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  • Saunois, M., et al. (författare)
  • The global methane budget 2000–2012
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Earth System Science Data. - : COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH. - 1866-3508 .- 1866-3516. ; 8:2, s. 697-751
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties come from the large variety of diffusive CH4 sources that overlap geographically, and from the destruction of CH4 by the very short-lived hydroxyl radical (OH). To address these difficulties, we have established a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate research on the methane cycle, and producing regular (∼ biennial) updates of the global methane budget. This consortium includes atmospheric physicists and chemists, biogeochemists of surface and marine emissions, and socio-economists who study anthropogenic emissions. Following Kirschke et al. (2013), we propose here the first version of a living review paper that integrates results of top-down studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models, inventories and data-driven approaches (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, and inventories for anthropogenic emissions, data-driven extrapolations). For the 2003–2012 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by top-down inversions at 558 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 540–568. About 60 % of global emissions are anthropogenic (range 50–65 %). Since 2010, the bottom-up global emission inventories have been closer to methane emissions in the most carbon-intensive Representative Concentrations Pathway (RCP8.5) and higher than all other RCP scenarios. Bottom-up approaches suggest larger global emissions (736 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 596–884) mostly because of larger natural emissions from individual sources such as inland waters, natural wetlands and geological sources. Considering the atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget, it is likely that some of the individual emissions reported by the bottom-up approaches are overestimated, leading to too large global emissions. Latitudinal data from top-down emissions indicate a predominance of tropical emissions (∼ 64 % of the global budget, < 30° N) as compared to mid (∼ 32 %, 30–60° N) and high northern latitudes (∼ 4 %, 60–90° N). Top-down inversions consistently infer lower emissions in China (∼ 58 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 51–72, −14 %) and higher emissions in Africa (86 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 73–108, +19 %) than bottom-up values used as prior estimates. Overall, uncertainties for anthropogenic emissions appear smaller than those from natural sources, and the uncertainties on source categories appear larger for top-down inversions than for bottom-up inventories and models. The most important source of uncertainty on the methane budget is attributable to emissions from wetland and other inland waters. We show that the wetland extent could contribute 30–40 % on the estimated range for wetland emissions. Other priorities for improving the methane budget include the following: (i) the development of process-based models for inland-water emissions, (ii) the intensification of methane observations at local scale (flux measurements) to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scale (surface networks and satellites) to constrain top-down inversions, (iii) improvements in the estimation of atmospheric loss by OH, and (iv) improvements of the transport models integrated in top-down inversions. The data presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (http://doi.org/10.3334/CDIAC/GLOBAL_METHANE_BUDGET_2016_V1.1) and the Global Carbon Project.
  • Saunois, M., et al. (författare)
  • Variability and quasi-decadal changes in the methane budget over the period 2000–2012
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Atmospheric Chemistry And Physics. - : COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH. - 1680-7316 .- 1680-7324. ; 17:18, s. 11135-11161
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Following the recent Global Carbon Project (GCP) synthesis of the decadal methane (CH4) budget over 2000–2012 (Saunois et al., 2016), we analyse here the same dataset with a focus on quasi-decadal and inter-annual variability in CH4 emissions. The GCP dataset integrates results from top-down studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry), inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven approaches. The annual global methane emissions from top-down studies, which by construction match the observed methane growth rate within their uncertainties, all show an increase in total methane emissions over the period 2000–2012, but this increase is not linear over the 13 years. Despite differences between individual studies, the mean emission anomaly of the top-down ensemble shows no significant trend in total methane emissions over the period 2000–2006, during the plateau of atmospheric methane mole fractions, and also over the period 