Presentation type:
BG – Biogeosciences

EGU24-1832 | Orals | MAL12-BG | BG Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award Lecture

Volatile Organic Compounds: mediators of forest-atmosphere interactions and indicators of forest vulnerability 

Eliane Gomes Alves

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important mediators of forest-atmosphere interactions, regulating plant performance and atmospheric processes. Amazonian forests comprise the dominant source of VOCs to the global atmosphere. Yet, there is a poor understanding of how VOC emissions vary in response to ecophysiological and environmental controls in Amazonian ecosystems and even less understanding of how ecosystem emissions respond to climate extremes and land use change. I will summarize my work on VOC emissions from different ecosystems and scales in the Amazon and point out that VOCs can be indicators of forest stress and, therefore, a possible metric of forest vulnerability. First, I will present the state-of-the-art of VOC emissions and their interactions with the climate system in the Amazon. Next, I will demonstrate how these interactions can differ when considering different forest types and environmental stresses, including extremes of heat and drought. Finally, I will highlight the recent progress of VOC emissions investigated in the so-called "Amazon arc of deforestation" and indicate the potential of VOCs as a metric of forest vulnerability in climate modeling.

How to cite: Gomes Alves, E.: Volatile Organic Compounds: mediators of forest-atmosphere interactions and indicators of forest vulnerability, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1832,, 2024.

EGU24-12020 | Orals | MAL12-BG | Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky Medal Lecture

Reflections regarding our biogeochemical studies in lakes and marine environments 

Daniel Conley

My fascination with the biogeosciences started with the investigation of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enrichment of lakes stimulating the growth of diatoms leading to increased sedimentation and eventual depletion of dissolved silicate from the water column. At that time most research on the global Si cycle was focused on weathering and had not explored the complexity of the terrestrial biogeochemical cycle. Our research demonstrated that diatoms and phytoliths, e.g. biogenic silica that accumulates in the living tissues of growing plants, are transported from lakes and rivers on the continents into the oceans. The emerging understanding is that the flux and isotopic composition of dissolved silicate delivered to the ocean has likely varied over time mediated by a fluctuating continental pool.


An important question we addressed was if reductions of P and N could reduce eutrophication and degradation of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Our analysis explored the rationale for only P or only N reductions and concluded that dual–nutrient reduction strategies were needed for aquatic ecosystems. A focus on only P or only N reduction should not be considered unless there is clear evidence or strong reasoning that reducing the inputs of only one nutrient is justified in that ecosystem and will not harm downstream ecosystems.


The depletion of dissolved oxygen in bottom waters is one of the common responses of aquatic ecosystems to eutrophication. A classic example is the semi-enclosed brackish Baltic Sea. Our research has shown that the Baltic Sea is the largest anthropogenically induced hypoxic area in the world, which has increased 10-fold during the last century due to increased nutrient inputs. Concurrently, the coastal zone has experienced increasing hypoxia during the same period with the Baltic Sea coastal zone containing over 20% of all known sites suffering from hypoxia worldwide. Our research has highlighted the continuously growing problems of hypoxia and anoxia with eutrophication.


Altered global biogeochemical cycles is not only a feature of the Anthropocene but ongoing geological processes. Our recent research has focused on the use of silicon isotope signatures of unaltered sponges and radiolarians to estimate dissolved silicate drawdown as a proxy for the changes in the productivity of diatom communities in the Mesozoic oceans and how the ocean chemistry changed with the evolution of diatoms. Our major results to date suggest that dissolved silicate has been low in the oceans for at least the last 100 million years because of the extreme efficiency of dissolved silicate uptake by diatoms reducing ocean concentrations.


My continued enchantment with biogeochemical processes and collaboration with other creative scientists has lead to uncovering new biogeochemical pathways which stimulates the drive to learn more about how ecosystems operate.

How to cite: Conley, D.: Reflections regarding our biogeochemical studies in lakes and marine environments, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12020,, 2024.

BG1 – General Biogeosciences

EGU24-763 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

The influence of pyrolysis time, moisture, and plant species on carbon bridgehead fraction of charcoal 

Vinothan Sivapalan and William Hockaday

Paleofire reconstructions are a challenging endeavor primarily due to the numerous factors involved in wildfire frequency, behavior, and regimes. These factors include, but are not limited to fuel composition, moisture, soil types, climate/weather conditions, and topographical features. Therefore, development of robust wildfire proxies requires vigorous experimental testing for multiple variables. Here, we explore the influence of pyrolysis time, moisture, and plant species on a novel proxy for fire intensity—carbon bridgehead fraction of charcoal. Experimentally, we have produced charcoals from three native Texas plants: live oak (Quercus sp.), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), and broomsedge bluestem (Andropogon virginicus) under a range of temperature (300-700°C), moisture (0-100% moisture capacity), and time (0-1 hr) conditions in a tube furnace. Samples were analyzed using solid-state C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with two experiments to calculate carbon bridgehead fraction: cross polarization – magic angle spinning (CP-MAS) to quantify total aromatic carbon and dipolar dephasing (DD) to quantify aromatic bridgehead carbon. Results reveal significant differences between vegetation types, with moisture delaying or slowing the rate of carbon bridgehead formation. Relationship between carbon bridgehead fraction and time are less clear and may be influenced by the formation of pyrolysis byproducts (such as pyroligneous acids and free radicals) and/or signal losses in the cross-polarization spectra. To assess the influence of these factors on carbon bridgehead fraction we plan to conduct additional analyses on our experimental charcoals, including electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to quantify the free radicals in samples and C elemental analysis to assess carbon observability by NMR. Future work involves ground truthing the proxy to modern wildfires and subsequently applying it to paleorecords.

How to cite: Sivapalan, V. and Hockaday, W.: The influence of pyrolysis time, moisture, and plant species on carbon bridgehead fraction of charcoal, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-763,, 2024.

EGU24-1123 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Assessment of ecohydrological response of Himalayan Forest ecosystems to  forest fires 

Nagashree Ge and Ashutosh Sharma

Himalayan forests boast an incredible biodiversity, harboring a wide range of flora and fauna and playing a significant role in regulating water resources. Forest fires are one of the disturbances which constitute a major force influencing, even determining, the structure and functions of ecological components-populations, communities, and ecosystems. The ability to withstand disturbance is defined as resistance whereas resilience is the capacity to recover from disturbance. These two terms define the ecohydrological response to forest fire. This study insights on how remote sensing technique can be utilized for the measurement of ecohydrological response of a large extent of region subjected to forest fire based on resistance-resilience framework and how further implementation of these measures would help to know the changes in the interaction been vegetation and water cycle. Normalized burn ratio (NBR) is used to quantify the response.  The outcome of the study reveals that deciduous needled leaf forests are subjected frequently to forest fires compared to other classes of forests during 2002-2022. The regions considered for study showed moderate to high range of resistance but low resilience, signifying the region has gained and lost vegetations in the post-fire. There was a variation in rainfall and run-off occurred during the post-fire year for different burn severities. The present approach has the potential to quantify the response of ecosystems to the forest fire and related effects on hydrology of the region.

