Climate Change Impacting CO2 has Peatland exchange primarily via moisture conditions

University of Eastern Finland: Press release, 8 April 2019

So Northern peatlands store approximately one third of global soil carbon.

I mean namely around 500 gigatons of carbon guys!

Because the peatland carbon cycling is also largely controlled by partly anaerobic soil conditions. Therefore the carbon stored in these soils is also extremely vulnerable. Especially to climate warming and reduce soil moisture. Therefore increasing soil aeration is essential.

Understanding the interactions between warming and soil moisture are essential. Well that’s particularly important in peatland areas bIg time.

Because they found warmth in boreal and arctic areas. So these are expected to experience high rates of climate warming. This region also happens to be the core area for northern peatlands. Which isn’t good because increased mineralization will go down. Problem is that could have high potential to further accelerate climate change.

As I’ve written before:

Antarctic Ice! NASA/UC Irvine map of ice velocity in AntarcticaThis is a NASA/UC Irvine map of Antarctic ice velocity. It is needed in Antarctica for now. That’s especially since it’s is 10 times more accurate. I mean more than any previous map in history; so that too damn cool.

It also shows flows over 80% of the continent. First of all and for starters it goes further because older maps showed about 20%. Colored lines indicate direction of flow. All the while background colors show speed.

Far more accurate than any previous map, this new representation of glacier flows in Antarctica. It therefore opens the door to an improved understanding of the vast continent. As well as and more importantly, the future pace of sea level rise.

So to create the new map, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California did this. For they consequently combined input from six different satellite missions. Thereby dating from 1994 to the present.

In addition, a study led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland had something to show. For it suggests that peatland CO2 exchange is more strongly influenced by drying than warming.

As such that soil moisture may be critical to determining whether fen ecosystems are able to adapt. All to a changing climate.

Moreover, the study was recently published in Global Change Biology. It’s also a leading journal in environmental science.

Conclusion

The research is also based on a four year field experiment. That’s also in two Finnish fens subjected to warming; as well as water level draw down. The authors also monitored photosynthesis, respiration, and net CO2 exchange. All during third and fourth experimental growing seasons. So all the while warming had little effect on any gas flux component. The dryer conditions were associated with increased photosynthesis and respiration.

Therefore the warming intensified the impacts of drying. In so that in one site CO2 uptake decreased. Finally and based on these results, in northern fens the water table has a decisive role. Especially in regulating how much the increased temperature impacts the CO2 exchange.

In conclusion, the research was funded by the Academy of Finland (projects 138041, 287039, 140863).

Research article:

Laine, A. M., Mäkiranta, P., Laiho, R., Mehtätalo, L., Penttilä, T., Korrensalo, A., Minkkinen, K., Fritze, H. & Tuittila, E. S. (2019). Warming impacts on boreal fen CO2 exchange under wet and dry conditions. Global change biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14617