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  1. Abstract Permafrost dynamics can drastically affect vegetation and soil carbon dynamics in northern high latitudes. Vegetation has significant influences on the energy balance of soil surface by impacting the short-wave radiation, long-wave radiation and surface sensible heat flux, affecting soil thermal dynamics, in turn, inducing vegetation shift, affecting carbon cycling. During winter, snow can also significantly impact soil temperature due to its insulative effect. However, these processes have not been fully modeled to date. To quantify the interactions between vegetation, snow, and soil thermal dynamics and their impacts on carbon dynamics over the circumpolar region (45–90° N), we revise a sophisticated ecosystem model to improve simulations of soil temperature profile and their influences on vegetation, ecosystem carbon pools and fluxes. We find that, with warmer soil temperature in winter and cooler soil temperature in summer simulated with the revised model considering vegetation shift and snow effects, the region will release 1.54 Pg C/year to the atmosphere for present-day and 66.77–87.95 Pg C in 2022–2100. The canopy effects due to vegetation shift, however, will get more carbon sequestered into the ecosystem at 1.00 Pg C/year for present day and 36.09–44.32 Pg C/year in 2022–2100. This study highlights the importance to consider the interactions between snow, vegetation shift and soil thermal dynamics in simulating carbon dynamics in the region. 
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  2. Abstract. Northern peatlands have been a large C sink during the Holocene,but whether they will keep being a C sink under future climate change isuncertain. This study simulates the responses of northern peatlands tofuture climate until 2300 with a Peatland version Terrestrial EcosystemModel (PTEM). The simulations are driven with two sets of CMIP5 climate data(IPSL-CM5A-LR and bcc-csm1-1) under three warming scenarios (RCPs 2.6, 4.5 and8.5). Peatland area expansion, shrinkage, and C accumulation anddecomposition are modeled. In the 21st century, northern peatlands areprojected to be a C source of 1.2–13.3 Pg C under all climate scenariosexcept for RCP 2.6 of bcc-csm1-1 (a sink of 0.8 Pg C). During 2100–2300,northern peatlands under all scenarios are a C source under IPSL-CM5A-LRscenarios, being larger sources than bcc-csm1-1 scenarios (5.9–118.3 vs.0.7–87.6 Pg C). C sources are attributed to (1) the peatland water table depth(WTD) becoming deeper and permafrost thaw increasing decomposition rate; (2) net primary production (NPP) not increasing much as climate warms becausepeat drying suppresses net N mineralization; and (3) as WTD deepens,peatlands switching from moss–herbaceous dominated to moss–woody dominated,while woody plants require more N for productivity. Under IPSL-CM5A-LRscenarios, northern peatlands remain as a C sink until the pan-Arctic annualtemperature reaches −2.6 to −2.89 ∘C, while this threshold is −2.09to −2.35 ∘C under bcc-csm1-1 scenarios. This study predicts anorthern peatland sink-to-source shift in around 2050, earlier than previousestimates of after 2100, and emphasizes the vulnerability of northernpeatlands to climate change. 
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  3. Abstract. Wetlands and freshwater bodies (mainly lakes) are the largestnatural sources of the greenhouse gas CH4 to the atmosphere. Great effortshave been made to quantify these source emissions and their uncertainties.Previous research suggests that there might be significant uncertaintiescoming from “double accounting” emissions from freshwater bodies andwetlands. Here we quantify the methane emissions from both land andfreshwater bodies in the pan-Arctic with two process-based biogeochemistrymodels by minimizing the double accounting at the landscape scale. Twonon-overlapping dynamic areal change datasets are used to drive the models.We estimate that the total methane emissions from the pan-Arctic are 36.46 ± 1.02 Tg CH4 yr−1 during 2000–2015, of which wetlands andfreshwater bodies are 21.69 ± 0.59 Tg CH4 yr−1 and 14.76 ± 0.44 Tg CH4 yr−1, respectively. Our estimation narrows thedifference between previous bottom-up (53.9 Tg CH4 yr−1) andtop-down (29 Tg CH4 yr−1) estimates. Our correlation analysisshows that air temperature is the most important driver for methane emissionsof inland water systems. Wetland emissions are also significantly affected byvapor pressure, while lake emissions are more influenced by precipitation andlandscape areal changes. Sensitivity tests indicate that pan-Arctic lakeCH4 emissions were highly influenced by air temperature but less bylake sediment carbon increase. 
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  4. Abstract

