Browsing by Subject "FEEDBACKS"

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  • Abera, Temesgen; Heiskanen, Janne; Pellikka, Petri; Adhikari, Hari; Maeda, Eduardo (2020)
    Bushlands (Acacia-Commiphora) constitute the largest and one of the most threatened ecosystems in East Africa. Although several studies have investigated the climatic impacts of land changes on local and global climate, the main focus has been on forest loss and the impacts of bushland clearing thus remain poorly understood. Measuring the impacts of bushland loss on local climate is challenging given that changes often occur at fragmented and small patches. Here, we apply high-resolution satellite imagery and land surface flux modeling approaches to unveil the impacts of bushland clearing on surface biophysical properties and its associated effects on surface energy balance and land surface temperature. Our results show that bushland clearing leads to an average reduction in evapotranspiration of 0.4 mm day(-1). The changes in surface biophysical properties affected the surface energy balance components with different magnitude. The reduction in latent heat flux was stronger than other surface energy fluxes and resulted in an average net increase in daytime land surface temperature (LST) of up to 1.75 K. These results demonstrate the important impact of bushland-to-cropland conversion on the local climate, as they reveal increases in LST of a magnitude comparable to those caused by forest loss. This finding highlights the necessity of bushland conservation for regulating the land surface temperature in East Africa and, at the same time, warns of the climatic impacts of clearing bushlands for agriculture. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Aalto, Juha; Niittynen, Pekka; Riihimaki, Henri; Luoto, Miska (2021)
    Tundra ecosystems have experienced changes in vegetation composition, distribution, and productivity over the past century due to climate warming. However, the increase in above-ground biomass may be constrained by cryogenic land surface processes that cause topsoil disturbance and variable microsite conditions. These effects have remained unaccounted for in tundra biomass models, although they can impact multiple opposing feedbacks between the biosphere and atmosphere, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. Here, by using field-quantified data from northern Europe, remote sensing, and machine learning, we show that cryogenic land surface processes substantially constrain above-ground biomass in tundra. The three surveyed processes (cryoturbation, solifluction, and nivation) collectively reduced biomass by an average of 123.0 g m(-2) (-30.0%). This effect was significant over landscape positions and was especially pronounced in snowbed environments, where the mean reduction in biomass was 57.3%. Our results imply that cryogenic land surface processes are pivotal in shaping future patterns of tundra biomass, as long as cryogenic ground activity is retained by climate warming. Vegetation in tundra ecosystems is constrained by cryogenic land surface processes, despite the fact that models of future biomass changes rarely take these into account, according to field and remote sensing data from northern Europe.
  • Sizov, Oleg; Ezhova, Ekaterina; Tsymbarovich, Petr; Soromotin, A; Prihod'ko, Nikolay; Petäjä, Tuukka; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku; Bäck, Jaana; Köster, Kajar (2021)
    The rapidly warming Arctic undergoes transitions that can influence global carbon balance. One of the key processes is the shift towards vegetation types with higher biomass underlining a stronger carbon sink. The shift is predicted by bioclimatic models based on abiotic climatic factors, but it is not always confirmed with observations. Recent studies highlight the role of disturbances in the shift. Here we use high-resolution remote sensing to study the process of transition from tundra to forest and its connection to wildfires in the 20 000 km(2) area in northwest Siberia. Overall, 40 % of the study area was burned during a 60-year period. Three quarters of the burned areas were dry tundra. About 10 % of the study area experienced two-three fires with an interval of 15-60 years suggesting a shorter fire return interval than that reported earlier for the northern areas of central Siberia (130-350 years). Based on our results, the shift in vegetation (within the 60-year period) occurred in 40 %-85 % of the burned territories. All fire-affected territories were flat; therefore no effect of topography was detected. Oppositely, in the undisturbed areas, a transition of vegetation was observed only in 6 %-15 % of the territories, characterized by steeper topographic slopes. Our results suggest a strong role of disturbances in the tree advance in northwest Siberia.
