Assessing the carbon balance of circumpolar Arctic tundra using remote sensing and process modeling
McGuire, A. David
Kimball, John S.
Clein, Joy S.
McDonald, Kyle C.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordArctic carbon cycle; Biogeochemical cycles; Carbon balance; Carbon cycle modeling; High-latitude remote sensing; Methane modeling; Tundra
This paper reviews the current status of using remote sensing and process-based modeling approaches to assess the contemporary and future circumpolar carbon balance of Arctic tundra, including the exchange of both carbon dioxide and methane with the atmosphere. Analyses based on remote sensing approaches that use a 20-year data record of satellite data indicate that tundra is greening in the Arctic, suggesting an increase in photosynthetic activity and net primary production. Modeling studies generally simulate a small net carbon sink for the distribution of Arctic tundra, a result that is within the uncertainty range of field-based estimates of net carbon exchange. Applications of process-based approaches for scenarios of future climate change generally indicate net carbon sequestration in Arctic tundra as enhanced vegetation production exceeds simulated increases in decomposition. However, methane emissions are likely to increase dramatically, in response to rising soil temperatures, over the next century. Key uncertainties in the response of Arctic ecosystems to climate change include uncertainties in future fire regimes and uncertainties relating to changes in the soil environment. These include the response of soil decomposition and respiration to warming and deepening of the soil active layer, uncertainties in precipitation and potential soil drying, and distribution of wetlands. While there are numerous uncertainties in the projections of process-based models, they generally indicate that Arctic tundra will be a small sink for carbon over the next century and that methane emissions will increase considerably, which implies that exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and Arctic tundra ecosystems is likely to contribute to climate warming.
Author Posting. © Ecological Society of America, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of Ecological Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ecological Applications 17 (2007): 213–234, doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2007)017[0213:ATCBOC]2.0.CO;2.
Suggested CitationEcological Applications 17 (2007): 213–234
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Hobbie, John E.; Hobbie, Erik A. (Ecological Society of America, 2006-04)When soil nitrogen is in short supply, most terrestrial plants form symbioses with fungi (mycorrhizae): hyphae take up soil nitrogen, transport it into plant roots, and receive plant sugars in return. In ecosystems, the ...
Euskirchen, Eugenie; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Shaver, Gaius R.; Edgar, Colin W.; Romanovsky, Vladimir (2016-11)Releases of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from thawing permafrost are expected to be among the largest feedbacks to climate from arctic ecosystems. However, the current net carbon (C) balance ...
McGuire, A. David; Hayes, Daniel J.; Kicklighter, David W.; Manizza, Manfredi; Zhuang, Qianlai; Chen, Min; Follows, Michael J.; Gurney, Kevin R.; McClelland, James W.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Peterson, Bruce J.; Prinn, Ronald G. (2010-06-18)This study used several model-based tools to analyze the dynamics of the Arctic Basin between 1997 and 2006 as a linked system of land-ocean-atmosphere C exchange. The analysis estimates that terrestrial areas of the ...