Toward a statistical description of methane emissions from arctic wetlands
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAmbio. 2017, 46 70-80. 10.1007/s13280-016-0893-3
Methane (CH4) emissions from arctic tundra typically follow relations with soil temperature and water table depth, but these process-based descriptions can be difficult to apply to areas where no measurements exist. We formulated a description of the broader temporal flux pattern in the growing season based on two distinct CH4 source components from slow and fast-turnover carbon. We used automatic closed chamber flux measurements from NE Greenland (74°N), W Greenland (64°N), and Svalbard (78°N) to identify and discuss these components. The temporal separation was well-suited in NE Greenland, where the hypothesized slow-turnover carbon peaked at a time significantly related to the timing of snowmelt. The temporally wider component from fast-turnover carbon dominated the emissions in W Greenland and Svalbard. Altogether, we found no dependence of the total seasonal CH4 budget to the timing of snowmelt, and warmer sites and years tended to yield higher CH4 emissions.