  • Abera, Temesgen; Heiskanen, Janne; Pellikka, Petri; Maeda, Eduardo (2020)
    Precipitation extremes have a strong influence on the exchange of energy and water between the land surface and the atmosphere. Although the Horn of Africa has faced recurrent drought and flood events in recent decades, it is still unclear how these events impact energy exchange and surface temperature across different ecosystems. Here, we analyzed the impact of precipitation extremes on spectral albedo (total shortwave, visible, and near-infrared (NIR) broadband albedos), energy balance, and surface temperature in four natural vegetation types: forest, savanna, grassland, and shrubland. We used remotely sensed observations of surface biophysical properties and climate from 2001 to 2016. Our results showed that, in forests and savannas, precipitation extremes led to divergent spectral changes in visible and NIR albedos, which cancelled each other limiting shortwave albedo changes. An exception to this pattern was observed in shrublands and grasslands, where both visible and NIR albedo increased during drought events. Given that shrublands and grasslands occupy a large fraction of the Horn of Africa (52%), our results unveil the importance of these ecosystems in driving the magnitude of shortwave radiative forcing in the region. The average regional shortwave radiative forcing during drought events (-0.64 W m(-2), SD 0.11) was around twice that of the extreme wet events (0.33 W m(-2), SD 0.09). Such shortwave forcing, however, was too small to influence the surface-atmosphere coupling. In contrast, the surface feedback through turbulent flux changes was strong across vegetation types and had a significant (P <0.05) impact on the surface temperature and net radiation anomalies, except in forests. The strongest energy exchange and surface temperature anomalies were observed over grassland and the smallest over forest, which was shown to be resilient to precipitation extremes. These results suggest that land management activities that support forest preservation, afforestation, and reforestation can help to mitigate the impact of drought through their role in modulating energy fluxes and surface temperature anomalies in the region.
  • Kulmala, M.; Lappalainen, H. K.; Petaja, T.; Kurten, T.; Kerminen, V. -M.; Viisanen, Y.; Hari, P.; Sorvari, S.; Back, J.; Bondur, V.; Kasimov, N.; Kotlyakov, V.; Matvienko, G.; Baklanov, A.; Guo, H. D.; Ding, A.; Hansson, H. -C.; Zilitinkevich, S. (2015)
    The Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a multidisciplinary, multiscale and multicomponent research, research infrastructure and capacity-building program. PEEX has originated from a bottom-up approach by the science communities and is aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in Earth system science and global sustainability issues concerning the Arctic and boreal pan-Eurasian regions, as well as China. The vision of PEEX is to solve interlinked, global grand challenges influencing human well-being and societies in northern Eurasia and China. Such challenges include climate change; air quality; biodiversity loss; urbanization; chemicalization; food and freshwater availability; energy production; and use of natural resources by mining, industry, energy production and transport sectors. Our approach is integrative and supra-disciplinary, recognizing the important role of the Arctic and boreal ecosystems in the Earth system. The PEEX vision includes establishing and maintaining long-term, coherent and coordinated research activities as well as continuous, comprehensive research and educational infrastructure and related capacity-building across the PEEX domain. In this paper we present the PEEX structure and summarize its motivation, objectives and future outlook.
  • Abera, Temesgen; Pellikka, Petri; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo (2020)
    Land surface temperature (LST) is affected by surface-atmosphere interaction. Yet, the degree to which surface and atmospheric factors impact the magnitude of LST trend is not well established. Here, we used surface energy balance, boosted regression tree model, and satellite observation and reanalysis data to unravel the effects of surface factors (albedo, sensible heat, latent heat, and ground heat) as well as incoming radiation (shortwave and longwave) on LST trends in East Africa (EA). Our result showed that 11% of EA was affected by significant (p <0.05) daytime annual LST trends, which exhibited both cooling of -0.19 K year(-1) (mainly in South Sudan and Sudan) and warming of 0.22 K year(-1) (mainly in Somalia and Kenya). The nighttime LST trends affected a large part of EA (31%) and were dominated by significant warming trend (0.06 K year(-1)). Influenced by contrasting daytime and nighttime LST trends, the diurnal LST range reduced in 15% of EA. The modeling result showed that latent heat flux (32%), incoming longwave radiation (30%), and shortwave radiation (23%) were stronger in explaining daytime LST trend. The effects of surface factors were stronger in both cooling and warming trends, whereas atmospheric factors had stronger control only on surface cooling trends. These results indicate the differential control of surface and atmospheric factors on warming and cooling trends, highlighting the importance of considering both factors for accurate evaluation of the LST trends in the future.
