Climate-driven increase of natural wetland methane emissions offset by human-induced wetland reduction in China over the past three decades

Scientific Reports
By: , and 

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Abstract

Both anthropogenic activities and climate change can affect the biogeochemical processes of natural wetland methanogenesis. Quantifying possible impacts of changing climate and wetland area on wetland methane (CH4) emissions in China is important for improving our knowledge on CH4 budgets locally and globally. However, their respective and combined effects are uncertain. We incorporated changes in wetland area derived from remote sensing into a dynamic CH4 model to quantify the human and climate change induced contributions to natural wetland CH4 emissions in China over the past three decades. Here we found that human-induced wetland loss contributed 34.3% to the CH4 emissions reduction (0.92 TgCH4), and climate change contributed 20.4% to the CH4 emissions increase (0.31 TgCH4), suggesting that decreasing CH4 emissions due to human-induced wetland reductions has offset the increasing climate-driven CH4 emissions. With climate change only, temperature was a dominant controlling factor for wetland CH4 emissions in the northeast (high latitude) and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (high altitude) regions, whereas precipitation had a considerable influence in relative arid north China. The inevitable uncertainties caused by the asynchronous for different regions or periods due to inter-annual or seasonal variations among remote sensing images should be considered in the wetland CHemissions estimation.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Climate-driven increase of natural wetland methane emissions offset by human-induced wetland reduction in China over the past three decades
Series title Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/srep38020
Volume 6
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Macmillan Journals Ltd.
Publisher location London
Contributing office(s) Western Geographic Science Center
Description 38020; 7 p.
Country China