How to cite: Ge, N. and Sharma, A.: Assessment of ecohydrological response of Himalayan Forest ecosystems to  forest fires, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1123,, 2024.

From March to April, widespread forest fires and agro-residue burning frequently occur in Southeast Asia, which release large amounts of gas species and aerosols and impact air quality over the wide source and downwind regions. In this study, we investigated the impact of biomass burning (BB) over Southeast Asia on particulate matter concentrations and aerosol properties in downwind areas of the low-latitude plateau from 1 March to 30 April 2019, with a focus on a typical pollution event in Kunming (KM), the capital of Yunnan Province, by using a wide variety of observations from the Chenggong ground monitoring station in Yunnan University, an air quality network in China, satellite retrievals and ERA-5 reanalysis data and numerical simulation. A regional pollution event contributed by BB pollutants from Southeast Asia and the India-Myanmar trough occurred in Yunnan Province on 31 March to 1 April 2019, which was the only typical pollution event that pollution transmission ran through central Yunnan Province from south to north since 2013, when the Airborne Pollution Action Plan was unveiled by China government. The daily mean PM2.5, PM1, and black carbon concentrations increased by 73.3 μg m−3 (78%), 70.5 μg m−3 (80%), and 7.7 μg m−3 (83%), respectively, and the scattering and absorbing coefficients increased by 471.6 Mm−1 and 63.5 Mm−1 , respectively, at the Chenggong station. The southwest winds exceeding 2 km vertically thick appeared in front of the India-Myanmar trough over the fire regions, pushing BB plumes northward into Yunnan Province. The model results show that 59.5% of PM2.5 mass produced by BB in Yunnan Province was sourced from the Myanmar-Thailand border, and 29.3% was from western Myanmar at a lower altitude (<4.9 km), which indicated that BB in the Myanmar-Thailand border was the dominant contributor.

How to cite: Fan, W., Li, J., Han, Z., and Wu, J.: Impacts of biomass burning in Southeast Asia on aerosols over the low-latitude plateau in China: an analysis of a typical pollution event, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1471,, 2024.

EGU24-1756 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Direct Estimation of Carbon Emissions from High Latitude Fires: The Adapted FREM Approach 

Will Maslanka and Martin Wooster

Landscape fires are a widespread natural phenomenon that directly influences carbon cycling through the combustion of organic material. Space-based remote sensing, including Active Fire (AF), remains the only way to estimate wildfire activity accurately on the regional-to-global scale. Fire emission inventories generally fall into two categories. “Bottom-up” methodologies rely on observations of AF counts, Fire Radiative Power (FRP), or burned area to estimate the amount of biomass burned, or “Top-down” methodologies, which directly relate observations of FRP to landscape fire emission estimates. Bottom-up methods tend to have a reliance on uncertain parameters, such as pre-fire fuel load and combustion completeness, or a conversion factor between FRP and fuel consumption rate. The Fire Radiative Energy Emission (or FREM) approach is one such top-down methodology that has removed such a reliance, by directly relating FRP to observed rates of emissions, such as CO or aerosols, but has so far been used with geostationary FRP data only. Whilst very effective at lower latitudes, due to the poor spatial resolution and extreme viewing geometry of geostationary data at higher latitudes, the approach is not applicable for fires in this region in its current format. However, by using polar orbiting FRP data and making use of the high latitude orbital convergence, this study looks to adapt the FREM approach to deliver direct estimation of carbon emissions for high latitude (>60°N) landscape fires. We use direct observations of FRP, from Suomi-NPP, NOAA-20 and MODIS, along with observations of Total Column Carbon Monoxide from TROPOMI onboard Sentinel-5P. A series of cloud-free plumes and associated FRP data were identified in Deciduous and Evergreen Needleleaf biomes in North America and Russia in the summers of 2019 – 2023. The resulting emission coefficients and emission totals were compared to pre-existing top-down and bottom-up emission coefficients and totals from the FEER, GFAS, and GFED inventories for high latitude fires between 2018-2023. This adapted FREM approach is shown to provide direct emission estimates without recourse to significant assumptions and can do so in real time – opening up a new avenue for real-time fire emission estimation at high latitudes.

How to cite: Maslanka, W. and Wooster, M.: Direct Estimation of Carbon Emissions from High Latitude Fires: The Adapted FREM Approach, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1756,, 2024.

EGU24-2099 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Exploring the effect of vegetation photosynthesis phenology on wildfire dynamics 

Gengke Lai, Jialing Li, Jun Wang, Chaoyang Wu, Yongguang Zhang, Constantin M. Zohner, and Josep Peñuelas

2023 has witnessed a record-breaking extreme wildfire season in Canada from coast to coast, following closely to the unprecedented wildfire outbreaks in 2019/20 Australia and 2021 Siberia, causing far-reaching threats on terrestrial carbon stock, air quality, and human society. The heightened wildfire activity in specific regions prompts us to rethink the underlying factors driving the global wildfire dynamics. Climate change has been recognized as an important factor in amplifying wildfire risk, mainly through increasing temperature and reducing relative humidity. However, the role of vegetation productivity and phenology on wildfire dynamics remains elusive, even though which can exacerbate or mitigate the climate-induced fire risk. Importantly, changes in vegetation phenology can cause biophysical feedback to the climate system and land surface by modulating the exchanges of water and energy between land and the atmosphere. Considering the climate feedback of vegetation phenology, we hypothesize that peak photosynthesis timing (PPT) can contribute to wildfire activity. To explore it, we provide comprehensive analyses using multiple satellite-based photosynthesis observations from solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), and wildfire activity from national fire perimeters and MODIS global burned area records from 2001 to 2018, as well as diverse methodologies and models. In response to changes in various biological and climatic factors, we find PPT has advanced 1.10 ± 0.57 days per decade at a global scale. This earlier PPT acts to expand the extent of wildfires, with an increase in the global average burned fraction by 0.021% (~2.20 Mha) for every additional day of PPT advancement. Satellite observations and the Earth system modeling consistently reveal that this expansion is attributed to the intensified drought conditions during the potential fire season, induced by the earlier PPT that can modulate the global patterns of temperature, precipitation, and surface soil moisture. Furthermore, current fire-vegetation models participating in the FireMIP project underestimate the sensitivity of burned area to PPT, despite reproducing their negative correlation. Our findings highlight the importance of climate-vegetation-fire feedback loops in future prediction of wildfire dynamics and the strategy of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

How to cite: Lai, G., Li, J., Wang, J., Wu, C., Zhang, Y., Zohner, C. M., and Peñuelas, J.: Exploring the effect of vegetation photosynthesis phenology on wildfire dynamics, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2099,, 2024.