2008–2012, during the renewed atmospheric methane increase. However, the top-down ensemble mean produces an emission shift between 2006 and 2008, leading to 22 [16–32] Tg CH4 yr−1 higher methane emissions over the period 2008–2012 compared to 2002–2006. This emission increase mostly originated from the tropics, with a smaller contribution from mid-latitudes and no significant change from boreal regions. The regional contributions remain uncertain in top-down studies. Tropical South America and South and East Asia seem to contribute the most to the emission increase in the tropics. However, these two regions have only limited atmospheric measurements and remain therefore poorly constrained. The sectorial partitioning of this emission increase between the periods 2002–2006 and 2008–2012 differs from one atmospheric inversion study to another. However, all top-down studies suggest smaller changes in fossil fuel emissions (from oil, gas, and coal industries) compared to the mean of the bottom-up inventories included in this study. This difference is partly driven by a smaller emission change in China from the top-down studies compared to the estimate in the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.2) inventory, which should be revised to smaller values in a near future. We apply isotopic signatures to the emission changes estimated for individual studies based on five emission sectors and find that for six individual top-down studies (out of eight) the average isotopic signature of the emission changes is not consistent with the observed change in atmospheric 13CH4. However, the partitioning in emission change derived from the ensemble mean is consistent with this isotopic constraint. At the global scale, the top-down ensemble mean suggests that the dominant contribution to the resumed atmospheric CH4 growth after 2006 comes from microbial sources (more from agriculture and waste sectors than from natural wetlands), with an uncertain but smaller contribution from fossil CH4 emissions. In addition, a decrease in biomass burning emissions (in agreement with the biomass burning emission databases) makes the balance of sources consistent with atmospheric 13CH4 observations. In most of the top-down studies included here, OH concentrations are considered constant over the years (seasonal variations but without any inter-annual variability). As a result, the methane loss (in particular through OH oxidation) varies mainly through the change in methane concentrations and not its oxidants. For these reasons, changes in the methane loss could not be properly investigated in this study, although it may play a significant role in the recent atmospheric methane changes as briefly discussed at the end of the paper.
  • Saunois, Marielle, et al. (författare)
  • The Global Methane Budget 2000-2017
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Earth System Science Data. - : COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH. - 1866-3508 .- 1866-3516. ; 12:3, s. 1561-1623
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. Atmospheric emissions and concentrations of CH4 continue to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-influenced greenhouse gas in terms of climate forcing, after carbon dioxide (CO2). The relative importance of CH4 compared to CO2 depends on its shorter atmospheric lifetime, stronger warming potential, and variations in atmospheric growth rate over the past decade, the causes of which are still debated. Two major challenges in reducing uncertainties in the atmospheric growth rate arise from the variety of geographically overlapping CH4 sources and from the destruction of CH4 by short-lived hydroxyl radicals (OH). To address these challenges, we have established a consortium of multidisciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate new research aimed at improving and regularly updating the global methane budget. Following Saunois et al. (2016), we present here the second version of the living review paper dedicated to the decadal methane budget, integrating results of top-down studies (atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up estimates (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven extrapolations). For the 2008-2017 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by atmospheric inversions (a top-down approach) to be 576 Tg CH4 yr(-1) (range 550-594, corresponding to the minimum and maximum estimates of the model ensemble). Of this total, 359 Tg CH4 yr(-1) or similar to 60 % is attributed to anthropogenic sources, that is emissions caused by direct human activity (i.e. anthropogenic emissions; range 336-376 Tg CH4 yr(-1) or 50 %-65 %). The mean annual total emission for the new decade (2008-2017) is 29 Tg CH4 yr(-1) larger than our estimate for the previous decade (2000-2009), and 24 Tg CH4 yr(-1) larger than the one reported in the previous budget for 2003-2012 (Saunois et al., 2016). Since 2012, global CH4 emissions have been tracking the warmest scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Bottom-up methods suggest almost 30 % larger global emissions (737 Tg CH4 yr(-1), range 