Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-55
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-55
 
02 Mar 2022
02 Mar 2022
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

The importance of spatial resolution in the modelling of methane emissions from natural wetlands

Yousef Albuhaisi1, Ype van der Velde1, and Sander Houweling1,2 Yousef Albuhaisi et al.
  • 1Vrije Universiteit, Department of Earth Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. An important uncertainty in the modelling of methane (CH4) emissions from natural wetlands is the wetland area. It is difficult to model wetlands CH4 emissions because of several factors, including its spatial heterogeneity on a large range of scales. In this study, we investigate the impact of model resolution on the simulated wetland methane emission for the Fenno-Scandinavian Peninsula. This is done using a high-resolution wetland map (100 × 100m2) and soil carbon map (250 × 250m2) in combination with a highly simplified CH4 emission model that is coarsened in six steps from 0.005° to 1°. We find a strong relation between wetland emissions and resolution, which is sensitive, however, to the sub-grid treatment of the wetland fraction. In our setup, soil carbon and soil moisture are positively correlated at high-resolution with wetland location leading to increasing CH4 emissions with increasing resolution. Keeping track of wetland fraction reduces the impact of resolution. However, uncertainties in CH4 emissions remain high because of the large uncertainty in the representation of wetland area, as demonstrated using the output of the WetChimp intercomparison over our study domain. Because of wetlands mapping uncertainties, the existing models are unlikely to realistically represent the correlation between soil moisture and soil carbon availability. The correlation is positive in our simplified model, but maybe different in more complex models depending on their method of representing substrate availability. Therefore, depending on the correlation, CH4 emissions may be over or underestimated. As increasing the model resolution is an effective approach to mitigate the problem of accounting for the correlation between soil moisture and soil carbon and improve the accuracy of models, the main message of this study is that increasing the resolution of global wetland models, and especially the input datasets that are used, should receive high priority.

Yousef Albuhaisi et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-55', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-55', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-55', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-55', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yousef Albuhaisi, 11 Jul 2022

Yousef Albuhaisi et al.

Yousef Albuhaisi et al.

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Short summary
An important uncertainty in the modelling of methane emissions from natural wetlands is the wetland area. It is important to get the spatiotemporal covariance between the variables that drive methane emissions right for accurate quantification. Using high-resolution wetland and soil carbon maps, in combination with a simplified methane emission model that is coarsened in six steps from 0.005° to 1°, we find a strong relation between wetland emissions and the model resolution.
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