Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming

Northern peatlands

Jukka Laine, Jouko Silvola, Kimmo Tolonen, Jukka Alm, Hannu Nykänen, Harri Vasander, Tapani Sallantaus, Ilkka Savolainen, Jukka Sinisalo, Pertti Martikainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the last deglaciation, 300-500 Pg carbon have accumulated in northern peatlands (346 mill. ha). While sequestering carbon dioxide ( CO2), these peatlands release considerable amounts of methane ( CH4) to the atmosphere. The greenhouse-gas balance of peatlands may change in the future if summers become warmer and drier, as has been predicted for high latitudes. Subsequent emissions of CH4 would decrease, whereas emissions of CO2 and nitrous oxide ( N2O) would increase. Water-level drawdown has been predicted to enhance the greenhouse impact from northern peatlands. The components of carbon cycling were measured both in undrained and drained peatlands of different trophic levels. The results were drawn together into a single radiative forcing factor, to assess the combined atmospheric effects of water-level drawdown. We present a hypothesis, based on the measured changes in carbon stores in soil and tree stand, and fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O after water-level drawdown caused by drainage for forestry. The hypothesis suggests that possible drying arising from climate change would, in fact, decrease the impact of northern peatlands on the total radiative forcing for about one hundred years by c. 0.1 W m-2. This is caused by the decrease in CH4 emissions, fairly small changes in the peat carbon storage, and increase in the tree-stand biomass storage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
JournalAmbio
Volume25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Global warming
Water levels
drawdown
peatland
water level
Carbon
warming
water
radiative forcing
forestry
Peat
Forestry
Greenhouses
carbon
Methane
Nitrous Oxide
climate change
Greenhouse gases
Carbon Dioxide
Climate change

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Laine, J., Silvola, J., Tolonen, K., Alm, J., Nykänen, H., Vasander, H., ... Martikainen, P. (1996). Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming: Northern peatlands. Ambio, 25(3), 179-184.
Laine, Jukka ; Silvola, Jouko ; Tolonen, Kimmo ; Alm, Jukka ; Nykänen, Hannu ; Vasander, Harri ; Sallantaus, Tapani ; Savolainen, Ilkka ; Sinisalo, Jukka ; Martikainen, Pertti. / Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming : Northern peatlands. In: Ambio. 1996 ; Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 179-184.
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title = "Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming: Northern peatlands",
abstract = "Since the last deglaciation, 300-500 Pg carbon have accumulated in northern peatlands (346 mill. ha). While sequestering carbon dioxide ( CO2), these peatlands release considerable amounts of methane ( CH4) to the atmosphere. The greenhouse-gas balance of peatlands may change in the future if summers become warmer and drier, as has been predicted for high latitudes. Subsequent emissions of CH4 would decrease, whereas emissions of CO2 and nitrous oxide ( N2O) would increase. Water-level drawdown has been predicted to enhance the greenhouse impact from northern peatlands. The components of carbon cycling were measured both in undrained and drained peatlands of different trophic levels. The results were drawn together into a single radiative forcing factor, to assess the combined atmospheric effects of water-level drawdown. We present a hypothesis, based on the measured changes in carbon stores in soil and tree stand, and fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O after water-level drawdown caused by drainage for forestry. The hypothesis suggests that possible drying arising from climate change would, in fact, decrease the impact of northern peatlands on the total radiative forcing for about one hundred years by c. 0.1 W m-2. This is caused by the decrease in CH4 emissions, fairly small changes in the peat carbon storage, and increase in the tree-stand biomass storage.",
author = "Jukka Laine and Jouko Silvola and Kimmo Tolonen and Jukka Alm and Hannu Nyk{\"a}nen and Harri Vasander and Tapani Sallantaus and Ilkka Savolainen and Jukka Sinisalo and Pertti Martikainen",
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Laine, J, Silvola, J, Tolonen, K, Alm, J, Nykänen, H, Vasander, H, Sallantaus, T, Savolainen, I, Sinisalo, J & Martikainen, P 1996, 'Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming: Northern peatlands', Ambio, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 179-184.

Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming : Northern peatlands. / Laine, Jukka; Silvola, Jouko; Tolonen, Kimmo; Alm, Jukka; Nykänen, Hannu; Vasander, Harri; Sallantaus, Tapani; Savolainen, Ilkka; Sinisalo, Jukka; Martikainen, Pertti.

In: Ambio, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1996, p. 179-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming

T2 - Northern peatlands

AU - Laine, Jukka

AU - Silvola, Jouko

AU - Tolonen, Kimmo

AU - Alm, Jukka

AU - Nykänen, Hannu

AU - Vasander, Harri

AU - Sallantaus, Tapani

AU - Savolainen, Ilkka

AU - Sinisalo, Jukka

AU - Martikainen, Pertti

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - Since the last deglaciation, 300-500 Pg carbon have accumulated in northern peatlands (346 mill. ha). While sequestering carbon dioxide ( CO2), these peatlands release considerable amounts of methane ( CH4) to the atmosphere. The greenhouse-gas balance of peatlands may change in the future if summers become warmer and drier, as has been predicted for high latitudes. Subsequent emissions of CH4 would decrease, whereas emissions of CO2 and nitrous oxide ( N2O) would increase. Water-level drawdown has been predicted to enhance the greenhouse impact from northern peatlands. The components of carbon cycling were measured both in undrained and drained peatlands of different trophic levels. The results were drawn together into a single radiative forcing factor, to assess the combined atmospheric effects of water-level drawdown. We present a hypothesis, based on the measured changes in carbon stores in soil and tree stand, and fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O after water-level drawdown caused by drainage for forestry. The hypothesis suggests that possible drying arising from climate change would, in fact, decrease the impact of northern peatlands on the total radiative forcing for about one hundred years by c. 0.1 W m-2. This is caused by the decrease in CH4 emissions, fairly small changes in the peat carbon storage, and increase in the tree-stand biomass storage.

AB - Since the last deglaciation, 300-500 Pg carbon have accumulated in northern peatlands (346 mill. ha). While sequestering carbon dioxide ( CO2), these peatlands release considerable amounts of methane ( CH4) to the atmosphere. The greenhouse-gas balance of peatlands may change in the future if summers become warmer and drier, as has been predicted for high latitudes. Subsequent emissions of CH4 would decrease, whereas emissions of CO2 and nitrous oxide ( N2O) would increase. Water-level drawdown has been predicted to enhance the greenhouse impact from northern peatlands. The components of carbon cycling were measured both in undrained and drained peatlands of different trophic levels. The results were drawn together into a single radiative forcing factor, to assess the combined atmospheric effects of water-level drawdown. We present a hypothesis, based on the measured changes in carbon stores in soil and tree stand, and fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O after water-level drawdown caused by drainage for forestry. The hypothesis suggests that possible drying arising from climate change would, in fact, decrease the impact of northern peatlands on the total radiative forcing for about one hundred years by c. 0.1 W m-2. This is caused by the decrease in CH4 emissions, fairly small changes in the peat carbon storage, and increase in the tree-stand biomass storage.

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 179

EP - 184

JO - Ambio

JF - Ambio

SN - 0044-7447

IS - 3

ER -

Laine J, Silvola J, Tolonen K, Alm J, Nykänen H, Vasander H et al. Effect of water-level drawdown on global climatic warming: Northern peatlands. Ambio. 1996;25(3):179-184.