Overlooked organic vapor emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost

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Li , H , Väliranta , M , Mäki , M , Kohl , L , Sannel , B , Pumpanen , J , Koskinen , M , Bäck , J & Bianchi , F 2020 , ' Overlooked organic vapor emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost ' , Environmental Research Letters , vol. 15 , no. 10 , 104097 . https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abb62d

Title: Overlooked organic vapor emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost
Author: Li, Haiyan; Väliranta, Minna; Mäki, Mari; Kohl, Lukas; Sannel, Britta; Pumpanen, Jukka; Koskinen, Markku; Bäck, Jaana; Bianchi, Federico
Contributor organization: INAR Physics
Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Ecosystem processes (INAR Forest Sciences)
Department of Forest Sciences
Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Department of Agricultural Sciences
Environmental Soil Science
Methane and nitrous oxide exchange of forests
Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS)
Forest Ecology and Management
Polar and arctic atmospheric research (PANDA)
Faculty of Science
Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Date: 2020-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Environmental Research Letters
ISSN: 1748-9326
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abb62d
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320678
Abstract: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play an essential role in climate change and air pollution by modulating tropospheric oxidation capacity and providing precursors for ozone and aerosol formation. Arctic permafrost buries large quantities of frozen soil carbon, which could be released as VOCs with permafrost thawing or collapsing as a consequence of global warming. However, due to the lack of reported studies in this field and the limited capability of the conventional measurement techniques, it is poorly understood how much VOCs could be emitted from thawing permafrost and the chemical speciation of the released VOCs. Here we apply a Vocus proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF) in laboratory incubations for the first time to examine the release of VOCs from thawing permafrost peatland soils sampled from Finnish Lapland. The warming-induced rapid VOC emissions from the thawing soils were mainly attributed to the direct release of old, trapped gases from the permafrost. The average VOC fluxes from thawing permafrost were four times as high as those from the active layer (the top layer of soil in permafrost terrain). The emissions of less volatile compounds, i.e. sesquiterpenes and diterpenes, increased substantially with rising temperatures. Results in this study demonstrate the potential for substantive VOC releases from thawing permafrost. We anticipate that future global warming could stimulate VOC emissions from the Arctic permafrost, which may significantly influence the Arctic atmospheric chemistry and climate change.
Subject: Arctic
atmospheric chemistry
thawing permafrost
volatile organic compounds
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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