Articles | Volume 14, issue 23
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 13159–13174, 2014
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 13159–13174, 2014

Research article 10 Dec 2014

Research article | 10 Dec 2014

Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes and their regional scalability for the European Arctic wetlands during the MAMM project in summer 2012

S. J. O'Shea1, G. Allen1, M. W. Gallagher1, K. Bower1, S. M. Illingworth1,*, J. B. A. Muller1, B. T. Jones1, C. J. Percival1, S. J-B. Bauguitte2, M. Cain3, N. Warwick3,10, A. Quiquet3, U. Skiba4, J. Drewer4, K. Dinsmore4, E. G. Nisbet5, D. Lowry5, R. E. Fisher5, J. L. France5,**, M. Aurela6, A. Lohila6, G. Hayman7, C. George7, D. B. Clark7, A. J. Manning8, A. D. Friend9, and J. Pyle3,10 S. J. O'Shea et al.
  • 1School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
  • 2Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM), Building 125, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford, MK43 0AL, UK
  • 3Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
  • 4Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0QB, UK
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham TW20 0EX, UK
  • 6Climate Change Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 8UK Meteorological Office, Fitzroy Rd, Exeter, UK
  • 9Department of Geography, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
  • 10National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK
  • *now at: School of Research, Enterprise & Innovation, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD, UK
  • **now at: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Abstract. Airborne and ground-based measurements of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and boundary layer thermodynamics were recorded over the Fennoscandian landscape (67–69.5° N, 20–28° E) in July 2012 as part of the MAMM (Methane and other greenhouse gases in the Arctic: Measurements, process studies and Modelling) field campaign. Employing these airborne measurements and a simple boundary layer box model, net regional-scale (~ 100 km) fluxes were calculated to be 1.2 ± 0.5 mg CH4 h−1 m−2 and −350 ± 143 mg CO2 h−1 m−2. These airborne fluxes were found to be relatively consistent with seasonally averaged surface chamber (1.3 ± 1.0 mg CH4 h−1 m−2) and eddy covariance (1.3 ± 0.3 mg CH4 h−1 m−2 and −309 ± 306 mg CO2 h−1 m−2) flux measurements in the local area. The internal consistency of the aircraft-derived fluxes across a wide swath of Fennoscandia coupled with an excellent statistical comparison with local seasonally averaged ground-based measurements demonstrates the potential scalability of such localised measurements to regional-scale representativeness. Comparisons were also made to longer-term regional CH4 climatologies from the JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator) and HYBRID8 land surface models within the area of the MAMM campaign. The average hourly emission flux output for the summer period (July–August) for the year 2012 was 0.084 mg CH4 h−1 m−2 (minimum 0.0 and maximum 0.21 mg CH4 h−1 m−2) for the JULES model and 0.088 mg CH4 h−1 m−2 (minimum 0.0008 and maximum 1.53 mg CH4 h−1 m−2) for HYBRID8. Based on these observations both models were found to significantly underestimate the CH4 emission flux in this region, which was linked to the under-prediction of the wetland extents generated by the models.

Short summary
This paper presents airborne measurements of greenhouse gases collected in the European Arctic. Regional scale flux estimates for the northern Scandinavian wetlands are derived. These fluxes are found to be in excellent agreement with coincident surface measurements within the aircraft's sampling domain. This has allowed a significant low bias to be identified in two commonly used process-based land surface models.
Final-revised paper