skip to main content

Title: FLUXNET-CH<sub>4</sub>: a global, multi-ecosystem dataset and analysis of methane seasonality from freshwater wetlands
Abstract. Methane (CH4) emissions from natural landscapes constituteroughly half of global CH4 contributions to the atmosphere, yet largeuncertainties remain in the absolute magnitude and the seasonality ofemission quantities and drivers. Eddy covariance (EC) measurements ofCH4 flux are ideal for constraining ecosystem-scale CH4emissions due to quasi-continuous and high-temporal-resolution CH4flux measurements, coincident carbon dioxide, water, and energy fluxmeasurements, lack of ecosystem disturbance, and increased availability ofdatasets over the last decade. Here, we (1) describe the newly publisheddataset, FLUXNET-CH4 Version 1.0, the first open-source global dataset ofCH4 EC measurements (available athttps://fluxnet.org/data/fluxnet-ch4-community-product/, last access: 7 April 2021). FLUXNET-CH4includes half-hourly and daily gap-filled and non-gap-filled aggregatedCH4 fluxes and meteorological data from 79 sites globally: 42freshwater wetlands, 6 brackish and saline wetlands, 7 formerly drainedecosystems, 7 rice paddy sites, 2 lakes, and 15 uplands. Then, we (2) evaluate FLUXNET-CH4 representativeness for freshwater wetland coverageglobally because the majority of sites in FLUXNET-CH4 Version 1.0 arefreshwater wetlands which are a substantial source of total atmosphericCH4 emissions; and (3) we provide the first global estimates of theseasonal variability and seasonality predictors of freshwater wetlandCH4 fluxes. Our representativeness analysis suggests that thefreshwater wetland sites in the dataset cover global wetland bioclimaticattributes (encompassing energy, moisture, and vegetation-relatedparameters) in arctic, boreal, and temperate regions but only sparselycover more » humid tropical regions. Seasonality metrics of wetland CH4emissions vary considerably across latitudinal bands. In freshwater wetlands(except those between 20∘ S to 20∘ N) the spring onsetof elevated CH4 emissions starts 3 d earlier, and the CH4emission season lasts 4 d longer, for each degree Celsius increase in meanannual air temperature. On average, the spring onset of increasing CH4emissions lags behind soil warming by 1 month, with very few sites experiencingincreased CH4 emissions prior to the onset of soil warming. Incontrast, roughly half of these sites experience the spring onset of risingCH4 emissions prior to the spring increase in gross primaryproductivity (GPP). The timing of peak summer CH4 emissions does notcorrelate with the timing for either peak summer temperature or peak GPP.Our results provide seasonality parameters for CH4 modeling andhighlight seasonality metrics that cannot be predicted by temperature or GPP(i.e., seasonality of CH4 peak). FLUXNET-CH4 is a powerful new resourcefor diagnosing and understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems andclimate drivers in the global CH4 cycle, and future additions of sitesin tropical ecosystems and site years of data collection will provide addedvalue to this database. All seasonality parameters are available athttps://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4672601 (Delwiche et al., 2021).Additionally, raw FLUXNET-CH4 data used to extract seasonality parameterscan be downloaded from https://fluxnet.org/data/fluxnet-ch4-community-product/ (last access: 7 April 2021), and a completelist of the 79 individual site data DOIs is provided in Table 2 of this paper. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1652594 1636476 1752083
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10293994
Journal Name:
Earth System Science Data
Volume:
13
Issue:
7
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
3607 to 3689
ISSN:
1866-3516
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract. Methane (CH4) emissions from the boreal and arcticregion are globally significant and highly sensitive to climate change.There is currently a wide range in estimates of high-latitude annualCH4 fluxes, where estimates based on land cover inventories andempirical CH4 flux data or process models (bottom-up approaches)generally are greater than atmospheric inversions (top-down approaches). Alimitation of bottom-up approaches has been the lack of harmonizationbetween inventories of site-level CH4 flux data and the land coverclasses present in high-latitude spatial datasets. Here we present acomprehensive dataset of small-scale, surface CH4 flux data from 540terrestrial sites (wetland and non-wetland) and 1247 aquatic sites (lakesand ponds), compiled from 189 studies. The Boreal–Arctic Wetland and LakeMethane Dataset (BAWLD-CH4) was constructed in parallel with acompatible land cover dataset, sharing the same land cover classes to enablerefined bottom-up assessments. BAWLD-CH4 includes information onsite-level CH4 fluxes but also on study design (measurement method,timing, and frequency) and site characteristics (vegetation, climate,hydrology, soil, and sediment types, permafrost conditions, lake size anddepth, and our determination of land cover class). The different land coverclasses had distinct CH4 fluxes, resulting from definitions that wereeither based on or co-varied with key environmental controls. Fluxes ofCH4 from terrestrial ecosystems were primarily influenced by watertable position, soil temperature,more »and vegetation composition, while CH4fluxes from aquatic ecosystems were primarily influenced by watertemperature, lake size, and lake genesis. Models could explain more of thebetween-site variability in CH4 fluxes for terrestrial than aquaticecosystems, likely due to both less precise assessments of lake CH4fluxes and fewer consistently reported lake site characteristics. Analysisof BAWLD-CH4 identified both land cover classes and regions within theboreal and arctic domain, where future studies should be focused, alongsidemethodological approaches. Overall, BAWLD-CH4 provides a comprehensivedataset of CH4 emissions from high-latitude ecosystems that are usefulfor identifying research opportunities, for comparison against new fielddata, and model parameterization or validation. BAWLD-CH4 can bedownloaded from https://doi.org/10.18739/A2DN3ZX1R (Kuhn et al., 2021).« less
  2. Abstract. Natural wetlands constitute the largest and most uncertain sourceof methane (CH4) to the atmosphere and a large fraction of them are found in the northern latitudes. These emissions are typically estimated using process (“bottom-up”) or inversion (“top-down”) models. However, estimates from these two types of models are not independent of each other since the top-down estimates usually rely on the a priori estimation of these emissions obtained with process models. Hence, independent spatially explicit validation data are needed. Here we utilize a random forest (RF) machine-learning technique to upscale CH4 eddy covariance flux measurements from 25 sites to estimate CH4 wetland emissions from the northern latitudes (north of 45∘ N). Eddy covariance datafrom 2005 to 2016 are used for model development. The model is then used to predict emissions during 2013 and 2014. The predictive performance of the RF model is evaluated using a leave-one-site-out cross-validation scheme. The performance (Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency =0.47) is comparable to previous studies upscaling net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide and studies comparing process model output against site-level CH4 emission data. The global distribution of wetlands is one major source of uncertainty for upscaling CH4. Thus, three wetland distribution maps are utilized in the upscaling. Dependingmore »on the wetland distribution map, the annual emissions for the northern wetlands yield 32 (22.3–41.2, 95 % confidence interval calculated from a RF model ensemble), 31 (21.4–39.9) or 38 (25.9–49.5) Tg(CH4) yr−1. To further evaluate the uncertainties of the upscaled CH4 flux data products we also compared them against output from two process models (LPX-Bern and WetCHARTs), and methodological issues related to CH4 flux upscaling are discussed. The monthly upscaled CH4 flux data products are available athttps://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2560163 (Peltola et al., 2019).« less
  3. Atmospheric methane levels were nearly steady between 1999 and 2006, but have been rising since then. Increases in wetland emissions, the largest natural global CH4 source, may be partly responsible. Tropical regions like Amazonia, host some of the largest wetlands on Earth, but there are few in-situ observations, which allow large-scale flux estimation. To improve estimates of its contribution to the global CH4 budget we measured 590 lower-troposphere methane concentrations vertical profiles at four Amazonian sites between 2010 and 2018. We estimate that Amazonia emits 46.2±10.3 TgCH4 y-1 (~8% of global emissions) with no emission trend. Non-fire sources (mainly wetlands) dominate emissions, with a smaller biomass burning contribution (~17%). We find a distinct east-west contrast with an emission peak in the northeast. Furthermore, while northwest-central Amazon emissions are nearly aseasonal, consistent with weak precipitation seasonality, southern emissions are strongly seasonal synchronously with equivalent water thickness seasonality.
