EGU24-17535, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Impact of climate extremes on peatland carbon dynamics across Northern Europe

Pia Gottschalk1, Aram Kalhori1, Mika Aurela2, Sari Juutinen2, Annalea Lohila2, Ivan Mammarella3, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila4, Claudia Nielsen5, Christian Wille1, and Torsten Sachs1
Pia Gottschalk et al.
  • 1Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences, Geodesy, Section 1.4 Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate System Research, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
  • 5Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark

Climate change and concurrent climate extremes lead to rapid changes in environmental conditions globally. These changes impact the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon (C) cycle, thus creating a feedback mechanism to climate. Peatlands, specifically, play a critical role in the terrestrial C cycle due to their high-density organic C stocks, thus, slight changes in the environmental drivers can trigger strong responses in their C dynamics. Here, we investigate the impact of climate extremes, such as hydrological and temperature anomalies on the C emission dynamics of a series of peatlands across Northern Europe. We use long-term datasets of high-resolution carbon exchange measurements and environmental variables of peatlands to systematically identify extreme events in the carbon fluxes as well as in their environmental drivers and how they connect. We subsequently quantify the impact of drivers’ anomalies on CO2 and CH4 exchange of peatland ecosystems. We specifically focus on the response of C-emissions to changes in water level, temperature and vegetation development before, during, and after the 2018 European summer drought to show the combined effect on the annual CO2 and CH4 balances in rewetted and pristine peatlands. Categorizing these impacts according to the environmental conditions and/or their changes, duration, frequency and severity of anomalies and peatland type will help to refine common peatland emission factors used to estimate C dynamics for national and international greenhouse gas emission inventories.

How to cite: Gottschalk, P., Kalhori, A., Aurela, M., Juutinen, S., Lohila, A., Mammarella, I., Tuittila, E.-S., Nielsen, C., Wille, C., and Sachs, T.: Impact of climate extremes on peatland carbon dynamics across Northern Europe, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17535,, 2024.