EGU24-4071 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

The Influence of Climate Teleconnections on Global Burned Area 

Yuquan Qu, Harry Vereecken, Sander Veraverbeke, and Carsten Montzka

Wildfires are known to be controlled by fuels and weather. Climate teleconnections may influence wildfires by altering fuel availability and fire weather. In this study, we used the random forest approach to systematically detect relationships between teleconnection climate indices (CIs) and burned area while accounting for different lag times. Results indicate that burned area is especially modulated by climate teleconnections in Africa and Australia. The Tropical Northern Atlantic (TNA) pattern was the most influential CI for the global burned area, followed by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and the Pacific–North American (PNA) pattern. To study pathways of how teleconnections affect the burned area, we distinguished two classes of fire drivers: bottom-up fuel availability and top-down weather conditions. Bottom-up fuel drivers showed higher correlation with CIs than top-down weather drivers and served as mediators between teleconnections and wildfires. The mediating effect of top-down weather drivers was only apparent in specific seasons. Our study highlights that in teleconnection-wildfire hotspot regions, knowledge of the relation between CIs and drivers of wildfires could improve long-term wildfire predictability. We recommend that bottom-up fuel drivers should also be integrated into wildfire predictive frameworks as they play an important mediating role in linking teleconnections and wildfires.

How to cite: Qu, Y., Vereecken, H., Veraverbeke, S., and Montzka, C.: The Influence of Climate Teleconnections on Global Burned Area, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4071,, 2024.

EGU24-5191 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Impacts of land use change and interannual climate variability on biomass burning emissions, air quality and public health in Amazon 

Tsin Hung Leo Ng, Amos P. K. Tai, Stephen Sitch, Luiz Aragao, and Shixian Zhai

Biomass burning in Amazon Basin has a significant impact on regional climate and deteriorates regional air quality, which poses a threat to human and ecosystem health. The fire-induced pollution worsens during dry season (Jul to Nov) and shows a strong seasonal variation. Past research has demonstrated that the occurrence of wildfires in Amazon is not only influenced by deforestation, but also interannual climate variability, particularly droughts. Here we estimate the impacts of deforestation and droughts on fire emissions and regional air quality between 2010 to 2015 by using Global Fire Emission Database Version 4 (GFED v4) to drive a global 3-D atmospheric chemical transport model GEOS-Chem High Performance (GCHP) and further examine the effect of PM2.5 and O3 on premature mortality across the region. By comparing the “fire-on” and “fire-off” scenarios, we find that biomass burning alone in normal years (2011 and 2013) contributes 5.7 μg m-3 (47.6% of the total concentration) PM2.5, 0.08 ppm (46.3%) CO, 0.03 ppb (85.0%) NOx, and 9.5 ppb (41.2%) O3; and these numbers during drought years (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015) increase to 19.6 μg m-3 (74.7%) for PM2.5, 0.20 ppm (67.0%) for CO, 0.19 ppb (97.4%) for NOx, and 15.6 ppb (52.0%) for O3. We find that these pollutants from wildfires mainly concentrate in the south-eastern Amazon and then transport southward, thus strongly impacting public health in the downwind regions. We estimate that premature mortality due to long-term exposure to particulate matter and ozone by applying the simulated concentration to the concentration-response functions from the European Environment Agency. We find that ~8,500 and ~10,400 deaths per year are attributable to PM2.5 and O3 exposure for 2010-2015 respectively. During drought years, we discover there are 2.8% and 3.4% more deaths than normal years for PM2.5 and O3 exposure. Our study shows the significance of biomass burning emissions in shaping the air quality in the Amazon region, and highlights the impact of drought events on enhancing biomass emissions, worsening regional air quality and causing public health issues. Therefore, it is important to address the underlying causes of biomass burning in the Amazon, such as deforestation and land use change, and droughts, to protect the region's ecosystems and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

How to cite: Ng, T. H. L., Tai, A. P. K., Sitch, S., Aragao, L., and Zhai, S.: Impacts of land use change and interannual climate variability on biomass burning emissions, air quality and public health in Amazon, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5191,, 2024.

EGU24-5236 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Are there lightning Fires in the Amazon Rainforest? 

Cunhui Zhang, Thomas Janssen, Matt Jones, and Sander Veraverbeke

Tropical rainforests have exceptionally high biodiversity and store large amounts of carbon in biomass. However, large and frequent fires across tropical rainforests in the last decades threaten the ecosystem integrity of these ecosystems. The general belief is that fires in the Amazon rainforest are all human-ignited and that lightning fires do not occur in rainforests due to the predominant wet conditions. However, recent research indicates the possibility of lightning fires in tropical rainforests. Here, we aim to investigate the occurrence of lightning-ignited fires in the Amazon rainforest, a topic that has been largely overlooked in the current understanding of fire dynamics in this biome. We collected and analyzed data on lightning strikes, fire occurrences, and weather patterns derived from satellite imagery and climate datasets. The objective is to detect, quantify, and characterize lightning fires in the Brazilian Amazon rainforests, thereby providing new insights into the natural fire regime of this crucial ecosystem.

How to cite: Zhang, C., Janssen, T., Jones, M., and Veraverbeke, S.: Are there lightning Fires in the Amazon Rainforest?, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5236,, 2024.

EGU24-5348 | Posters on site | BG1.1

Wetlands in monoculture forests – how fire activity and different forest management strategies impact Sphagnum-dominated peatlands 

Katarzyna Marcisz, Mariusz Bąk, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Piotr Kołaczek, Thomas Theurer, Paweł Matulewski, and Dmitri Mauquoy

Monoculture forests are now a dominant forest type in Europe. Created for easier management and increased timber production, they are now witnessing many disturbances due to climate change, such as more frequent windthrows, droughts, fires or insect outbreaks. The functioning of forests impacts other elements of the landscape, including peatlands, which also have been affected by various natural and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., drainage) that make them more vulnerable to drying and burning. We aim to recognize how peatland functioning has changed along with changing forest management strategies. For this we studied a Sphagnum-dominated peatland located in the Tuchola Pinewoods – one of the largest Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) monoculture forest in Poland. We used high-resolution multi-proxy palaeoecology including pollen, plant macrofossils and testate amoebae, additionally focusing on a wide range of charcoal analyses: charcoal counts, charcoal morphological types, and Raman spectroscopy. Our results show that the studied peatland experienced several critical transitions in vegetation composition and hydrology over the last 600 years when new forest management techniques were introduced. A reduction in fire activity led to a dominance of Sphagnum and increased peat accumulation rates. Establishment of a monoculture forest further impacted the site and stabilized Sphagnum growth and acidity levels. We believe that these results can be helpful for the improvement of conservation planning for peatlands located in forested areas, especially in monoculture forests.

The study is funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (2020/39/D/ST10/00641).

