Large increases in methane emissions expected from North America’s largest wetland complex
Natural methane (CH4) emissions from aquatic ecosystems may rise because of human-induced climate warming, although the magnitude of increase is highly uncertain. Using an exceptionally large CH4 flux dataset (~19,000 chamber measurements) and remotely sensed information, we modeled plot- and landscape-scale wetland CH4 emissions from the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), North America’s largest wetland complex. Plot-scale CH4 emissions were driven by hydrology, temperature, vegetation, and wetland size. Historically, landscape-scale PPR wetland CH4 emissions were largely dependent on total wetland extent. However, regardless of future wetland extent, PPR CH4 emissions are predicted to increase by two- or threefold by 2100 under moderate or severe warming scenarios, respectively. Our findings suggest that international efforts to decrease atmospheric CH4 concentrations should jointly account for anthropogenic and natural emissions to maintain climate mitigation targets to the end of the century.
|Large increases in methane emissions expected from North America’s largest wetland complex
|Sheel Bansal, Max Post van der Burg, Rachel Fern, John Jones, Rachel Lo, Owen P. McKenna, Brian Tangen, Zhen Zhang, Robert A. Gleason
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center