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Title: Gaps in network infrastructure limit our understanding of biogenic methane emissions for the United States
Abstract. Understanding the sources and sinks of methane (CH4)is critical to both predicting and mitigating future climate change. Thereare large uncertainties in the global budget of atmospheric CH4, butnatural emissions are estimated to be of a similar magnitude toanthropogenic emissions. To understand CH4 flux from biogenic sourcesin the United States (US) of America, a multi-scale CH4 observationnetwork focused on CH4 flux rates, processes, and scaling methods isrequired. This can be achieved with a network of ground-based observationsthat are distributed based on climatic regions and land cover. To determinethe gaps in physical infrastructure for developing this network, we need tounderstand the landscape representativeness of the current infrastructure.We focus here on eddy covariance (EC) flux towers because they are essentialfor a bottom-up framework that bridges the gap between point-based chambermeasurements and airborne or satellite platforms that inform policydecisions and global climate agreements. Using dissimilarity,multidimensional scaling, and cluster analysis, the US was divided into 10clusters distributed across temperature and precipitation gradients. Weevaluated dissimilarity within each cluster for research sites with activeCH4 EC towers to identify gaps in existing infrastructure that limitour ability to constrain the contribution of US biogenic CH4 emissionsto the global budget. Through our analysis using climate, land cover, andlocation variables, more » we identified priority areas for research infrastructureto provide a more complete understanding of the CH4 flux potential ofecosystem types across the US. Clusters corresponding to Alaska and theRocky Mountains, which are inherently difficult to capture, are the mostpoorly represented, and all clusters require a greater representation ofvegetation types. « less
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2507 to 2522
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National Science Foundation
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