594-881) than top-down inversion methods. Indeed, bottom-up estimates for natural sources such as natural wetlands, other inland water systems, and geological sources are higher than top-down estimates. The atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget suggest that at least some of these bottom-up emissions are overestimated. The latitudinal distribution of atmospheric observation-based emissions indicates a predominance of tropical emissions (similar to 65 % of the global budget, < 30 degrees N) compared to mid-latitudes (similar to 30 %, 30-60 degrees N) and high northern latitudes (similar to 4 %, 60-90 degrees N). The most important source of uncertainty in the methane budget is attributable to natural emissions, especially those from wetlands and other inland waters. Some of our global source estimates are smaller than those in previously published budgets (Saunois et al., 2016; Kirschke et al., 2013). In particular wetland emissions are about 35 Tg CH4 yr(-1) lower due to improved partition wetlands and other inland waters. Emissions from geological sources and wild animals are also found to be smaller by 7 Tg CH4 yr(-1) by 8 Tg CH4 yr(-1), respectively. However, the overall discrepancy between bottomup and top-down estimates has been reduced by only 5 % compared to Saunois et al. (2016), due to a higher estimate of emissions from inland waters, highlighting the need for more detailed research on emissions factors. Priorities for improving the methane budget include (i) a global, high-resolution map of water-saturated soils and inundated areas emitting methane based on a robust classification of different types of emitting habitats; (ii) further development of process-based models for inland-water emissions; (iii) intensification of methane observations at local scales (e.g., FLUXNET-CH4 measurements) and urban-scale monitoring to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scales (surface networks and satellites) to constrain atmospheric inversions; (iv) improvements of transport models and the representation of photochemical sinks in top-down inversions; and (v) development of a 3D variational inversion system using isotopic and/or co-emitted species such as ethane to improve source partitioning. The data presented here can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.18160/GCP-CH4-2019 (Saunois et al., 2020) and from the Global Carbon Project.
  • Abbott, Benjamin W., et al. (författare)
  • Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire : an expert assessment
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Environmental Research Letters. - : IOP Publishing: Open Access Journals / IOP Publishing. - 1748-9326 .- 1748-9326. ; 11:3
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%-85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.
  • Luo, Yiqi, et al. (författare)
  • Toward more realistic projections of soil carbon dynamics by Earth system models
  • Ingår i: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. - : American Geophysical Union (AGU). - 0886-6236. ; 30:1, s. 40-56
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Soil carbon (C) is a critical component of Earth system models (ESMs), and its diverse representations are a major source of the large spread across models in the terrestrial C sink from the third to fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Improving soil C projections is of a high priority for Earth system modeling in the future IPCC and other assessments. To achieve this goal, we suggest that (1) model structures should reflect real-world processes, (2) parameters should be calibrated to match model outputs with observations, and (3) external forcing variables should accurately prescribe the environmental conditions that soils experience. First, most soil C cycle models simulate C input from litter production and C release through decomposition. The latter process has traditionally been represented by first-order decay functions, regulated primarily by temperature, moisture, litter quality, and soil texture. While this formulation well captures macroscopic soil organic C (SOC) dynamics, better understanding is needed of their underlying mechanisms as related to microbial processes, depth-dependent environmental controls, and other processes that strongly affect soil C dynamics. Second, incomplete use of observations in model parameterization is a major cause of bias in soil C projections from ESMs. Optimal parameter calibration with both pool- and flux-based data sets through data assimilation is among the highest priorities for near-term research to reduce biases among ESMs. Third, external variables are represented inconsistently among ESMs, leading to differences in modeled soil C dynamics. We recommend the implementation of traceability analyses to identify how external variables and model parameterizations influence SOC dynamics in different ESMs. Overall, projections of the terrestrial C sink can be substantially improved when reliable data sets are available to select the most representative model structure, constrain parameters, and prescribe forcing fields.
