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Title: Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems

Abstract

Over the past 4 decades, a number of numerical models have been developed to quantify the magnitude, investigate the spatial and temporal variations, and understand the underlying mechanisms and environmental controls of methane (CH4) fluxes within terrestrial ecosystems. These CH4 models are also used for integrating multi-scale CH4 data, such as laboratory-based incubation and molecular analysis, field observational experiments, remote sensing, and aircraft-based measurements across a variety of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we summarize 40 terrestrial CH4 models to characterize their strengths and weaknesses and to suggest a roadmap for future model improvement and application. Our key findings are that (1) the focus of CH4 models has shifted from theoretical to site- and regional-level applications over the past 4 decades, (2) large discrepancies exist among models in terms of representing CH4 processes and their environmental controls, and (3) significant data–model and model–model mismatches are partially attributed to different representations of landscape characterization and inundation dynamics. Three areas for future improvements and applications of terrestrial CH4 models are that (1) CH4 models should more explicitly represent the mechanisms underlying land–atmosphere CH4 exchange, with an emphasis on improving and validating individual CH4 processes over depth and horizontal space, (2) models should be developed that are capable of simulatingmore » CH4 emissions across highly heterogeneous spatial and temporal scales, particularly hot moments and hotspots, and (3) efforts should be invested to develop model benchmarking frameworks that can easily be used for model improvement, evaluation, and integration with data from molecular to global scales. These improvements in CH4 models would be beneficial for the Earth system models and further simulation of climate–carbon cycle feedbacks.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1259569
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1261330; OSTI ID: 1379407
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231; 41125001; NNX14AO73G
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online) Journal Volume: 13 Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
Copernicus Publications, EGU
Country of Publication:
Germany
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Xu, Xiaofeng, Yuan, Fengming, Hanson, Paul J., Wullschleger, Stan D., Thornton, Peter E., Riley, William J., Song, Xia, Graham, David E., Song, Changchun, and Tian, Hanqin. Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Germany: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-13-3735-2016.
Xu, Xiaofeng, Yuan, Fengming, Hanson, Paul J., Wullschleger, Stan D., Thornton, Peter E., Riley, William J., Song, Xia, Graham, David E., Song, Changchun, & Tian, Hanqin. Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Germany. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3735-2016
Xu, Xiaofeng, Yuan, Fengming, Hanson, Paul J., Wullschleger, Stan D., Thornton, Peter E., Riley, William J., Song, Xia, Graham, David E., Song, Changchun, and Tian, Hanqin. Tue . "Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems". Germany. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3735-2016.
@article{osti_1259569,
title = {Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems},
author = {Xu, Xiaofeng and Yuan, Fengming and Hanson, Paul J. and Wullschleger, Stan D. and Thornton, Peter E. and Riley, William J. and Song, Xia and Graham, David E. and Song, Changchun and Tian, Hanqin},
abstractNote = {Over the past 4 decades, a number of numerical models have been developed to quantify the magnitude, investigate the spatial and temporal variations, and understand the underlying mechanisms and environmental controls of methane (CH4) fluxes within terrestrial ecosystems. These CH4 models are also used for integrating multi-scale CH4 data, such as laboratory-based incubation and molecular analysis, field observational experiments, remote sensing, and aircraft-based measurements across a variety of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we summarize 40 terrestrial CH4 models to characterize their strengths and weaknesses and to suggest a roadmap for future model improvement and application. Our key findings are that (1) the focus of CH4 models has shifted from theoretical to site- and regional-level applications over the past 4 decades, (2) large discrepancies exist among models in terms of representing CH4 processes and their environmental controls, and (3) significant data–model and model–model mismatches are partially attributed to different representations of landscape characterization and inundation dynamics. Three areas for future improvements and applications of terrestrial CH4 models are that (1) CH4 models should more explicitly represent the mechanisms underlying land–atmosphere CH4 exchange, with an emphasis on improving and validating individual CH4 processes over depth and horizontal space, (2) models should be developed that are capable of simulating CH4 emissions across highly heterogeneous spatial and temporal scales, particularly hot moments and hotspots, and (3) efforts should be invested to develop model benchmarking frameworks that can easily be used for model improvement, evaluation, and integration with data from molecular to global scales. These improvements in CH4 models would be beneficial for the Earth system models and further simulation of climate–carbon cycle feedbacks.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-13-3735-2016},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 12,
volume = 13,
place = {Germany},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3735-2016

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  • Wang, Zhi-Ping; Han, Xing-Guo; Wang, G. Geoff
  • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 42, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1021/es071224l

Permafrost degradation and methane: low risk of biogeochemical climate-warming feedback
journal, July 2013


Present state of global wetland extent and wetland methane modelling: methodology of a model inter-comparison project (WETCHIMP)
journal, January 2013

  • Wania, R.; Melton, J. R.; Hodson, E. L.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 6, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-6-617-2013

Simulation of carbon and nitrogen transformations in soil: Mineralization
journal, October 1993


Rising methane emissions in response to climate change in Northern Eurasia during the 21st century
journal, October 2011


Methanogenesis and methanotrophy within a Sphagnum peatland
journal, November 1995


Model diagnostics of variations in methane emissions by wetlands in the second half of the 20th century based on reanalysis data
journal, November 2007


Upscaling methane fluxes from closed chambers to eddy covariance based on a permafrost biogeochemistry integrated model
journal, December 2011


Mathematical modelling of methane transport by Phragmites: the potential for diffusion within the roots and rhizosphere
journal, April 2001


Global Concentrations of CO2 and CH4 Retrieved from GOSAT: First Preliminary Results
journal, January 2009


The consumption of atmospheric methane by soil in a simulated future climate
journal, January 2009


Large contribution to inland water CO2 and CH4 emissions from very small ponds
journal, February 2016

  • Holgerson, Meredith A.; Raymond, Peter A.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 9, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2654

Model estimates of methane emission from irrigated rice cultivation of China
journal, December 1998