    Process‐based land surface models are important tools for estimating global wetland methane (CH4) emissions and projecting their behavior across space and time. So far there are no performance assessments of model responses to drivers at multiple time scales. In this study, we apply wavelet analysis to identify the dominant time scales contributing to model uncertainty in the frequency domain. We evaluate seven wetland models at 23 eddy covariance tower sites. Our study first characterizes site‐level patterns of freshwater wetland CH4fluxes (FCH4) at different time scales. A Monte Carlo approach was developed to incorporate flux observation error to avoid misidentification of the time scales that dominate model error. Our results suggest that (a) significant model‐observation disagreements are mainly at multi‐day time scales (<15 days); (b) most of the models can capture the CH4variability at monthly and seasonal time scales (>32 days) for the boreal and Arctic tundra wetland sites but have significant bias in variability at seasonal time scales for temperate and tropical/subtropical sites; (c) model errors exhibit increasing power spectrum as time scale increases, indicating that biases at time scales <5 days could contribute to persistent systematic biases on longer time scales; and (d) differences in error pattern are related to model structure (e.g., proxy of CH4production). Our evaluation suggests the need to accurately replicate FCH4variability, especially at short time scales, in future wetland CH4model developments.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  5. Abstract Background

    China’s terrestrial ecosystems play a pronounced role in the global carbon cycle. Here we combine spatially-explicit information on vegetation, soil, topography, climate and land use change with a process-based biogeochemistry model to quantify the responses of terrestrial carbon cycle in China during the 20th century.


    At a century scale, China’s terrestrial ecosystems have acted as a carbon sink averaging at 96 Tg C yr− 1, with large inter-annual and decadal variabilities. The regional sink has been enhanced due to the rising temperature and CO2concentration, with a slight increase trend in carbon sink strength along with the enhanced net primary production in the century. The areas characterized by C source are simulated to extend in the west and north of the Hu Huanyong line, while the eastern and southern regions increase their area and intensity of C sink, particularly in the late 20th century. Forest ecosystems dominate the C sink in China and are responsible for about 64% of the total sink. On the century scale, the increase in carbon sinks in China’s terrestrial ecosystems is mainly contributed by rising CO2. Afforestation and reforestation promote an increase in terrestrial carbon uptake in China from 1950s. Although climate change has generally contributed to the increase of carbon sinks in terrestrial ecosystems in China, the positive effect of climate change has been diminishing in the last decades of the 20th century.


    This study focuses on the impacts of climate, CO2and land use change on the carbon cycle, and presents the potential trends of terrestrial ecosystem carbon balance in China at a century scale. While a slight increase in carbon sink strength benefits from the enhanced vegetation carbon uptake in China’s terrestrial ecosystems during the 20th century, the increase trend may diminish or even change to a decrease trend under future climate change.

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  6. Abstract Atmospheric concentrations of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, have strongly increased since 2007. Measurements of stable carbon isotopes of methane can constrain emissions if the isotopic compositions are known; however, isotopic compositions of methane emissions from wetlands are poorly constrained despite their importance. Here, we use a process-based biogeochemistry model to calculate the stable carbon isotopic composition of global wetland methane emissions. We estimate a mean global signature of −61.3 ± 0.7‰ and find that tropical wetland emissions are enriched by ~11‰ relative to boreal wetlands. Our model shows improved resolution of regional, latitudinal and global variations in isotopic composition of wetland emissions. Atmospheric simulation scenarios with the improved wetland isotopic composition suggest that increases in atmospheric methane since 2007 are attributable to rising microbial emissions. Our findings substantially reduce uncertainty in the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane emissions from wetlands and improve understanding of the global methane budget. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Wildfires are a major disturbance to forest carbon (C) balance through both immediate combustion emissions and post-fire ecosystem dynamics. Here we used a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), to simulate C budget in Alaska and Canada during 1986–2016, as impacted by fire disturbances. We extracted the data of difference Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) for fires from Landsat TM/ETM imagery and estimated the proportion of vegetation and soil C combustion. We observed that the region was a C source of 2.74 Pg C during the 31-year period. The observed C loss, 57.1 Tg C year −1 , was attributed to fire emissions, overwhelming the net ecosystem production (1.9 Tg C year −1 ) in the region. Our simulated direct emissions for Alaska and Canada are within the range of field measurements and other model estimates. As burn severity increased, combustion emission tended to switch from vegetation origin towards soil origin. When dNBR is below 300, fires increase soil temperature and decrease soil moisture and thus, enhance soil respiration. However, the post-fire soil respiration decreases for moderate or high burn severity. The proportion of post-fire soil emission in total emissions increased with burn severity. Net nitrogen mineralization gradually recovered after fire, enhancing net primary production. Net ecosystem production recovered fast under higher burn severities. The impact of fire disturbance on the C balance of northern ecosystems and the associated uncertainties can be better characterized with long-term, prior-, during- and post-disturbance data across the geospatial spectrum. Our findings suggest that the regional source of carbon to the atmosphere will persist if the observed forest wildfire occurrence and severity continues into the future. 
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  8. Abstract

    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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