Large stocks of peatland carbon and nitrogen are vulnerable to permafrost thaw
Hugelius, G., Loisel, J., Chadburn, S., Jackson, R. B., Jones, M., MacDonald, G., Marushchak, M., Olefeldt, D., Packalen, M., Siewert, M. B., Treat, C., Turetsky, M., Voigt, C., & Yu, Z. (2020). Large stocks of peatland carbon and nitrogen are vulnerable to permafrost thaw. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(34), 20438-20446. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916387117
© 2020 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
Northern peatlands have accumulated large stocks of organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), but their spatial distribution and vulnerability to climate warming remain uncertain. Here, we used machine-learning techniques with extensive peat core data (n > 7,000) to create observation-based maps of northern peatland C and N stocks, and to assess their response to warming and permafrost thaw. We estimate that northern peatlands cover 3.7 ± 0.5 million km2 and store 415 ± 150 Pg C and 10 ± 7 Pg N. Nearly half of the peatland area and peat C stocks are permafrost affected. Using modeled global warming stabilization scenarios (from 1.5 to 6 °C warming), we project that the current sink of atmospheric C (0.10 ± 0.02 Pg C⋅y−1) in northern peatlands will shift to a C source as 0.8 to 1.9 million km2 of permafrost-affected peatlands thaw. The projected thaw would cause peatland greenhouse gas emissions equal to ∼1% of anthropogenic radiative forcing in this century. The main forcing is from methane emissions (0.7 to 3 Pg cumulative CH4-C) with smaller carbon dioxide forcing (1 to 2 Pg CO2-C) and minor nitrous oxide losses. We project that initial CO2-C losses reverse after ∼200 y, as warming strengthens peatland C-sinks. We project substantial, but highly uncertain, additional losses of peat into fluvial systems of 10 to 30 Pg C and 0.4 to 0.9 Pg N. The combined gaseous and fluvial peatland C loss estimated here adds 30 to 50% onto previous estimates of permafrost-thaw C losses, with southern permafrost regions being the most vulnerable. ...
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
ISSN Search the Publication Forum0027-8424
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Additional information about fundingThis research was funded by the Swedish Research Council (2014-06417 and 2018-04516), the European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Co-Fund (INCA), the European Union Joint Programming Initiative–Climate COUP project, the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation project Nunataryuk (773421), and a grant from the Gordon and Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation (GBMF5439). The coordination of the research has been supported by the Global Carbon Project, the Permafrost Carbon Network, the Past Global Changes C-PEAT Working Group, and the World Climate Research Programme grand challenge Carbon Feedbacks in the Climate System. S.C. acknowledges funding from UK Natural Environment Research Council (NE/R015791/1). Z.Y. acknowledges the support from National Science Foundation (1802810) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (41877458). ...
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Ecosystem carbon response of an Arctic peatland to simulated permafrost thaw Voigt, Carolina; Marushchak, Maija; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Lamprecht, Richard E.; Christensen, Torben R.; Dorodnikov, Maxim; Jackowicz‐Korczyński, Marcin; Lindgren, Amelie; Lohila, Annalea; Nykänen, Hannu; Oinonen, Markku; Oksanen, Timo; Palonen, Vesa; Treat, Claire C.; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Biasi, Christina (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2019)Permafrost peatlands are biogeochemical hot spots in the Arctic as they store vast amounts of carbon. Permafrost thaw could release part of these long‐term immobile carbon stocks as the greenhouse gases (GHGs) carbon dioxide ...
Statistical upscaling of ecosystem CO2 fluxes across the terrestrial tundra and boreal domain : regional patterns and uncertainties Virkkala, Anna‐Maria; Aalto, Juha; Rogers, Brendan M.; Tagesson, Torbern; Treat, Claire C.; Natali, Susan M.; Watts, Jennifer D.; Potter, Stefano; Lehtonen, Aleksi; Mauritz, Marguerite; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Kochendorfer, John; Zona, Donatella; Oechel, Walter; Kobayashi, Hideki; Humphreys, Elyn; Goeckede, Mathias; Iwata, Hiroki; Lafleur, Peter M.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Bokhorst, Stef; Marushchak, Maija; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Elberling, Bo; Voigt, Carolina; Biasi, Christina; Sonnentag, Oliver; Parmentier, Frans‐Jan W.; Ueyama, Masahito; Celis, Gerardo; St.Loius, Vincent L.; Emmerton, Craig A.; Peichl, Matthias; Chi, Jinshu; Järveoja, Järvi; Nilsson, Mats.B.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Torn, Margaret S.; Park, Sang‐Jong; Dolman, Han; Mammarella, Ivan; Chae, Namyi; Poyatos, Rafael; López‐Blanco, Efrén; Røjle, Christensen Torben; Jung, Kwon Min; Sachs, Torsten; Holl, David; Luoto, Miska (Wiley, 2021)The regional variability in tundra and boreal carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes can be high, complicating efforts to quantify sink‐source patterns across the entire region. Statistical models are increasingly used to predict ...
Sources of nitrous oxide and the fate of mineral nitrogen in subarctic permafrost peat soils Gil, Jenie; Marushchak, Maija E.; Rütting, Tobias; Baggs, Elizabeth M.; Pérez, Tibisay; Novakovskiy, Alexander; Trubnikova, Tatiana; Kaverin, Dmitry; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Biasi, Christina (Copernicus GmbH, 2022)Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from permafrost-affected terrestrial ecosystems have received little attention, largely because they have been thought to be negligible. Recent studies, however, have shown that there are ...
A review of the importance of mineral nitrogen cycling in the plant-soil-microbe system of permafrost-affected soils : changing the paradigm Ramm, Elisabeth; Liu, Chunyan; Ambus, Per; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Hu, Bin; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Marushchak, Maija E.; Mueller, Carsten W; Rennenberg, Heinz; Schloter, Michael; Siljanen, Henri M. P.; Voigt, Carolina; Werner, Christian; Biasi, Christina; Dannenmann, Michael (IOP Publishing, 2022)The paradigm that permafrost-affected soils show restricted mineral nitrogen (N) cycling in favor of organic N compounds is based on the observation that net N mineralization rates in these cold climates are negligible. ...
Action-oriented knowledge for sustainable management of organic soils in Finnish agriculture Huan-Niemi, Ellen; Huttunen, Suvi; Paloviita, Ari; Puupponen, Antti; Lehtonen, Heikki; Niemi, Jyrki (Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland, 2023)Agriculture is a contributing force to climate change due to unsustainable changes in land use with the usage of peatlands for food production in Finland. The use of organic soils in food production is a complex and ...