How to cite: Marcisz, K., Bąk, M., Lamentowicz, M., Kołaczek, P., Theurer, T., Matulewski, P., and Mauquoy, D.: Wetlands in monoculture forests – how fire activity and different forest management strategies impact Sphagnum-dominated peatlands, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5348,, 2024.

EGU24-5494 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Half of global burned area is due to managed anthropogenic fire: findings from a coupled socio-ecological modelling approach  

Oliver Perkins, Matthew Kasoar, Apostolos Voulgarakis, Tamsin Edwards, and James Millington

Globally, vegetation fires are a key component of many ecosystems and have substantial impacts on carbon emissions. Yet humans also use and manage fires for a huge range of purposes around the world, dependent on numerous social and biophysical factors. Existing representations of anthropogenic fire in dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have been highly simplified, with readily available global variables (e.g. population density) used to estimate numbers of anthropogenic ignitions. Here, we present results from a novel coupled socio-ecological modelling approach to improve understanding of how human and biophysical factors combine to drive the spatio-temporal distribution of global fire regimes. Specifically, we present the integration of two process-based models. The first is the Wildfire Human Agency Model (WHAM!1), which draws on agent-based approaches to represent anthropogenic fire use and management. The second model is JULES-INFERNO2, a fire-enabled DGVM, which takes a physically-grounded approach to the representation of vegetation-fire dynamics.

The new WHAM-INFERNO model ensemble suggests that as much as half of all global burned area is generated by managed anthropogenic fires - typically small fires that are lit and spread according to specific land use objectives (such as crop residue burning). Furthermore, we demonstrate that including representation of managed anthropogenic fires in a coupled socio-ecological simulation can improve understanding of the biophysical drivers of unmanaged wildfires, by allowing clearer recognition of the role of anthropogenic land management in global fire regimes. Hence, WHAM-INFERNO is applied to understand how landscape fragmentation, wider land use change, and changes in human fire management have together led to observed recent declines in global burned area despite the warming climate. Overall, findings presented here have substantial implications for understanding of present and future fire regimes, indicating that changes to socio-economic systems are at least as important a consideration as climate change.  

1. Perkins, O., Kasoar, M., Voulgarakis, A., Smith, C., Mistry, J., and Millington, J. (2023). A global behavioural model of human fire use and management: WHAM! v1.0. EGUsphere, 1–42. 10.5194/egusphere-2023-2162.

2. Mangeon, S., Voulgarakis, A., Gilham, R., Harper, A., Sitch, S., and Folberth, G. (2016). INFERNO: a fire and emissions scheme for the UK Met Office’s Unified Model. Geosci. Model Dev. 9, 2685–2700. 10.5194/gmd-9-2685-2016.

How to cite: Perkins, O., Kasoar, M., Voulgarakis, A., Edwards, T., and Millington, J.: Half of global burned area is due to managed anthropogenic fire: findings from a coupled socio-ecological modelling approach , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5494,, 2024.

EGU24-6077 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Updated Exposure Estimate for Indonesian Peatland Fire Smoke using Network of Low-cost Purple Air PM2.5 sensors 

Ailish M Graham, James B McQuaid, Thomas E L Smith, Hanun Nurrahmawati, Devina Ayona, Hasyim Mulawarman, Chaidir Adam, Dominick V Spracklen, Richard Rigby, and Shofwan A B Choiruzzad

Air pollutant emissions from wildfires on Indonesian peatlands lead to poor regional air quality across south-east Asia. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions are particularly high for peat fires leading to substantial population exposure to PM2.5. Despite this, air quality monitoring is limited in regions close to peat fires meaning the impacts of peatland fires on air quality is poorly understood and it is difficult to evaluate predictions from atmospheric chemistry models. To address this, we deployed a network of low-cost (Purple Air) PM2.5 sensors at 8 locations across Central Kalimantan, where peat fires are frequent. The sensors measured indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations during August to December 2023. During the haze season (September 1st to October 31st), daily mean outdoor concentrations were 120 mg m-3 but peaked at >400 mg m-3. Indoor PM2.5 concentrations were only ~10% lower (mean 110 mg m-3), indicating that is difficult for the population to reduce their exposure to PM2.5 from fires. The reduction in mean PM2.5 concentrations between outdoor and indoor environments was larger in urban locations (-11%) compared with rural locations (-3%), suggesting urban housing may provide better protection from outdoor air pollution. To generate an updated assessment for the population’s exposure to peatland fire PM2.5 we combine the information from monitoring both indoor and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations with modelled ambient (outdoor) PM2.5 concentrations from the WRF-Chem atmospheric chemistry transport model. Our updated exposure assessment accounts for the population’s personal exposure to peatland fire PM2.5 for the first time.

How to cite: Graham, A. M., McQuaid, J. B., Smith, T. E. L., Nurrahmawati, H., Ayona, D., Mulawarman, H., Adam, C., Spracklen, D. V., Rigby, R., and Choiruzzad, S. A. B.: Updated Exposure Estimate for Indonesian Peatland Fire Smoke using Network of Low-cost Purple Air PM2.5 sensors, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6077,, 2024.

EGU24-6624 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Excessive fire occurrence in Romania from 2001 to 2022: Trends and drivers across ecoregions and land cover classes 

Till Mattes, Irene Marzolff, and Angelica Feurdean

Wildfire is an integral part of temperate ecosystems, but human activities have significantly altered fire regimes, including frequency, size, intensity and seasonality. Romania, located in central-eastern Europe, recently exhibited the highest biomass burning in Europe. However, little is known of the trends and determinants of fire recurrence, apart from the common use of fire to clear crop residues on arable land. This study utilizes satellite-based fire data (FIRMS) from 2001 to 2022 and land cover maps (CORINE) to investigate temporal trends in fire occurrence across ecoregions and land cover types in Romania and identify those most susceptible to fire.

Over 2001-2022, Romania witnessed a total of 0.44 fires/ km² averaging 0.02 fires/km²/yr. Our analysis revealed a declining trend in fire occurrence along an elevation gradient, from plains to hills, plateaus and mountains, aligning with the prevalence of the dominant land cover classes and climatic gradients. Agricultural land cover types demonstrated the highest fire incidence, with arable land exhibiting the highest rate (0.04 fires/km²/yr) and forests the lowest (below 0.01 fires/km²/yr). Following the accession of Romania to the EU in 2007 and the prohibition of agricultural fires, a reduction in burning on arable land (crop residues) can be observed, while the use of fire in other agricultural classes persisted or even increased, indicating a more complex effect of socio-economic developments on fire pattern. Specifically, areas more marginal for agriculture, such as complex agricultural fields interspaced with housing and natural vegetation continued to employ fire as a management tool.

