EGU24-10840, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A new synthesis of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes for improved carbon budget estimates

Anna Virkkala1, Isabel Wargowsky1, Judith Vogt2, McKenzie Kuhn3, Susan Natali1, Brendan Rogers1, Mathias Goeckede2, Kyle Arndt1, Jennifer Watts1, Tiffany Windholz1, and Simran Madaan2
Anna Virkkala et al.
  • 1Woodwell Climate Research Center, USA
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
  • 3University of New Hampshire, USA

The Arctic-boreal zone and its permafrost regions have historically been sparsely measured for carbon dioxide and methane fluxes. This data sparsity has created significant uncertainties in Arctic-boreal carbon budget estimates. However, over the past decade, the availability of Arctic-boreal carbon flux data has increased substantially. Yet, it remains scattered across different repositories, papers, and unpublished sources, making it hard to estimate more accurate Arctic-boreal carbon budgets. To address this research gap, we have compiled a database of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes (ABCFlux v2) from flux repositories, literature, and site principal investigators, which will be openly distributed. The database includes carbon dioxide fluxes of gross primary production, ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem exchange, and plant-mediated, diffusive, ebullitive, and storage methane fluxes measured with eddy covariance and chamber techniques with supporting methodological and environmental metadata from terrestrial (including wetland) and freshwater ecosystems. It has in total over 12,000 site-months and 30,000 unique monthly flux values, therefore almost doubling earlier synthesis efforts in the region. Here, we present preliminary results on carbon flux magnitudes across key land cover types and multidecadal trends based on the in-situ data and machine-learning based upscaling. These indicate, for example, that the Arctic-boreal region has been an increasing annual terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 sink with the boreal biome primarily driving this trend. This collaborative initiative, involving contributions from over 100 researchers, serves as an important step in reducing uncertainties in Arctic-boreal carbon budgets and enhancing our understanding of climate feedbacks.

How to cite: Virkkala, A., Wargowsky, I., Vogt, J., Kuhn, M., Natali, S., Rogers, B., Goeckede, M., Arndt, K., Watts, J., Windholz, T., and Madaan, S.: A new synthesis of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes for improved carbon budget estimates, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10840,, 2024.