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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Jun 2020

18 Jun 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Variability of the Surface Energy Balance in Permafrost Underlain Boreal Forest

Simone Maria Stuenzi1,2, Julia Boike1,2, William Cable1, Ulrike Herzschuh1,3, Stefan Kruse1,3, Ljudmila Pestryakova5, Thomas Schneider v. Deimling1, Sebastian Westermann6, Evgenii Zakharov4,5, and Moritz Langer1,2 Simone Maria Stuenzi et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A45, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Geography Department, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
  • 3Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
  • 4Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone Siberian Branch of RAS, Yakutsk, Russian Federation
  • 5Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Education "M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University", Yakutsk, Russian Federation
  • 6University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Sem Sælands vei 1, 0316 Oslo, Norway

Abstract. Boreal forests in permafrost regions make up around one-third of the global forest cover and are an essential component of regional and global climate patterns. Further, climatic change can trigger extensive ecosystem shifts such as the partial disappearance of near surface permafrost or changes to the vegetation structure and composition. Therefore, our aim is to understand how the interactions between the vegetation, permafrost, and the atmosphere stabilize the forests and the underlying permafrost. Existing model set-ups are often static or are not able to capture important processes such as the vertical structure or the leaf physiological properties. There is a need for a physically based model with a robust radiative transfer scheme through the canopy. A one-dimensional land surface model (CryoGrid) is adapted for the application in vegetated areas by coupling a multilayer canopy model (CLM-ml v0) and is used to reproduce the energy transfer and thermal regime at a study site (N 63.18946, E 118.19596) in mixed boreal forest in Eastern Siberia. We have in-situ soil temperature and radiation measurements, to evaluate the model and demonstrate the capabilities of a coupled multilayer forest-permafrost model to investigate the vertical exchange of radiation, heat, and water. We find that the forests exert a strong control on the thermal state of permafrost through changing the radiation balance and snow cover phenology. The forest cover alters the surface energy balance by inhibiting over 90 % of the solar radiation and suppressing turbulent heat fluxes. Additionally, our simulations reveal a surplus in longwave radiation trapped below the canopy, similar to a greenhouse, which leads to a comparable magnitude in storage heat flux to that simulated at the grassland site. Further, the end of season snow cover is three times greater at the forest site and the onset of the snow melting processes are delayed.

Simone Maria Stuenzi et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

Simone Maria Stuenzi et al.

Data sets

Soilsurface temperatures in 2 cm depth between summer 2018 and 2019 with iButton-sensors in the North Slope of Alaska (USA), around Churchill (Canada) and the region of Illirney and Lena-Viluy (Russia) M. Langer, S. Kaiser, S. M. Stuenzi, T. Schneider von Deimling, A. Oehme, and S. Jacobi

Automatic weather stations and stand-alone soil temperature sensors (Hobo logger) between August 2018 to August 2019 at two boreal forest sites in the region of Lake Illirney and Lena-Viluy in Eastern Siberia U. Herzschuh, S. Kruse, Stefan, S. M. Stuenzi, B. Cable, M. Langer, J. Boike, L. Schulte, F. Brieger, S. A. Vyse, L. Pestryakova, E. S. Zakharov, A. Nikolajewitsch, L. Ushnizkaya, S. Levina, and E. Dietze

Simone Maria Stuenzi et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Boreal forests in Eastern Siberia are an essential component of global climate patterns. We use a physically-based model and field measurements to study the interactions between forests, permanently frozen ground, and the atmosphere. We find that forests exert a strong control on the thermal state of permafrost through changing snow cover dynamics, and by altering the surface energy balance, through absorbing most of the incoming solar radiation and suppressing below-canopy turbulent fluxes.
Boreal forests in Eastern Siberia are an essential component of global climate patterns. We use...