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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 2
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 915-926, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-915-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 915-926, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-915-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Development and technical paper 02 Mar 2016

Development and technical paper | 02 Mar 2016

Upscaling methane emission hotspots in boreal peatlands

Fabio Cresto Aleina1, Benjamin R. K. Runkle2,3, Tim Brücher1,4, Thomas Kleinen1, and Victor Brovkin1 Fabio Cresto Aleina et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Institute of Soil Science, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA
  • 4GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany

Abstract. Upscaling the properties and effects of small-scale surface heterogeneities to larger scales is a challenging issue in land surface modeling. We developed a novel approach to upscale local methane emissions in a boreal peatland from the micro-topographic scale to the landscape scale. We based this new parameterization on the analysis of the water table pattern generated by the Hummock–Hollow model, a micro-topography resolving model for peatland hydrology. We introduce this parameterization of methane hotspots in a global model-like version of the Hummock–Hollow model that underestimates methane emissions. We tested the robustness of the parameterization by simulating methane emissions for the next century, forcing the model with three different RCP scenarios. The Hotspot parameterization, despite being calibrated for the 1976–2005 climatology, mimics the output of the micro-topography resolving model for all the simulated scenarios. The new approach bridges the scale gap of methane emissions between this version of the model and the configuration explicitly resolving micro-topography.

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This study presents the hotspot parameterization, a novel approach to upscaling methane emissions in a boreal peatland from the micro-topographic scale to the landscape scale. We based this new parameterization on the analysis of water table patterns generated by the Hummock–Hollow (HH) model. We show how the hotspot parameterization successfully upscales the micro-topographic controls on methane emissions for both present-day conditions and for the next century under three different scenarios.
This study presents the hotspot parameterization, a novel approach to upscaling methane...
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