skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Sachs, Torsten"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Accounting for temporal changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) effluxes from freshwaters remains a challenge for global and regional carbon budgets. Here, we synthesize 171 site-months of flux measurements of CO2based on the eddy covariance method from 13 lakes and reservoirs in the Northern Hemisphere, and quantify dynamics at multiple temporal scales. We found pronounced sub-annual variability in CO2flux at all sites. By accounting for diel variation, only 11% of site-months were net daily sinks of CO2. Annual CO2emissions had an average of 25% (range 3%–58%) interannual variation. Similar to studies on streams, nighttime emissions regularly exceeded daytime emissions. Biophysical regulations of CO2flux variability were delineated through mutual information analysis. Sample analysis of CO2fluxes indicate the importance of continuous measurements. Better characterization of short- and long-term variability is necessary to understand and improve detection of temporal changes of CO2fluxes in response to natural and anthropogenic drivers. Our results indicate that existing global lake carbon budgets relying primarily on daytime measurements yield underestimates of net emissions.

  2. Abstract Arctic warming is affecting snow cover and soil hydrology, with consequences for carbon sequestration in tundra ecosystems. The scarcity of observations in the Arctic has limited our understanding of the impact of covarying environmental drivers on the carbon balance of tundra ecosystems. In this study, we address some of these uncertainties through a novel record of 119 site-years of summer data from eddy covariance towers representing dominant tundra vegetation types located on continuous permafrost in the Arctic. Here we found that earlier snowmelt was associated with more tundra net CO 2 sequestration and higher gross primary productivity (GPP) only in June and July, but with lower net carbon sequestration and lower GPP in August. Although higher evapotranspiration (ET) can result in soil drying with the progression of the summer, we did not find significantly lower soil moisture with earlier snowmelt, nor evidence that water stress affected GPP in the late growing season. Our results suggest that the expected increased CO 2 sequestration arising from Arctic warming and the associated increase in growing season length may not materialize if tundra ecosystems are not able to continue sequestering CO 2 later in the season.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Abstract. In the global methane budget, the largest natural sourceis attributed to wetlands, which encompass all ecosystems composed ofwaterlogged or inundated ground, capable of methane production. Among them,northern peatlands that store large amounts of soil organic carbon have beenfunctioning, since the end of the last glaciation period, as long-termsources of methane (CH4) and are one of the most significant methanesources among wetlands. To reduce uncertainty of quantifying methane flux in theglobal methane budget, it is of significance to understand the underlyingprocesses for methane production and fluxes in northern peatlands. A methanemodel that features methane production and transport by plants, ebullitionprocess and diffusion in soil, oxidation to CO2, and CH4 fluxes tothe atmosphere has been embedded in the ORCHIDEE-PEAT land surface modelthat includes an explicit representation of northern peatlands.ORCHIDEE-PCH4 was calibrated and evaluated on 14 peatland sites distributedon both the Eurasian and American continents in the northern boreal andtemperate regions. Data assimilation approaches were employed to optimizedparameters at each site and at all sites simultaneously. Results show thatmethanogenesis is sensitive to temperature and substrate availability overthe top 75 cm of soil depth. Methane emissions estimated using single siteoptimization (SSO) of model parameters are underestimated by 9 g CH4 m−2 yr−1 on average (i.e., 50 % higher thanmore »the site average ofyearly methane emissions). While using the multi-site optimization (MSO),methane emissions are overestimated by 5 g CH4 m−2 yr−1 onaverage across all investigated sites (i.e., 37 % lower than the siteaverage of yearly methane emissions).« less
  4. Abstract Despite the importance of high-latitude surface energy budgets (SEBs) for land-climate interactions in the rapidly changing Arctic, uncertainties in their prediction persist. Here, we harmonize SEB observations across a network of vegetated and glaciated sites at circumpolar scale (1994–2021). Our variance-partitioning analysis identifies vegetation type as an important predictor for SEB-components during Arctic summer (June-August), compared to other SEB-drivers including climate, latitude and permafrost characteristics. Differences among vegetation types can be of similar magnitude as between vegetation and glacier surfaces and are especially high for summer sensible and latent heat fluxes. The timing of SEB-flux summer-regimes (when daily mean values exceed 0 Wm −2 ) relative to snow-free and -onset dates varies substantially depending on vegetation type, implying vegetation controls on snow-cover and SEB-flux seasonality. Our results indicate complex shifts in surface energy fluxes with land-cover transitions and a lengthening summer season, and highlight the potential for improving future Earth system models via a refined representation of Arctic vegetation types.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  5. Abstract Wetland methane (CH 4 ) emissions ( $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 ) are important in global carbon budgets and climate change assessments. Currently, $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 projections rely on prescribed static temperature sensitivity that varies among biogeochemical models. Meta-analyses have proposed a consistent $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 temperature dependence across spatial scales for use in models; however, site-level studies demonstrate that $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 are often controlled by factors beyond temperature. Here, we evaluate the relationship between $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 and temperature using observations from the FLUXNET-CH 4 database. Measurements collected across the globe show substantial seasonal hysteresis between $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 and temperature, suggesting larger $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 sensitivity to temperature later in the frost-free season (about 77% of site-years). Results derived from a machine-learning model and several regression models highlight the importance of representing the large spatial and temporal variability within site-years and ecosystem types. Mechanistic advancements in biogeochemical model parameterization and detailed measurements in factors modulating CH 4 production are thus needed to improve global CH 4 budget assessments.
