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  1. The global development of hydropower dams has rapidly expanded over the last several decades and has spread to historically non-impounded systems such as the Amazon River’s main low land tributaries in Brazil. Despite the recognized significance of reservoirs to the global methane (CH 4 ) emission, the processes controlling this emission remain poorly understood, especially in Tropical reservoirs. Here we evaluate CH 4 dynamics in the main channel and downstream of the Santo Antônio hydroelectric reservoir, a large tropical run-of-the-river (ROR) reservoir in Amazonia. This study is intended to give a snapshot of the CH 4 dynamics during the falling water season at the initial stage after the start of operations. Our results show substantial and higher CH 4 production in reservoirs’ littoral sediment than in the naturally flooded areas downstream of the dam. Despite the large production in the reservoir or naturally flooded areas, high CH 4 oxidation in the main channel keep the concentration and fluxes of CH 4 in the main channel low. Similar CH 4 concentrations in the reservoir and downstream close to the dam suggest negligible degassing at the dam, but stable isotopic evidence indicates the presence of a less oxidized pool of CH 4more »after the dam. ROR reservoirs are designed to disturb the natural river flow dynamics less than traditional reservoirs. If enough mixing and oxygenation remain throughout the reservoir’s water column, naturally high CH 4 oxidation rates can also remain and limit the diffusive CH 4 emissions from the main channel. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that our results focused on emissions in the deep and oxygenated main channel. High emissions, mainly through ebullition, may occur in the vast and shallow areas represented by bays and tributaries. However, detailed assessments are still required to understand the impacts of this reservoir on the annual emissions of CH 4 .« less
  2. The current resurgence of hydropower expansion toward tropical areas has been largely based on run-of-the-river (ROR) dams, which are claimed to have lower environmental impacts due to their smaller reservoirs. The Belo Monte dam was built in Eastern Amazonia and holds the largest installed capacity among ROR power plants worldwide. Here, we show that postdamming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Belo Monte area are up to three times higher than preimpoundment fluxes and equivalent to about 15 to 55 kg CO 2 eq MWh −1 . Since per-area emissions in Amazonian reservoirs are significantly higher than global averages, reducing flooded areas and prioritizing the power density of hydropower plants seem to effectively reduce their carbon footprints. Nevertheless, total GHG emissions are substantial even from this leading-edge ROR power plant. This argues in favor of avoiding hydropower expansion in Amazonia regardless of the reservoir type.
  3. 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
  4. The hydrodynamics within small boreal lakes have rarely been studied, yet knowing whether turbulence at the air-water interface and in the water column scales with metrics developed elsewhere is essential for computing metabolism and fluxes of climate-forcing trace gases. We instrumented a humic, 4.7 ha, boreal lake with 2 meteorological stations, 3 thermistor arrays, an infra-red (IR) camera to quantify surface divergence, obtained turbulence as dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy (ε) using an acoustic Doppler velocimeter and a temperature-gradient microstructure profiler, and conducted chamber measurements for short periods to obtain fluxes and gas transfer velocities (k). Near-surface ε varied from 10-8 m2 s-3 to 10-6 m2 s-3 for the 0 to 4 m s-1 winds and followed predictions from Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. The coefficient of eddy diffusivity in the mixed layer was up to 10-3 m2 s-1 on the windiest afternoons, an order of magnitude less other afternoons, and near molecular at deeper depths. The upper thermocline upwelled when Lake numbers (LN) dropped below 4 facilitating vertical and horizontal exchange. k computed from a surface renewal model using ε agreed with values from chambers and surface divergence and increased linearly with wind speed. Diurnal thermoclines formed on sunny daysmore »when winds were < 3 m s-1, a condition that can lead to elevated near-surface ε and k. Results extend scaling approaches developed in the laboratory and for larger water bodies, illustrate turbulence and k are greater than expected in small wind-sheltered lakes, and provide new equations to quantify fluxes.« 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