  • Smith, Pete, et al. (författare)
  • Sectoral approaches to improve regional carbon budgets
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: Climatic Change. - : Springer. - 0165-0009 .- 1573-1480. ; 88:3-4, s. 209-249
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Humans utilise about 40% of the earth's net primary production (NPP) but the products of this NPP are often managed by different sectors, with timber and forest products managed by the forestry sector and food and fibre products from croplands and grasslands managed by the agricultural sector. Other significant anthropogenic impacts on the global carbon cycle include human utilization of fossil fuels and impacts on less intensively managed systems such as peatlands, wetlands and permafrost. A great deal of knowledge, expertise and data is available within each sector. We describe the contribution of sectoral carbon budgets to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Whilst many sectors exhibit similarities for carbon budgeting, some key differences arise due to differences in goods and services provided, ecology, management practices used, land-management personnel responsible, policies affecting land management, data types and availability, and the drivers of change. We review the methods and data sources available for assessing sectoral carbon budgets, and describe some of key data limitations and uncertainties for each sector in different regions of the world. We identify the main gaps in our knowledge/data, show that coverage is better for the developed world for most sectors, and suggest how sectoral carbon budgets could be improved in the future. Research priorities include the development of shared protocols through site networks, a move to full carbon accounting within sectors, and the assessment of full greenhouse gas budgets.
  • Tian, Hanqin, et al. (författare)
  • Global soil nitrous oxide emissions since the preindustrial era estimated by an ensemble of terrestrial biosphere models : Magnitude, attribution, and uncertainty
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Global Change Biology. - : Wiley-Blackwell. - 1354-1013. ; 25:2, s. 640-659
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Our understanding and quantification of global soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and the underlying processes remain largely uncertain. Here, we assessed the effects of multiple anthropogenic and natural factors, including nitrogen fertilizer (N) application, atmospheric N deposition, manure N application, land cover change, climate change, and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, on global soil N2O emissions for the period 1861–2016 using a standard simulation protocol with seven process-based terrestrial biosphere models. Results suggest global soil N2O emissions have increased from 6.3 ± 1.1 Tg N2O-N/year in the preindustrial period (the 1860s) to 10.0 ± 2.0 Tg N2O-N/year in the recent decade (2007–2016). Cropland soil emissions increased from 0.3 Tg N2O-N/year to 3.3 Tg N2O-N/year over the same period, accounting for 82% of the total increase. Regionally, China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia underwent rapid increases in cropland N2O emissions since the 1970s. However, US cropland N2O emissions had been relatively flat in magnitude since the 1980s, and EU cropland N2O emissions appear to have decreased by 14%. Soil N2O emissions from predominantly natural ecosystems accounted for 67% of the global soil emissions in the recent decade but showed only a relatively small increase of 0.7 ± 0.5 Tg N2O-N/year (11%) since the 1860s. In the recent decade, N fertilizer application, N deposition, manure N application, and climate change contributed 54%, 26%, 15%, and 24%, respectively, to the total increase. Rising atmospheric CO2 concentration reduced soil N2O emissions by 10% through the enhanced plant N uptake, while land cover change played a minor role. Our estimation here does not account for indirect emissions from soils and the directed emissions from excreta of grazing livestock. To address uncertainties in estimating regional and global soil N2O emissions, this study recommends several critical strategies for improving the process-based simulations.
  • Wu, Xiuchen, et al. (författare)
  • Exposures to temperature beyond threshold disproportionately reduce vegetation growth in the northern hemisphere
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: National Science Review. - 2095-5138 .- 2053-714X. ; 6:4
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In recent decades, terrestrial vegetation in the northern hemisphere (NH) has been exposed to warming and more extremely high temperatures. However, the consequences of these changes for terrestrial vegetation growth remain poorly quantified and understood. By examining a satellite-based vegetation index, tree-ring measurements and land-surface model simulations, we discovered a consistent convex pattern in the responses of vegetation growth to temperature exposure (TE) for forest, shrub and grass in both the temperate (30°−50° N) and boreal (50°−70° N) NH during the period of 1982−2012. The response of vegetation growth to TE for the three vegetation types in both the temperate and boreal NH increased convergently with increasing temperature, until vegetation type-dependent temperature thresholds were reached. A TE beyond these temperature thresholds resulted in disproportionately weak positive or even strong negative responses. Vegetation growth in the boreal NH was more vulnerable to extremely high-temperature events than vegetation growth in the temporal NH. The non-linear responses discovered here provide new insights into the dynamics of northern terrestrial ecosystems in a warmer world.
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