Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 16491-16549, 2013
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in BG.
A satellite data driven biophysical modeling approach for estimating northern peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes
J. D. Watts1,2, J. S. Kimball1,2, F.-J. W. Parmentier3, T. Sachs4, J. Rinne5, D. Zona6,7, W. Oechel7, T. Tagesson8, M. Jackowicz-Korczyński3, and M. Aurela9
1Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, 32125 Bio Station Lane, Polson, MT, USA
2Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, CHCB 428, 32 Campus Drive, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA
3Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 223 62, Lund, Sweden
4Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
5Department of Physics, P.O. Box 48, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
6Department of Animal and Plant Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
7Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
8Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 København, Denmark
9Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate Change Research, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. The northern terrestrial net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) is contingent on inputs from vegetation gross primary productivity (GPP) to offset ecosystem respiration (Reco) of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, but an effective framework to monitor the regional Arctic NECB is lacking. We modified a terrestrial carbon flux (TCF) model developed for satellite remote sensing applications to estimate peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes over a pan-Arctic network of eddy covariance (EC) flux tower sites. The TCF model estimates GPP, CO2 and CH4 emissions using either in-situ or remote sensing based climate data as input. TCF simulations driven using in-situ data explained >70% of the r2 variability in 8 day cumulative EC measured fluxes. Model simulations using coarser satellite (MODIS) and reanalysis (MERRA) data as inputs also reproduced the variability in the EC measured fluxes relatively well for GPP (r2 = 0.75), Reco (r2 = 0.71), net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE, r2 = 0.62) and CH4 emissions (r2 = 0.75). Although the estimated annual CH4 emissions were small (<18 g C m−2 yr−1) relative to Reco (>180 g C m−2 yr−1), they reduced the across-site NECB by 23% and contributed to a global warming potential of approximately 165 ± 128 g CO2eq m−2 yr−1 when considered over a 100 yr time span. This model evaluation indicates a strong potential for using the TCF model approach to document landscape scale variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and to estimate the NECB for northern peatland and tundra ecosystems.

Citation: Watts, J. D., Kimball, J. S., Parmentier, F.-J. W., Sachs, T., Rinne, J., Zona, D., Oechel, W., Tagesson, T., Jackowicz-Korczyński, M., and Aurela, M.: A satellite data driven biophysical modeling approach for estimating northern peatland and tundra CO2 and CH4 fluxes, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 16491-16549, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-16491-2013, 2013.
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