Natural land cover classes, such as wetlands principally occupying the Danube Delta (0.06 fires/km²/yr) and natural grasslands (0.01 fires/km²/yr), also experienced substantial fire occurrences and an intensification in more recent periods. Given the rarity of naturally ignited fires (lightning) in Romania, the intentional use of fire to clear dry reed biomass for land regeneration appears to be prevalent also in moist areas. Remarkably, broadleaved and mixed forests burned more frequently than coniferous forests despite the latter having traits to convey high flammability and burn with high frequency. This feature suggests that fires in broadleaved forests, predominant at low and mid elevations, likely expanded from neighbouring agricultural lands.

Crucially, our analysis highlights that years with elevated fire occurrence coincide with extreme droughts and heatwaves (e.g., 2012, 2015), emphasizing the influence of extreme climate conditions in accelerating fire episodes and the spread of fires initiated in agricultural areas into natural and semi-natural habitats. Given the substantial occurrence of fires in agricultural land but also in natural habitats, such as wetlands and grasslands in Romania, research investigating the risks and vulnerability of these habitats to fire should be prioritized.

How to cite: Mattes, T., Marzolff, I., and Feurdean, A.: Excessive fire occurrence in Romania from 2001 to 2022: Trends and drivers across ecoregions and land cover classes, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6624,, 2024.

Wildfires have become more prevalent in recent years because of climate change. Meanwhile wildfires, as a major type of biomass burning, could emit a large amount of black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC) to the atmosphere. Since BC and BrC play important roles in climate change, air pollution and human health issues, it is necessary to research their physicochemical properties to evaluate their impacts on urban areas. Here we present BC mass concentration and absorption coefficients measured by aethalometer (AE43), combing with the chemical constitutions acquired by GC-MS, during the record-breaking 2023 wildfire season in Canada. The back-trajectory analysis indicated that the smoke mainly came from north Quebec where the wildfires took place. We demonstrated how BC and BrC emitted by wildfires could affect urban regions after long-range transport.

How to cite: Li, H. and Ariya, P.: Measurement of Physicochemical Properties of Black Carbon and Brown Carbon and the Impacts of Canada Record-Breaking Wildfires in Summer 2023 , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6761,, 2024.

EGU24-7467 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

The Impact of Wildfires on Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in the United States: A Multiple Linear Regression-based Analysis 

Jiangshan Mu, Yingnan Zhang, Chenliang Tao, Zhou Liu, Yu Zhao, Lei Zhang, Yuqiang Zhang, and Likun Xue

Nitrogen deposition can exert a significant impact on global ecosystems. The increased occurrence of natural factors such as wildfires are becoming more important in atmospheric deposition especially with the continued decreases of the anthropogenic emissions in developed countries. In this study, we investigate the mechanisms by which the increasingly frequent wildfires affect nitrogen deposition in the United States using comprehensive datasets and multiple linear regression (MLR) methods. We found a downward trend in nitrogen deposition in the U.S. (-0.09 kgN ha yr-1), mainly due to the decreases in oxidative nitrogen deposition (-0.1 kgN ha yr-1). In contrast, reduced nitrogen deposition showed a slight increase (0.02 kgN ha yr-1). Our preliminary results show that wildfires contributed ~10% to the U.S. domestic deposition overall, but the magnitudes and signs of impact vary geographically, depending on the frequency and intensity of wildfires and the dominant deposition types. On average across the U.S., wildfires predominantly negatively contribute to wet deposition, while their contributions to dry deposition is smaller or slightly positive. Specifically, wildfires enhance dry deposition in the western U.S. while inhibiting wet deposition in the southeastern U.S. Wildfires exert a suppressive effect on both oxidized and reduced forms of nitrogen deposition in the southeastern U.S. Our study highlights the significant influence of wildfires on nitrogen deposition, underscoring the need to consider wildfire events in environmental management and policy-making.

How to cite: Mu, J., Zhang, Y., Tao, C., Liu, Z., Zhao, Y., Zhang, L., Zhang, Y., and Xue, L.: The Impact of Wildfires on Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in the United States: A Multiple Linear Regression-based Analysis, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7467,, 2024.

EGU24-7895 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Vegetation types influence fine-scale drought impact on land surface cooling and burn patterns in the Siberian coastal tundra 

Nils Rietze, Jakob Assmann, and Gabriela Schapeman-Strub

In 2020, the Northeastern Siberian lowland tundra faced an extreme drought and unprecedented wildfires. The burning of carbon-rich soils in this region can release large amounts of carbon, worsening climate change and Arctic warming.  However, we know little about of how droughts impact vegetation and how this vegetation might become fuel for large fires in the typically wet landscapes of the Northeastern Siberian lowland tundra. We studied the impact of the extreme summer drought in 2020 on the tundra vegetation and the resulting burn patterns in the Indigirka lowlands using a combination of in-situ, thermal, and multispectral remote sensing data from drone and high-resolution satellite imagery. The fine-scale vegetation types revealed increased landscape-wide drought susceptibility indicated by an overall loss of land surface cooling. This suggests a shift towards an energy budget dominated by sensible heat flux, which may feed back and intensify the heatwave.  Further, we found that mostly dry vegetation types were affected by fire in the NE Siberian coastal tundra, while wetter vegetation types did not burn, leading to a fine-scale heterogeneous burn pattern. Our results indicate that the enhanced drought susceptibility of vegetation types may have led to higher fire fuel connectivity of the tundra landscape. Consequently, this may have resulted in the large burn extents observed in 2019 and 2020. Our analysis is an effort toward the prediction of fire fuel connectivity and fire management in remote Arctic areas.

How to cite: Rietze, N., Assmann, J., and Schapeman-Strub, G.: Vegetation types influence fine-scale drought impact on land surface cooling and burn patterns in the Siberian coastal tundra, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7895,, 2024.

EGU24-8017 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Combining stand-level and remote sensing data to model post-fire recovery of Mediterranean tree-forest communities – A case study in Spain. 

Raul Hoffren, Juan de la Riva, Darío Domingo, María Teresa Lamelas, Paloma Ibarra, Alberto García-Martín, and Marcos Rodrigues

Mediterranean forests are recurrently affected by wildfires. Fire activity is expected to accelerate in the future due to landscape homogenization, fuel accumulation, and climate warming. A key aspect to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of wildfires on ecosystems is to understand the factors that govern the recovery of forest communities. This study analyzes the post-fire recovery potential of four representative Mediterranean tree-communities (Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra, Pinus pinaster, and Quercus ilex) affected by large wildfires (> 500 ha) during the summer of 1994 in Spain. For this purpose, information collected in the field 25 years after the fires in 203 forest plots (131 burned and 72 unburned control plots) was coupled with remote sensing, geospatial, and forest inventory data, to build an empirical model capable of assessing recovery. Remote sensing data provided a proxy for burn severity, through the Composite Burn Index, and allowed modelling the local topography (slope and aspect) of the terrain. The geospatial data included climatic information on temperature and precipitation trends. These data were entered into the model, calibrated using Random Forest, to provide information on the degree of recovery, inferred from the similarity (in terms of vegetation height, aboveground biomass, species diversity) between the burned and unburned control plots. Results showed that only the 25% of the burned plots can be considered as recovered. The burn severity had a significant effect on the recovery albeit strongly modulated by local topography. Overall, the key features of the recovered plots were a low-to-moderate burn severity and a favorable topographical setting, especially the shading effect of steep northwestern slopes. Furthermore, a warmer and more humid climate improved the capacity of recovery. These results constitute a valuable tool for improving forest management and preserving ecosystem services.