  4. This paper describes the formation of, and initial results for, a new FLUXNET coordination network for ecosystem-scale methane (CH 4 ) measurements at 60 sites globally, organized by the Global Carbon Project in partnership with other initiatives and regional flux tower networks. The objectives of the effort are presented along with an overview of the coverage of eddy covariance (EC) CH 4 flux measurements globally, initial results comparing CH 4 fluxes across the sites, and future research directions and needs. Annual estimates of net CH 4 fluxes across sites ranged from −0.2 ± 0.02 g C m –2 yr –1 for an upland forest site to 114.9 ± 13.4 g C m –2 yr –1 for an estuarine freshwater marsh, with fluxes exceeding 40 g C m –2 yr –1 at multiple sites. Average annual soil and air temperatures were found to be the strongest predictor of annual CH 4 flux across wetland sites globally. Water table position was positively correlated with annual CH 4 emissions, although only for wetland sites that were not consistently inundated throughout the year. The ratio of annual CH 4 fluxes to ecosystem respiration increased significantly with mean site temperature. Uncertainties in annual CH 4more »estimates due to gap-filling and random errors were on average ±1.6 g C m –2 yr –1 at 95% confidence, with the relative error decreasing exponentially with increasing flux magnitude across sites. Through the analysis and synthesis of a growing EC CH 4 flux database, the controls on ecosystem CH 4 fluxes can be better understood, used to inform and validate Earth system models, and reconcile differences between land surface model- and atmospheric-based estimates of CH 4 emissions.« less
  5. Abstract. Methane emissions from boreal and arctic wetlands, lakes, and rivers areexpected to increase in response to warming and associated permafrost thaw.However, the lack of appropriate land cover datasets for scalingfield-measured methane emissions to circumpolar scales has contributed to alarge uncertainty for our understanding of present-day and future methaneemissions. Here we present the Boreal–Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset(BAWLD), a land cover dataset based on an expert assessment, extrapolatedusing random forest modelling from available spatial datasets of climate,topography, soils, permafrost conditions, vegetation, wetlands, and surfacewater extents and dynamics. In BAWLD, we estimate the fractional coverage offive wetland, seven lake, and three river classes within 0.5 × 0.5∘ grid cells that cover the northern boreal and tundra biomes(17 % of the global land surface). Land cover classes were defined usingcriteria that ensured distinct methane emissions among classes, as indicatedby a co-developed comprehensive dataset of methane flux observations. InBAWLD, wetlands occupied 3.2 × 106 km2 (14 % of domain)with a 95 % confidence interval between 2.8 and 3.8 × 106 km2. Bog, fen, and permafrost bog were the most abundant wetlandclasses, covering ∼ 28 % each of the total wetland area,while the highest-methane-emitting marsh and tundra wetland classes occupied5 % and 12 %, respectively. Lakes, defined to include all lentic open-waterecosystems regardless of size, covered 1.4 × 106 km2(6 % of domain).more »Low-methane-emitting large lakes (>10 km2) and glacial lakes jointly represented 78 % of the total lakearea, while high-emitting peatland and yedoma lakes covered 18 % and 4 %,respectively. Small (<0.1 km2) glacial, peatland, and yedomalakes combined covered 17 % of the total lake area but contributeddisproportionally to the overall spatial uncertainty in lake area with a95 % confidence interval between 0.15 and 0.38 × 106 km2. Rivers and streams were estimated to cover 0.12  × 106 km2 (0.5 % of domain), of which 8 % was associated withhigh-methane-emitting headwaters that drain organic-rich landscapes.Distinct combinations of spatially co-occurring wetland and lake classeswere identified across the BAWLD domain, allowing for the mapping of“wetscapes” that have characteristic methane emission magnitudes andsensitivities to climate change at regional scales. With BAWLD, we provide adataset which avoids double-accounting of wetland, lake, and river extentsand which includes confidence intervals for each land cover class. As such,BAWLD will be suitable for many hydrological and biogeochemical modellingand upscaling efforts for the northern boreal and arctic region, inparticular those aimed at improving assessments of current and futuremethane emissions. Data are freely available athttps://doi.org/10.18739/A2C824F9X (Olefeldt et al., 2021).« less