19 Jun 2023
 | 19 Jun 2023

Nitrous oxide emissions from pan-Arctic terrestrial ecosystems: A process-based biogeochemistry model analysis from 1969 to 2019

Ye Yuan, Qianlai Zhuang, Bailu Zhao, and Narasinha Shurpali

Abstract. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas with radiative forcing 265–298 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Increasing atmospheric N2O burden also contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion. Recent field studies show N2O emissions from the Arctic ecosystems have increased due to warming. To date, the emissions across space and time have not been adequately quantified. Here we revised an extant process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) to incorporate more detailed processes of soil biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle, permafrost thawing effects, and atmospheric N2O uptake in soils. The model is then used to analyze N2O emissions from pan-Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. We find that both regional N2O production and net emissions increased from 1969 to 2019, with production ranging from 1.2–1.3 Tg N yr-1 and net emissions from 1.1–1.2 Tg N yr-1 considering the permafrost thaw effects. Soil N2O uptake from the atmosphere was 0.1 Tg N yr-1 with a small interannual variability. Atmospheric N deposition significantly increased N2O emission by 31.5 ± 3.1 %. Spatially, terrestrial ecosystems act as net sources or sinks ranging from -12 to 700 mg N m-2 yr-1 depending on temperature, precipitation, soil characteristics, and vegetation types in the region.

Ye Yuan et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1047', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Jul 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ye Yuan, 10 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1047', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ye Yuan, 10 Sep 2023

Ye Yuan et al.

Ye Yuan et al.


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Short summary
We use a biogeochemistry model to calculate the regional N2O emissions considering the effects of N2O uptake, thawing permafrost, and N deposition. Our simulations show there is an increasing trend in regional net N2O emissions from 1969 to 2019. Annual N2O emissions exhibited big spatial variabilities. Nitrogen deposition leads to a significant increase in emission. Our results suggest that in the future, the pan-Arctic terrestrial ecosystem might act as an even larger N2O.