How to cite: Hoffren, R., de la Riva, J., Domingo, D., Lamelas, M. T., Ibarra, P., García-Martín, A., and Rodrigues, M.: Combining stand-level and remote sensing data to model post-fire recovery of Mediterranean tree-forest communities – A case study in Spain., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8017,, 2024.

Wildfires pose an increasing threat to boreal forest and tundra ecosystems in boreal North America (Alaska and northwestern Canada), as their frequencies rise under global warming. These fires exhibit strong interannual variability that is influenced by regional atmospheric circulation. However, potential impacts of remote boundary forcings on regional fires and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study provides a comprehensive analysis on the impacts of spring sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice on interannual variability of burned area in this region during fire season (summer) from 1997 to 2020 using GFED5 burned area, SST and sea ice concentration data from the Met Office Hadley Centre, and ERA5 reanalysis data. Results show that in spring a warmer SST in the East Pacific and reduction of sea ice in the northern Chukchi Sea lead independently to an increase in burned area in boreal North America. The correlation coefficients between the SST and sea ice factors with the burned area in boreal North America are 0.43 and –0.44 respectively. The SST-fire relationships can be explained as follows: A warm SST anomaly in the East Pacific triggers a northeastward-propagated Rossby wave, inducing a high-pressure anomaly over boreal North America in spring. Consequently, this circulation anomaly causes a higher surface temperature and thus vegetation growth or drying. As temperatures rise and lightning activity intensifies in summer, burned area increases. On the other hand, the process of sea ice affecting burned area is different. A reduction in sea ice coverage in the northern Chukchi Sea leads to a decrease in surface albedo, resulting in an increase in heat flux. The heat release persists from spring to summer and causes a high-pressure circulation anomaly in boreal North America in summer, which suppresses regional water vapor convergence and precipitation, reducing soil moisture and surface air humidity and increasing vapor pressure deficit (VPD) thereby promoting fuel flammability.

How to cite: Zhao, Z., Lin, Z., and Li, F.: Impacts of Spring East Pacific SST and Arctic Sea Ice on Interannual Variability of Summer Burned Area in boreal North America, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8303,, 2024.

EGU24-8506 | Orals | BG1.1

Anticipating future extreme wildfire events by coupling ignition and success of initial attack models 

Pere Joan Gelabert Vadillo, Adrian Jiménez Ruano, Fellice Catelo, and Marcos Rodrigues Mimbrero

In recent years, the EU Commission has enacted various firefighting policies to combat and diminish the adverse effects of wildfires. The Mediterranean area has experienced an observable extension of its wildfire season, coupled with rapid shifts in fire-weather dynamics, resulting in exceptionally severe wildfire occurrences. As of 2022, the EU has recorded an approximate total burned area of 792,902 hectares, with forests accounting for 66% of this figure (Rodrigues et al., 2023).

The main objective of this study is to anticipate extreme wildfire conditions by providing a synthetic product depicting the chances of a fire event starting and escaping containment. To do so, we combined empirical models of ignition likelihood and effectiveness of the initial attack stage. We employed machine learning techniques to calibrate binary regression models using historical wildfire ignition data and geospatial layer depicting the main drivers of ignition and containment, namely: accessibility, human pressure on wildlands, fuel moisture and availability. We illustrate our approach along the Mediterranean coastal region of Spain. Our approach enables us to predict wildfire contention capacity under diverse population growth and climate warming scenarios. This strategy aims to improve disaster risk reduction by pointing wildfire management zones and prioritizing intervention in high-risk areas.

Results indicate a high predictive ability to model human-caused wildfire ignition (AUC>0.80) but a modest capability to capture the containment capability (AUC≈0.70). Accessibility by road largely controls the spatial pattern of ignition and containment, with dead fuel moisture content modulating the temporal pattern of probability. We further illustrate the approach by providing insights into future SSP (Shared Socieconomic Pathways) scenarios by synthesizing both products into comprehensive management zones (Rodrigues et al., 2022).



Rodrigues, M., Camprubí, À.C., Balaguer-Romano, R., Megía, C.J.C., Castañares, F., Ruffault, J., Fernandes, P.M., Dios, V.R. de, 2023. Drivers and implications of the extreme 2022 wildfire season in Southwest Europe. Science of The Total Environment 859, 160320.

Rodrigues, M., Zúñiga-Antón, M., Alcasena, F., Gelabert, P., Vega-Garcia, C., 2022. Integrating geospatial wildfire models to delineate landscape management zones and inform decision-making in Mediterranean areas. Safety Science 147, 105616.

How to cite: Gelabert Vadillo, P. J., Jiménez Ruano, A., Catelo, F., and Rodrigues Mimbrero, M.: Anticipating future extreme wildfire events by coupling ignition and success of initial attack models, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8506,, 2024.

EGU24-8507 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Unravelling Variability: Discrepancies in Amazonian Biomass Burning Emissions Under Different Emission Factor Scenarios  

Guilherme Mataveli, Matthew W. Jones, Gabriel Pereira, Saulo R. Freitas, Valter Oliveira, Esther Brambleby, and Luiz E.O. C. Aragão

