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Title: Modeling Carbon Accumulation and Permafrost Dynamics of Northern Peatlands Since the Holocene

Northern peatlands are a large C stock and often act as a C sink, but are susceptible to climate warming. To understand the role of peatlands in the global carbon‐climate feedback, it is necessary to accurately quantify their C stock changes and decomposition. In this study, a process‐based model, the Peatland Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, is used to simulate pan‐Arctic peatland C dynamics from 15 ka BP to 1990. To improve the accuracy of the simulation, spatially explicit water run‐on and run‐off processes were considered, four different pan‐Arctic peatland extent data sets were used, and a spatially explicit peat basal date data set was developed using a neural network approach. The model was calibrated against 2055 peat thickness observations and the parameters were interpolated to the pan‐Arctic region. Using the model, we estimate that, in 1990, the pan‐Arctic peatlands soil C stock was 396–421 Pg C, and the Holocene average C accumulation rate was 22.9 g C·m−2 yr−1. Our estimated peat permafrost development history generally agrees with multi‐proxy‐based paleo‐climate data sets and core‐derived permafrost areal dynamics. Under Anthropocene warming, in the freeze‐thaw and permafrost‐free regions, the peat C accumulation rate decreased, but it increased in permafrost regions. Our study suggests that if current permafrost regions switch to permafrost‐free conditions in a warming future, the peat C accumulation rate of the entire pan‐Arctic region will decrease, but the sink and source activities of these peatlands are still uncertain.

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Award ID(s):
1802832 1802825
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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