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The impact of permafrost degradation on methane fluxes : a field study in Abisko

Dahlbom, Andreas LU (2016) In Student thesis series INES NGEM01 20152
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
All over the arctic and sub-arctic region global warming is affecting permafrost. When permafrost thaws, organic material becomes available for decomposition, hence an increase of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
In the northernmost of Sweden, on a mire close to Abisko, a snow manipulation project is ongoing. The experiment is trying to mimic predictions of future conditions and advance the thawing of permafrost. This is done by setting up snow fences which concentrated the snow to a certain area. In this thesis the measurements of methane were conducted inside of the existing snow manipulation project with the closed chamber technique, both in control and manipulated plots. Other variables that could affect the emissions were... (More)
All over the arctic and sub-arctic region global warming is affecting permafrost. When permafrost thaws, organic material becomes available for decomposition, hence an increase of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
In the northernmost of Sweden, on a mire close to Abisko, a snow manipulation project is ongoing. The experiment is trying to mimic predictions of future conditions and advance the thawing of permafrost. This is done by setting up snow fences which concentrated the snow to a certain area. In this thesis the measurements of methane were conducted inside of the existing snow manipulation project with the closed chamber technique, both in control and manipulated plots. Other variables that could affect the emissions were also collected or measured.
The results show much higher methane emissions from manipulated plots. Average emissions from manipulated plots were 0.66 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 compared to 0.16 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 from control plots. Variables that showed the highest correlation with the methane flux was water table and active layer. Higher water table and thicker active layer for manipulated plots (higher emissions of CH4) and the opposite for control plots (lower emissions of CH4).
If the trend of the global warming is continuing it will lead to even more thawing of permafrost. Then even more organic material will be available for decomposition and even more methane will be produced, adding to the global warming. (Less)
Popular Abstract
All over the arctic and sub-arctic region global warming is affecting permafrost. When permafrost thaws, organic material that has been frozen shut in the soil becomes available for decomposition. During the process of decomposition greenhouse gases such as methane is produced, hence adding to global warming.
In the northernmost of Sweden, on a mire close to Abisko, there is an ongoing experiment with permafrost. The experiment is trying to mimic predictions of future conditions and advance the thawing of permafrost. This was done by setting up a snow fence which concentrated the snow to a certain area. This in turn leads to changes in greenhouse gas fluxes. In this thesis measurements of methane were conducted both from plots where... (More)
All over the arctic and sub-arctic region global warming is affecting permafrost. When permafrost thaws, organic material that has been frozen shut in the soil becomes available for decomposition. During the process of decomposition greenhouse gases such as methane is produced, hence adding to global warming.
In the northernmost of Sweden, on a mire close to Abisko, there is an ongoing experiment with permafrost. The experiment is trying to mimic predictions of future conditions and advance the thawing of permafrost. This was done by setting up a snow fence which concentrated the snow to a certain area. This in turn leads to changes in greenhouse gas fluxes. In this thesis measurements of methane were conducted both from plots where there had been manipulations done to advance the thawing of the permafrost and from control plots. Other variables that could affect the emissions were also collected or measured.
The results show much higher methane emissions from areas where manipulations have been made. Average emissions from manipulated plots were 0.66 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 compared to 0.16 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 from control plots. The results are not only affected by the direct effects of the manipulations (a thicker snow cover). Other indirect variables such as the amount of thawed permafrost, the active layer, and the level of the water table also had an impact. Where the highest emissions were occurring, the thickest active layer and the highest water table was also present.
If the trend of the global warming is continuing it will lead to even more thawing of permafrost. Then even more organic material will be available for decomposition and even more methane will be produced, adding to the global warming. (Less)
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author
Dahlbom, Andreas LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEM01 20152
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis, methane, chamber technique, permafrost, Abisko
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
372
language
English
id
8871444
date added to LUP
2016-04-25 13:17:29
date last changed
2016-04-25 13:17:29
@misc{8871444,
  abstract     = {All over the arctic and sub-arctic region global warming is affecting permafrost. When permafrost thaws, organic material becomes available for decomposition, hence an increase of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
In the northernmost of Sweden, on a mire close to Abisko, a snow manipulation project is ongoing. The experiment is trying to mimic predictions of future conditions and advance the thawing of permafrost. This is done by setting up snow fences which concentrated the snow to a certain area. In this thesis the measurements of methane were conducted inside of the existing snow manipulation project with the closed chamber technique, both in control and manipulated plots. Other variables that could affect the emissions were also collected or measured.
The results show much higher methane emissions from manipulated plots. Average emissions from manipulated plots were 0.66 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 compared to 0.16 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 from control plots. Variables that showed the highest correlation with the methane flux was water table and active layer. Higher water table and thicker active layer for manipulated plots (higher emissions of CH4) and the opposite for control plots (lower emissions of CH4).
If the trend of the global warming is continuing it will lead to even more thawing of permafrost. Then even more organic material will be available for decomposition and even more methane will be produced, adding to the global warming.},
  author       = {Dahlbom, Andreas},
  keyword      = {Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis,methane,chamber technique,permafrost,Abisko},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {The impact of permafrost degradation on methane fluxes : a field study in Abisko},
  year         = {2016},
}