Biomass burning (BB) plays a key role in the biosphere–atmosphere interaction. It is a major source of trace gases and aerosols that alters the atmosphere and the water cycle. Additionally, these emissions are often related to other detrimental impacts including biodiversity loss in fire-sensitive biomes, increase of respiratory diseases, and massive economic losses. BB emissions are used as inputs in models that estimate air quality and the effect of fires on Earth’s climate. Hence, an accurate estimation of BB emissions is paramount. While BB emissions spread over most of the global vegetated areas, the integration of orbital remote sensing and modelling is the most effective approach to estimate them from regional to global scales. BB emission estimation follows the relationship between burned biomass and the emission factor (EF - mass emitted of a given species, for example carbon dioxide, per mass of dry matter burned). The burned biomass can be estimated using two approaches: (i) based on the relationship among burned area, above-ground biomass, and combustion completeness; or (ii) based on fire radiative power (FRP), a quantitative measurement that is directly related to the rate of burned biomass and is estimated to each active fire detected by several orbital sensors such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. EF values, which are Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) based, are required to estimate BB emissions independently on the approach adopted to estimate the burned biomass. Although novel approaches to improve the accuracy of BB emissions have been developed, the impact of EF values on the final estimated emissions remains uncertain. We have evaluated the impact of the EFs on the final estimate of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted from BB in the Brazilian Amazon during a nineteen years’ time series (2002-2020) by running the PREP-CHEM-SRC emissions preprocessor tool under four EF scenarios: the tool original EF values based on the work of Andreae and Merlet (2001), the average EF values recently updated by Andreae (2019), and the minimum and maximum EF values also proposed by this author. The minimum (maximum) EF values were defined as the average EF value for each LULC class minus (plus) one standard deviation. The PM2.5 emissions were estimated at the spatial resolution of 0.1º using the FRP approach implemented on PREP-CHEM-SRC (3BEM_FRP model) having MODIS active fires as input, since this approach requires fewer inputs and the impact of the EFs over the emissions would be more evident. Our results showed that the annual average PM2.5 emission in the Amazon varied by 163% between the four EF scenarios (from1,426 Gg and 3,747 Gg), while the scenario based on the average values was the closest to the one based on PREP-CHEM-SRC original EF values (2,582 Gg and 2,213 Gg, respectively – an increase of 17%). These results contribute to the better understanding of how this single parameter impacts on the estimation of BB emissions.

How to cite: Mataveli, G., W. Jones, M., Pereira, G., R. Freitas, S., Oliveira, V., Brambleby, E., and E.O. C. Aragão, L.: Unravelling Variability: Discrepancies in Amazonian Biomass Burning Emissions Under Different Emission Factor Scenarios , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8507,, 2024.

EGU24-8668 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Effect of long-range transported fire emissions on aerosol and cloud properties at high latitudes: In situ measurements and satellite observations 

Snehitha M. Kommula, Angela Buchholz, Yvette Gramlich, Tero Mielonen, Liqing Hao, Iida Pullinen, Lejish Vettikkat, Jorma Joutsensaari, Siegfried schobesberger, Petri Tiitta, Ari Leskinen, Dominic Heslin Rees, Sophie Haslett, Karolina Siegel, Chris Lunder, Paul Zieger, Radovan Krejci, Sami Romakkaniemi, Claudia Mohr, and Annele Virtanen

Global warming and climate change-induced rise in Earth’s temperature have increased the frequency of forest/wildfires over the past decade. Therefore, understanding the effect of fire emissions on aerosol-cloud interactions is crucial for improving Earth system models.

         We present observations from in-situ measurements of aerosol properties at the Puijo SMEAR IV station in eastern Finland and the Zeppelin Observatory in Ny-Ålesund, High Arctic. Both stations are frequently inside low-level clouds due to their topographic prominence. During the autumn of 2020, fire emissions from the same active fire region in south-eastern (SE) Europe reached both stations after ~2 - 8 days of atmospheric aging. This enabled us to investigate the changes in aerosol and cloud properties for clouds formed under the influence of aged fire emissions (referred to as the ‘fire’ period) and under cleaner conditions with no fire emission influence at these stations (‘non-fire’ period). The aerosol hygroscopicity parameter (κchem) was derived from the chemical composition data obtained from online aerosol mass spectrometers and was used to derive the number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (NCCN) from the measured particle size distributions.

         At both stations, the aerosol number concentration in the accumulation mode and the cloud condensation nuclei concentration (NCCN) were higher during the fire period than during non-fire times. However, the aerosol hygroscopicity increased at Puijo but decreased a Zeppelin from the non-fire to fire period. At Puijo, in-situ measured cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) was by a factor of ~7 higher when comparing fire to non-fire periods. This was in good agreement with the satellite observations (MODIS, Terra). At Puijo, the higher CCN concentrations during the fire period cause a depletion of the water vapor available for cloud droplet activation leading to larger observed activation diameters during cloud events despite the higher hygroscopicity of the aerosol particles.

         These observations show the importance of SE European fires for enhancing the CCN activity in Finland and the high Arctic. Results from this study emphasize the complex interplay between particle size and chemical composition, and how fires even from sources far away can have strong impacts in these remote regions.

How to cite: Kommula, S. M., Buchholz, A., Gramlich, Y., Mielonen, T., Hao, L., Pullinen, I., Vettikkat, L., Joutsensaari, J., schobesberger, S., Tiitta, P., Leskinen, A., Rees, D. H., Haslett, S., Siegel, K., Lunder, C., Zieger, P., Krejci, R., Romakkaniemi, S., Mohr, C., and Virtanen, A.: Effect of long-range transported fire emissions on aerosol and cloud properties at high latitudes: In situ measurements and satellite observations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8668,, 2024.

EGU24-9225 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Warming and cooling influences of North American boreal fires 

Max van Gerrevink, Sander Veraverbeke, Sol Cooperdock, Stefano Potter, Qirui Zhong, Michael Moubarak, Scott J. Goetz, Michelle C. Mack, James T. Randerson, Merritt R. Turetsky, Guido van der Werf, and Brendan M. Rogers

The Arctic-boreal region is warming rapidly, with consequences for northern ecosystems and global climate. Fires across the Arctic-boreal region are a major natural disturbance mechanism that initiate climate warming (positive) and cooling (negative) feedbacks. Understanding the net forcing effect from boreal fire on climate is crucial in managing and mitigating climate change impacts of boreal fires. Here we report radiative forcing estimates from boreal forest fires across Alaska and Western Canada (Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment-domain). Our results integrate the effect of greenhouse gas emissions (warming) and aerosols emission (net cooling) have through direct combustion, post-fire vegetation recovery sequestering carbon (cooling), fire-induced permafrost degradation emitting CO2 and CH4 (warming), and changes in surface albedo (cooling). Alaskan fires are on average climate warming (1.34±2.95 W/m2 per burned area) – uncertainty given as spatial standard deviation, while Canadian fires show on average a climate cooling (‑2.26±2.48 W/m2 per burned area) effect. The emissions from the combustion of organic soils and post-fire permafrost thaw dominate the positive feedback for Alaskan fires, whereas the cooling effect of post-fire changes in surface albedo because of prolonged spring snow cover dominate for the western Canadian fires. Our work demonstrates large-scale spatial variability in the climate feedbacks from North American boreal forest fires. Such fine-scale spatial information on the warming and cooling influences of forest fires could be useful in designing forest management and fire suppression activities informed by climate impacts.

How to cite: van Gerrevink, M., Veraverbeke, S., Cooperdock, S., Potter, S., Zhong, Q., Moubarak, M., Goetz, S. J., Mack, M. C., Randerson, J. T., Turetsky, M. R., van der Werf, G., and Rogers, B. M.: Warming and cooling influences of North American boreal fires, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9225,, 2024.

EGU24-9270 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

What limits the growth of lightning fires in the remote northeast Siberian taiga? 

