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Permafrost, Lakes, and Climate-Warming Methane Feedback: What is the Worst We Can Expect?

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dc.contributor.author Gao, X.
dc.contributor.author Schlosser, C.A.
dc.contributor.author Sokolov, A.
dc.contributor.author Walter Anthony, K.
dc.contributor.author Zhuang, Q.
dc.contributor.author Kicklighter, D.W.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-10T16:24:42Z
dc.date.available 2012-05-10T16:24:42Z
dc.date.issued 2012-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/70566
dc.description http://globalchange.mit.edu/research/publications/2275 en_US
dc.description.abstract Permafrost degradation is likely enhanced by climate warming. Subsequent landscape subsidence and hydrologic changes support expansion of lakes and wetlands. Their anaerobic environments can act as strong emission sources of methane and thus represent a positive feedback to climate warming. Using an integrated earth-system model framework, which considers the range of policy and uncertainty in climatechange projections, we examine the influence of near-surface permafrost thaw on the prevalence of lakes, its subsequent methane emission, and potential feedback under climate warming. We find that increases in atmospheric CH4 and radiative forcing from increased lake CH4 emissions are small, particularly when weighed against unconstrained human emissions. The additional warming from these methane sources, across the range of climate policy and response, is no greater than 0.1 C by 2100. Further, for this temperature feedback to be discernable by 2100 would require at least an order of magnitude larger methaneemission response. Overall, the biogeochemical climate-warming feedback from boreal and Arctic lake emissions is relatively small whether or not humans choose to constrain global emissions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported under the Department of Energy Climate Change Prediction Program Grant DE-PS02-08ER08-05. The authors gratefully acknowledge this as well as additional financial support provided by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change through a consortium of industrial sponsors and Federal grants. Development of the IGSM applied in this research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science (DE-FG02-94ER61937); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPRI, and other U.S. government agencies and a consortium of 40 industrial and foundation sponsors. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Joint Program Report Series;218
dc.rights An error occurred on the license name. en
dc.rights.uri An error occurred getting the license - uri. en
dc.title Permafrost, Lakes, and Climate-Warming Methane Feedback: What is the Worst We Can Expect? en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US
dc.identifier.citation Report no. 218 en_US


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