Methane Emissions from Permafrost Thaw Bogs

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field work, Interior Alaska

& Plant Growth Experiments

Because the world is getting warmer, permanently frozen ground around the arctic, known as permafrost, is thawing. When permafrost thaws, the ground collapses and sinks. Often a wetland forms within the collapsed area. Conversion of permanently frozen landscapes to wetlands changes the exchange of greenhouse gases between the land and atmosphere, which impacts global temperatures. Wetlands release methane into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The ability of methane to warm the Earth is 32 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide over a period of 100 years. We are studying how wetland plants and climate variables, like rainfall, affect emission of methane from permafrost thaw bogs. We conduct fieldwork at thaw bogs in Interior Alaska and we test mechanisms and hypotheses using plant-growth and other laboratory-based experiments. The project is broadly focused on advancing understanding of how permafrost landscapes in Northern latitudes affect and are affected by climate change.

Funding: FY2018 Department of Energy Office of Biological & Environmental Research, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program; FY2013 Department of Energy Office of Science, Early Career Award

People currently involved with project:

Joel Elkof

Becca Neumann

publications

Neumann, R. B., C. J. Moorberg, J. D. Lundquist, J. C. Turner, M. P. Waldrop, J. W. McFarland, E. S. Euskirchen, C. W. Edgar, M. R. Turetsky (2019). Warming Effects of Spring Rainfall Increase Methane Emissions From Thawing Permafrost. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 1393–1401. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL081274

Neumann, R. B., S. J. Blazewicz, C. H. Conaway, M. R. Turetsky, and M. P. Waldrop (2016), Modeling CH4 and CO2 cycling using porewater stable isotopes in a thermokarst bog in Interior Alaska: results from three conceptual reaction networks, Biogeochemistry, 127(1), 57–87, doi:10.1007/s10533-015-0168-2.

data sets

Neumann, Rebecca B; Mooreberg, Colby J; Lundquist, Jessica D; Turner, Jesse C; Waldrop, Mark P.; McFarland, Jack W.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Edgar, Colin; Turetsky, Merritt R. 2019. Warming effects of spring rainfall increase methane emissions from thawing permafrost: Site-level data from bog complex I - Water Table Depth 2014-2016, Bonanza Creek LTER - University of Alaska Fairbanks. BNZ:709, http://www.lter.uaf.edu/data/data-detail/id/709. doi:10.6073/pasta/77faf778a5c159ec19693595102651bf

Neumann, Rebecca B; Mooreberg, Colby J; Lundquist, Jessica D; Turner, Jesse C; Waldrop, Mark P.; McFarland, Jack W.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Edgar, Colin; Turetsky, Merritt R. 2019. Warming effects of spring rainfall increase methane emissions from thawing permafrost: Site-level data from bog complex II - Carex Metrics 2014-2016, Bonanza Creek LTER - University of Alaska Fairbanks. BNZ:710, http://www.lter.uaf.edu/data/data-detail/id/710. doi:10.6073/pasta/d5ff13270beaac1ce6c5475e104f627b

Neumann, Rebecca B; Mooreberg, Colby J; Lundquist, Jessica D; Turner, Jesse C; Waldrop, Mark P.; McFarland, Jack W.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Edgar, Colin; Turetsky, Merritt R. 2019. Warming effects of spring rainfall increase methane emissions from thawing permafrost: Site-level data from bog complex III - Methane Flux 2014-2016, Bonanza Creek LTER - University of Alaska Fairbanks. BNZ:711, http://www.lter.uaf.edu/data/data-detail/id/711. doi:10.6073/pasta/e7eaf643160e15f3fdf6c36f0866aea8

Neumann, Rebecca B; Mooreberg, Colby J; Lundquist, Jessica D; Turner, Jesse C; Waldrop, Mark P.; McFarland, Jack W.; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Edgar, Colin; Turetsky, Merritt R. 2019. Warming effects of spring rainfall increase methane emissions from thawing permafrost: Site-level data from bog complex IV - Soil Temperatures 2014-2016, Bonanza Creek LTER - University of Alaska Fairbanks. BNZ:712, http://www.lter.uaf.edu/data/data-detail/id/712. doi:10.6073/pasta/51521e888f301ae9e0c97455764daa77

Neumann, Rebecca B; Blazewicz, Steven J.; Conaway, C. H.; Turetsky, Merritt R; Waldrop, Mark P. 2015. Modeling CH4 and CO2 cycling using porewater stable isotopes in a thermokarst bog in Interior Alaska: Results from three conceptual reaction networks, Bonanza Creek LTER - University of Alaska Fairbanks. BNZ:610, http://www.lter.uaf.edu/data/data-detail/id/610. doi:10.6073/pasta/c246d9ed17292fe6b0654cdd88a56deb