  6. Abstract. Past efforts to synthesize and quantify the magnitude and change in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems across the rapidly warming Arctic–boreal zone (ABZ) have provided valuable information but were limited in their geographical and temporal coverage. Furthermore, these efforts have been based on data aggregated over varying time periods, often with only minimal site ancillary data, thus limiting their potential to be used in large-scale carbon budget assessments. To bridge these gaps, we developed a standardized monthly database of Arctic–boreal CO2 fluxes (ABCflux) that aggregates in situ measurements of terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its derived partitioned component fluxes: gross primary productivity and ecosystem respiration. The data span from 1989 to 2020 with over 70 supporting variables that describe key site conditions (e.g., vegetation and disturbance type), micrometeorological and environmental measurements (e.g., air and soil temperatures), and flux measurement techniques. Here, we describe these variables, the spatial and temporal distribution of observations, the main strengths and limitations of the database, and the potential research opportunities it enables. In total, ABCflux includes 244 sites and 6309 monthly observations; 136 sites and 2217 monthly observations represent tundra, and 108 sites and 4092 observations represent the boreal biome. The database includesmore »fluxes estimated with chamber (19 % of the monthly observations), snow diffusion (3 %) and eddy covariance (78 %) techniques. The largest number of observations were collected during the climatological summer (June–August; 32 %), and fewer observations were available for autumn (September–October; 25 %), winter (December–February; 18 %), and spring (March–May; 25 %). ABCflux can be used in a wide array of empirical, remote sensing and modeling studies to improve understanding of the regional and temporal variability in CO2 fluxes and to better estimate the terrestrial ABZ CO2 budget. ABCflux is openly and freely available online (Virkkala et al., 2021b,« less
  7. Abstract. Low-level flights over tundra wetlands in Alaska and Canada have beenconducted during the Airborne Measurements of Methane Emissions (AirMeth) campaigns to measure turbulent methane fluxesin the atmosphere. In this paper we describe the instrumentation and newcalibration procedures for the essential pressure parameters required forturbulence sensing by aircraft that exploit suitable regular measurementflight legs without the need for dedicated calibration patterns. We estimatethe accuracy of the mean wind and the turbulence measurements. We show thatairborne measurements of turbulent fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide usingcavity ring-down spectroscopy trace gas analysers together with establishedturbulence equipment achieve a relative accuracy similar to that ofmeasurements of sensible heat flux if applied during low-level flights overnatural area sources. The inertial subrange of the trace gas fluctuationscannot be resolved due to insufficient high-frequency precision of theanalyser, but, since this scatter is uncorrelated with the vertical windvelocity, the covariance and thus the flux are reproduced correctly. In thecovariance spectra the -7/3 drop-off in the inertial subrange can bereproduced if sufficient data are available for averaging. For convectiveconditions and flight legs of several tens of kilometres we estimate the fluxdetection limit to be about4 mg m−2 d−1 forw′CH4′‾,1.4 g m−2 d−1 for w′CO2′‾ and4.2 W m−2 for the sensible heat flux.
  8. Abstract. The objective of this study was to upscale airborne flux measurements ofsensible heat and latent heat and to develop high-resolution flux maps. Inorder to support the evaluation of coupled atmospheric–land-surface models weinvestigated spatial patterns of energy fluxes in relation to land-surfaceproperties. We used airborne eddy-covariance measurements acquired by the Polar 5research aircraft in June–July 2012 to analyze surface fluxes.Footprint-weighted surface properties were then related to 21 529 sensibleheat flux observations and 25 608 latent heat flux observations using bothremote sensing and modeled data. A boosted regression tree technique wasused to estimate environmental response functions between spatially andtemporally resolved flux observations and corresponding biophysical andmeteorological drivers. In order to improve the spatial coverage and spatialrepresentativeness of energy fluxes we used relationships extracted acrossheterogeneous Arctic landscapes to infer high-resolution surface energy fluxmaps, thus directly upscaling the observational data. These maps of projectedsensible heat and latent heat fluxes were used to assess energy partitioningin northern ecosystems and to determine the dominant energy exchangeprocesses in permafrost areas. This allowed us to estimate energy fluxes forspecific types of land cover, taking into account meteorological conditions.Airborne and modeled fluxes were then compared with measurements from aneddy-covariance tower near Atqasuk. Our results are an important contribution for themore »advanced, scale-dependentquantification of surface energy fluxes and they provide new insights into theprocesses affecting these fluxes for the main vegetation types inhigh-latitude permafrost areas.« less