry and transport model simulations of global atmospheric methane concentrations indicate that the observed early winter emission burst improves the agreement between the simulated seasonal cycle and atmospheric data from latitudes north of 60 degrees N. Our findings suggest that permafrost-associated freeze-in bursts of methane emissions from tundra regions could be an important and so far unrecognized component of the seasonal distribution of methane emissions from high latitudes.},
  author       = {Mastepanov, Mikhail and Sigsgaard, Charlotte and Dlugokencky, Edward J and Houweling, Sander and Ström, Lena and Tamstorf, Mikkel P and Christensen, Torben},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7222},
  pages        = {58--628},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature},
  title        = {Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature07464},
  volume       = {456},
  year         = {2008},
}