Accession Number : ADP007311

Title :   Methane Emissions from Alaska Arctic Tundra in Response to Climatic Change,

Corporate Author : NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION MOFFETT FIELD CA AMES RESEARCH CENTER

Personal Author(s) : Livingston, Gerald P. ; Morrissey, Leslie A.

Report Date : MAR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 6

Abstract : In situ observations of methane emissions from the Alaska North Slope in 1987 and 1989 provide insight into the environmental interactions regulating methane emissions and into the local- and regional-scale response of the arctic tundra to interannual environmental variability. Inferences regarding climate change are based on in situ measurements of methane emissions, regional landscape characterizations derived from Landsat Multispectral Scanner satellite data, and projected regional scale emissions based on observed interannual temperature differences and simulated changes in the spatial distribution of methane emissions. Our results suggest that biogenic methane emissions from arctic tundra will be significantly perturbed by climatic change, leading to warmer summer soil temperatures and to vertical displacement of the regional water table. The effect of increased soil temperatures on methane emissions resulting from anaerobic decomposition in northern wetlands will be to both increase total emissions and to increase interannual and seasonal variability. The magnitude of these effects will be determined by those factors affecting the areal distribution of methane emission rates through regulation of the regional water table. At local scales, the observed 4.7 C increase in mid-summer soil temperatures between 1987 and 1989 resulted in a 3.2-fold increase in the rate of methane emissions from anaerobic soils.

Descriptors :   *CLIMATE, *EMISSION, *METHANE, *TUNDRA, *ARCTIC REGIONS, ALASKA, DECOMPOSITION, DISPLACEMENT, DISTRIBUTION, INTERACTIONS, MEASUREMENT, MULTISPECTRAL, RATES, REGULATIONS, RESPONSE, SCALE, SCANNERS, SLOPE, SOILS, SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, SUMMER, TEMPERATURE, WATER, WATER TABLE, WETLANDS, SYMPOSIA.

Subject Categories : Organic Chemistry
      Meteorology
      Geography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE