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Long-Term Measurements of Methane Ebullition From Thaw Ponds
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 124, no 7, p. 2208-2221Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Arctic regions are experiencing rapid warming, leading to permafrost thaw and formation of numerous water bodies. Although small ponds in particular are considered hot spots for methane (CH4) release, long‐term studies of CH4 efflux from these surfaces are rare. We have collected an extensive data set of CH4 ebullition (bubbling) measurements from eight small thaw ponds (<0.001 km2) with different physical and hydrological characteristics over four summer seasons, the longest set of observations from thaw ponds to date. The measured fluxes were highly variable with an average of 20.0 mg CH4 · m−2 · day−1 (median: 4.1 mg CH4 · m−2 · day−1, n = 2,063) which is higher than that of most nearby lakes. The ponds were categorized into four types based on clear and significant differences in bubble flux. We found that the amount of CH4 released as bubbles from ponds was very weakly correlated with environmental variables, like air temperature and atmospheric pressure, and was potentially more related to differences in physical characteristics of the ponds. Using our measured average daily bubble flux plus the available literature, we estimate circumpolar thaw ponds <0.001 km2 in size to emit between 0.2 and 1.0 Tg of CH4 through ebullition. Our findings exemplify the importance of high‐frequency measurements over long study periods in order to adequately capture the variability of these water bodies. Through the expansion of current spatial and temporal monitoring efforts, we can increase our ability to estimate CH4 emissions from permafrost pond ecosystems now and in the future.

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John Wiley & Sons, Ltd , 2019. Vol. 124, no 7, p. 2208-2221
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Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8332DOI: 10.1029/2018JG004786OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8332DiVA, id: diva2:1395542
Available from: 2020-02-23 Created: 2020-02-23 Last updated: 2020-02-24Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1029/2018JG004786
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Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences
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