  • Kauppi, Pekka E.; Posch, Maximilian; Pirinen, Pentti (2014)
  • Chang, Kuang-Yu; Riley, William J.; Knox, Sara H.; Jackson, Robert B.; McNicol, Gavin; Poulter, Benjamin; Aurela, Mika; Baldocchi, Dennis; Bansal, Sheel; Bohrer, Gil; Campbell, David; Cescatti, Alessandro; Chu, Housen; Delwiche, Kyle B.; Desai, Ankur R.; Euskirchen, Eugenie; Friborg, Thomas; Goeckede, Mathias; Helbig, Manuel; Hemes, Kyle S.; Hirano, Takashi; Iwata, Hiroki; Kang, Minseok; Keenan, Trevor; Krauss, Ken W.; Lohila, Annalea; Mammarella, Ivan; Mitra, Bhaskar; Miyata, Akira; Nilsson, Mats B.; Noormets, Asko; Oechel, Walter C.; Papale, Dario; Peichl, Matthias; Reba, Michele L.; Rinne, Janne; Runkle, Benjamin R. K.; Ryu, Youngryel; Sachs, Torsten; Schaefer, Karina V. R.; Schmid, Hans Peter; Shurpali, Narasinha; Sonnentag, Oliver; Tang, Angela C.; Torn, Margaret S.; Trotta, Carlo; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Ueyama, Masahito; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vesala, Timo; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Zhang, Zhen; Zona, Donatella (2021)
    Wetland methane (CH4) emissions (FCH4) are important in global carbon budgets and climate change assessments. Currently, FCH4 projections rely on prescribed static temperature sensitivity that varies among biogeochemical models. Meta-analyses have proposed a consistent FCH4 temperature dependence across spatial scales for use in models; however, site-level studies demonstrate that FCH4 are often controlled by factors beyond temperature. Here, we evaluate the relationship between FCH4 and temperature using observations from the FLUXNET-CH4 database. Measurements collected across the globe show substantial seasonal hysteresis between FCH4 and temperature, suggesting larger FCH4 sensitivity to temperature later in the frost-free season (about 77% of site-years). Results derived from a machine-learning model and several regression models highlight the importance of representing the large spatial and temporal variability within site-years and ecosystem types. Mechanistic advancements in biogeochemical model parameterization and detailed measurements in factors modulating CH4 production are thus needed to improve global CH4 budget assessments. Wetland methane emissions contribute to global warming, and are oversimplified in climate models. Here the authors use eddy covariance measurements from 48 global sites to demonstrate seasonal hysteresis in methane-temperature relationships and suggest the importance of microbial processes.
  • Aaltonen, Heidi; Palviainen, Marjo; Zhou, Xuan; Köster, Egle; Berninger, Frank; Pumpanen, Jukka; Köster, Kajar (2019)
    Climate warming in arctic/subarctic ecosystems will result in increased frequency of forest fires, elevated soil temperatures and thawing of permafrost, which have implications for soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition rates, the CO2 emissions and globally significant soil C stocks in this region. It is still unclear how decomposability and temperature sensitivity of SOM varies in different depths and different stages of succession following forest fire in permafrost regions and studies on long term effects of forest fires in these areas are lacking. To study this question, we took soil samples from 5, 10 and 30 cm depths from forest stands in Northwest Canada, underlain by permafrost, that were burnt by wildfire 3, 25 and over 100 years ago. We measured heterotrophic soil respiration at 1, 7, 13 and 19 °C. Fire had a significant effect on the active layer depth, and it increased the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of respiration in the surface (5 cm) and in the deepest soil layer (30 cm) in the 3-year-old area compared to the 25- and more than 100-year-old areas. Also the metabolic quotient (qCO2) of soil microbes was increased after fire. Though fires may facilitate the SOM decomposition by increasing active layer depth, they also decreased SOM quality, which may limit the rate of decomposition. After fire all of these changes reverted back to original levels with forest succession.
  • Guan, Yanlong; Lu, Hongwei; Yin, Chuang; Xue, Yuxuan; Jiang, Yelin; Kang, Yu; He, Li; Heiskanen, Janne (2020)
    Extensive research has focused on the response of vegetation to climate change, including potential mechanisms and resulting impacts. Although many studies have explored the relationship between vegetation and climate change in China, research on spatiotemporal distribution changes of climate regimes using natural vegetation as an indicator is still lacking. Further, limited information is available on the response of vegetation to shifts in China's regional climatic zones. In this study, we applied Mann-Kendall, and correlation analysis to examine the variabilities in temperature, precipitation, surface soil water, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), and albedo in China from 1982 to 2012. Our results indicate significant shifts in the distribution of Koppen-Geiger climate classes in China from 12.08% to 18.98% between 1983 and 2012 at a significance level of 0.05 (MK). The percentage areas in the arid and continental zones expanded at a rate of 0.004%/y and 0.12%/y, respectively, while the percentage area in the temperate and alpine zones decreased by -0.05%/y and - 0.07%/y. Sensitivity fitting results between simulated and observed changes identified temperature to be a dominant control on the dynamics of temperate (r(2)= 0.98) and alpine (r(2)= 0.968) zones, while precipitation was the dominant control on the changes of arid (r(2) = 0.856) and continental (r(2) = 0.815) zones. The response of the NDVI to albedo infers a more pronounced radiative response in temperate (r = -0.82, p