Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-84
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-84
03 Apr 2024
 | 03 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

WetCH4: A Machine Learning-based Upscaling of Methane Fluxes of Northern Wetlands during 2016–2022

Qing Ying, Benjamin Poulter, Jennifer D. Watts, Kyle A. Arndt, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Lori Bruhwiler, Youmi Oh, Brendan M. Rogers, Susan M. Natali, Hilary Sullivan, Luke D. Schiferl, Clayton Elder, Olli Peltola, Annett Bartsch, Amanda Armstrong, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Mathias Göckede, Bernhard Lehner, Mats B. Nilsson, Matthias Peichl, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, Masahito Ueyama, and Zhen Zhang

Abstract. Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane (CH4) emissions globally. Northern wetlands (>45° N), accounting for 42 % of global wetland area, are increasingly vulnerable to carbon loss, especially as CH4 emissions may accelerate under intensified high-latitude warming. However, the magnitude and spatial patterns of high-latitude CH4 emissions remain relatively uncertain. Here we present estimates of daily CH4 fluxes obtained using a new machine learning-based wetland CH4 upscaling framework (WetCH4) that applies the most complete database of eddy covariance (EC) observations available to date, and satellite remote sensing informed observations of environmental conditions at 10-km resolution. The most important predictor variables included near-surface soil temperatures (top 40 cm), vegetation reflectance, and soil moisture. Our results, modeled from 138 site-years across 26 sites, had relatively strong predictive skill with a mean R2 of 0.46 and 0.62 and a mean absolute error (MAE) of 23 nmol m-2 s-1 and 21 nmol m-2 s-1 for daily and monthly fluxes, respectively. Based on the model results, we estimated an annual average of 20.8 ±2.1 Tg CH4 yr-1 for the northern wetland region (2016–2022) and total budgets ranged from 13.7–44.1 Tg CH4 yr-1, depending on wetland map extents. Although 86 % of the estimated CH4 budget occurred during the May–October period, a considerable amount (1.4 ±0.2 Tg CH4) occurred during winter. Regionally, the West Siberian wetlands accounted for a majority (51 %) of the interannual variation in domain CH4 emissions. Significant issues with data coverage remain, with only 23 % of the sites observing year-round and most of the data from 11 wetland sites in Alaska and 10 bog/fen sites in Canada and Fennoscandia, and in general, Western Siberian Lowlands are underrepresented by EC CH4 sites. Our results provide high spatiotemporal information on the wetland emissions in the high-latitude carbon cycle and possible responses to climate change. Continued, all-season tower observations and improved soil moisture products are needed for future improvement of CH4 upscaling. The dataset can be found at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10802154 (Ying et al., 2024).

Qing Ying, Benjamin Poulter, Jennifer D. Watts, Kyle A. Arndt, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Lori Bruhwiler, Youmi Oh, Brendan M. Rogers, Susan M. Natali, Hilary Sullivan, Luke D. Schiferl, Clayton Elder, Olli Peltola, Annett Bartsch, Amanda Armstrong, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Mathias Göckede, Bernhard Lehner, Mats B. Nilsson, Matthias Peichl, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, Masahito Ueyama, and Zhen Zhang

Status: open (until 27 May 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-84', Tyler Herrington, 10 Apr 2024 reply
Qing Ying, Benjamin Poulter, Jennifer D. Watts, Kyle A. Arndt, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Lori Bruhwiler, Youmi Oh, Brendan M. Rogers, Susan M. Natali, Hilary Sullivan, Luke D. Schiferl, Clayton Elder, Olli Peltola, Annett Bartsch, Amanda Armstrong, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Mathias Göckede, Bernhard Lehner, Mats B. Nilsson, Matthias Peichl, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, Masahito Ueyama, and Zhen Zhang

Data sets

WetCH4: A Machine Learning-based Upscaling of Methane Fluxes of Northern Wetlands during 2016-2022 Qing Ying, Benjamin Poulter, Jennifer D. Watts, Kyle A. Arndt, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Lori Bruhwiler, Youmi Oh, Brendan M. Rogers, Susan M. Natali, Hilary Sullivan, Luke D. Schiferl, Clayton Elder, Olli Peltola, Annett Bartsch, Amanda Armstrong, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Mathias Göckede, Bernhard Lehner, Mats B. Nilsson, Matthias Peichl, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, Masahito Ueyama, and Zhen Zhang https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10802154

Model code and software

WetCH4 Qing Ying https://github.com/qlearwater/WetCH4.git

Qing Ying, Benjamin Poulter, Jennifer D. Watts, Kyle A. Arndt, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Lori Bruhwiler, Youmi Oh, Brendan M. Rogers, Susan M. Natali, Hilary Sullivan, Luke D. Schiferl, Clayton Elder, Olli Peltola, Annett Bartsch, Amanda Armstrong, Ankur R. Desai, Eugénie Euskirchen, Mathias Göckede, Bernhard Lehner, Mats B. Nilsson, Matthias Peichl, Oliver Sonnentag, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, Masahito Ueyama, and Zhen Zhang

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Short summary
We present daily methane fluxes of northern wetlands at 10-km resolution during 2016–2022 (WetCH4) derived from a novel machine-learning framework with improved accuracy. We estimated an average annual CH4 emissions of 20.8 ±2.1 Tg CH4 yr-1. Emissions were intensified in 2016, 2020, and 2022, with the largest interannual variations coming from West Siberia. Continued, all-season tower observations and improved soil moisture products are needed for future improvement of CH4 upscaling.
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