Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-8
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-8
 
02 Feb 2022
02 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A high-spatial resolution soil carbon and nitrogen dataset for the northern permafrost region, based on circumpolar land cover upscaling

Juri Palmtag1, Jaroslav Obu2, Peter Kuhry3,4, Andreas Richter5, Matthias B. Siewert6, Niels Weiss7, Sebastian Westermann2, and Gustaf Hugelius3,4 Juri Palmtag et al.
  • 1Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Sem Sælands vei 1, 0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 3Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna, Vienna
  • 6Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, 901 87, Sweden
  • 7Northwest Territories Geological Survey, Government of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife NT X1A 1K3, Canada

Abstract. Soils in the northern high latitudes are a key component in the global carbon cycle; the northern permafrost region covers 22 % of the Northern Hemisphere and holds almost twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Permafrost soil organic matter stocks represent an enormous long-term carbon sink which is in risk of switching to a net source in the future. Detailed knowledge about the quantity and the mechanisms controlling organic carbon storage is of utmost importance for our understanding of potential impacts of and feedbacks on climate change. Here we present a geospatial dataset of physical and chemical soil properties calculated from 651 soil pedons encompassing more than 6500 samples from 16 different study areas across the northern permafrost region. The aim of our dataset is to provide a basis to describe spatial patterns in soil properties, including quantifying carbon and nitrogen stocks, turnover times, and soil texture. There is a particular need for spatially distributed datasets of soil properties, including vertical and horizontal distribution patterns, for modelling at local, regional or global scales. This paper presents this dataset, describes in detail soil sampling, laboratory analysis and derived soil geochemical parameters, calculations and data clustering. Moreover, we use this dataset to estimate soil organic carbon and total nitrogen storage estimates within the soil area of the northern circumpolar permafrost region (17.9 × 106 km2) using the ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Global Land Cover dataset at 300 m pixel resolution. We estimate organic carbon and total nitrogen stocks on a circumpolar scale (excluding Tibet) for the 0–100 cm and 0–300 cm soil depth to 380 Pg and 813 Pg for carbon and 21 Pg and 55 Pg for nitrogen, respectively. Of which 48 % of the area is within the land cover class forest with a total SOC and TN storage for 0–300 cm of 35 % and 36 %, respectively. Our organic carbon estimates agree with previous studies, with most recent estimates of 1000 Pg (−170 to +186 Pg) to 300 cm depth but show different spatial patterns. Two separate datasets are freely available on the Bolin Centre Database repository (https://doi.org/10.17043/palmtag-2022-pedon-1, Palmtag et al., 2022a and https://doi.org/10.17043/palmtag-2022-spatial-1, Palmtag et al., 2002b).

Juri Palmtag et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-8', Kristen Manies, 23 Mar 2022

Juri Palmtag et al.

Data sets

A high spatial resolution soil carbon and nitrogen dataset for the northern permafrost region Juri Palmtag, Jaroslav Obu, Peter Kuhry, Matthias Siewert, Niels Weiss, Gustaf Hugelius https://doi.org/10.17043/palmtag-2022-spatial-1

Detailed pedon data on soil carbon and nitrogen for the northern permafrost region Juri Palmtag, Jaroslav Obu, Peter Kuhry, Matthias Siewert, Niels Weiss, Gustaf Hugelius https://doi.org/10.17043/palmtag-2022-pedon-1

Juri Palmtag et al.

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Short summary
The northern permafrost region covers 22 % of the Northern Hemisphere and holds almost twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. This paper presents data from 651 soil pedons encompassing more than 6500 samples from 16 different study areas across the northern permafrost region. We use this dataset together with ESA's global land cover dataset to estimate soil organic carbon and total nitrogen storage up to 300 cm soil depth, with values of 813 Pg for carbon and 55 Pg for nitrogen.