Thomas Janssen and Sander Veraverbeke

In recent years, boreal forests have experienced unprecedented fire activity. These fires have contributed substantially to carbon emissions and posed hazards to human health. In the remote northeast Siberian taiga, the vast majority of fires are ignited by lightning strikes and not by human activity. Furthermore, active fire suppression is largely absent in these remote areas, resulting in uncontrolled fire growth. Here, we present a detailed look at the places and times where these lightning fires do finally stop spreading and aim to identify the causes. We employ various remote sensing and geo-spatial datasets including fire weather as well as landscape variables such as the presence of surface water, road networks, woody fuel load, fire history, elevation and landcover, to pinpoint the limitations to fire growth along fire perimeters recorded between 2012 and 2022 at a 300-meter spatial resolution. We were able to attribute 87% of all fire perimeter locations to a statistically significant (p < 0.01) change in one or more of these fire limitations over either time (fire weather) or space (landscape). The analysis reveals that fire growth is mainly limited by a change in the vegetation (fuel type and fuel load) as well as a change to less favourable weather for fire spread, although there are clear regional differences in the importance of specific limitations. Overall, fire weather seems to be the most important limitation to fire growth in the north of the Siberian taiga where continuous permafrost is present. With a rising frequency of lightning strikes, droughts, and heatwaves in boreal regions, uncontrolled lightning fires have the potential to expand even further in the future, leading to significant implications for vulnerable permafrost landscapes and, consequently, the global carbon cycle.

How to cite: Janssen, T. and Veraverbeke, S.: What limits the growth of lightning fires in the remote northeast Siberian taiga?, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9270,, 2024.

EGU24-10145 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Burned area and climate extremes in different land covers in southeastern Australia 

Patrícia Páscoa, Ana Russo, Andreia Ribeiro, and Célia Gouveia

Large burned areas (BA) in southeastern Australia were regularly registered during hot and dry years, such as the Black Saturday (2009) and the Black Summer (2019-2020) extreme bushfires. These types of extreme climate conditions are expected to become more frequent, leading to an increased risk of large BA in this region.

In this work, the influence of drought conditions and hot events on the BA in southeastern Australia was assessed, using correlation and copula functions. Bivariate copula functions were fitted, and conditional probabilities of large BA given climate extremes were computed. Three classes of drought intensity were studied, namely moderate, severe, and extreme, as well as three thresholds for temperature extremes, namely the 80th, 90th, and 95th percentiles. Monthly BA were computed as the sum of the burned pixels in the fire season (from October to March), using data from the MODIS Burned Area product. The analysis was performed on forests, grasslands, and savannas separately. Drought conditions were assessed with SPEI at several time scales, computed with data from the CRU TS4.07 dataset. Maximum and minimum daily temperature were retrieved from the ERA5 dataset.

Results showed that the correlation between BA and SPEI was high in the current and previous 1 month for all land covers, being highest in savannas and lowest in grasslands. Short time scales of SPEI had the highest correlation on grasslands, and the opposite was observed in forests and savannas. The correlation with maximum temperature increased until 10-15 days before the fire event and surpassed 0.6 over forests. Minimum temperature presented much lower correlations and there was not a pronounced increase in the previous days, as observed with the maximum temperature.

The conditional probability of large BA increased with the intensity of the drought on all land covers, and it reached almost 100% probability of exceeding the 50th percentile of BA under extreme droughts on forests and savannas. For the case of the 80th percentile of BA, the probability was lower, but the difference given drought and non-drought conditions was larger than for the 50th percentile. On savannas and forests, the conditional probability was still high when considering SPEI in the previous 2 and 3 months.

Maximum temperature yielded a higher probability of BA for the two highest percentiles. Savannas presented the lowest probability of BA given hot events, and forests the highest. The probability increased up to 10 days before the fire. Overall, the probabilities obtained given drought conditions are higher than given hot events, particularly for larger fires. Moreover, high probabilities obtained with large time scales and longer lead times are indicative of the importance of drought conditions before the fire season and may help predict the occurrence of large BA.


Acknowledgments: This study was partially supported by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal) through national funds (PIDDAC) – UIDB/50019/2020, by project Floresta Limpa (PCIF/MOG/0161/2019), and by project 2021 FirEUrisk, funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Grant Agreement no. 101003890). A.R. was supported by FCT through 

How to cite: Páscoa, P., Russo, A., Ribeiro, A., and Gouveia, C.: Burned area and climate extremes in different land covers in southeastern Australia, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10145,, 2024.

EGU24-10377 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Human land occupation regulates the effect of the climate on the burned area of the Cerrado biome 

Carlota Segura-Garcia, David Bauman, Vera L. S. Arruda, Ane Alencar, and Imma Oliveras Menor

The Brazilian Cerrado is a heterogeneous biome formed by a mosaic of savannas, grasslands, and smaller patches of denser woody forms. In this biome, fire is a natural disturbance agent that contributes to maintaining its open ecosystems and rich biodiversity. However, modern human activities and climate change are altering its fire regimes. In tropical savannas, land-use expansion is usually associated to a decrease in burned area primarily through land fragmentation, but also through active fire suppression. Meanwhile, climate change is fostering fire weather conditions, exacerbating fire activity. Hence, the two main drivers of fire could be pushing burned area in opposite directions, both with important ecological consequences for the Cerrado. However, it remains unclear how these two drivers interact, which is essential to devise effective fire management policies and conservation plans.

In this study, we use a causal inference framework to quantify the interaction between anthropic area percentage – as a proxy of human presence and fragmentation – and various climatic variables on their effects on Cerrado’s burned area. As well, we explore the spatial structure of temporal trends in burned area, anthropic expansion and climate change, and quantify the causal effect of the last two on the former.

We use geospatial data from different sources on a 0.2o grid over the Cerrado for the period 1985 to 2020. We use burned area and land use data from the MapBiomas project, and climate re-analysis data from ERA5 Land, CHIRPS and TerraClimate. We design our models using Directed Acyclic Graphs, a graphic representation of the causal relations between the predictors and burned area that informs variable selection for causal inference. Hence, based on these DAGs, we build multilevel Bayesian regression models to quantify the effects of the predictors and their interactions.

We find that a larger presence of land-use activities keeps burned area low and, importantly, hinders the effects of the climate. That is, while in landscapes composed mostly of native vegetation hotter and drier conditions increase burned area as expected; in anthropic landscapes, humans completely limit burned area responsiveness to climate. We also find spatially heterogeneous increasing and decreasing trends in burned area over the period, but concentrated in those areas of the Cerrado that were mostly natural in 1985. In these areas, a large anthropic expansion brought about a decrease in burned area, while we observe an increase in burned area in relation to climate change only in the areas that remained intact throughout the study period.

In conclusion, burned area in the Cerrado is shaped primarily by the extent of human presence in the landscape, even limiting the effects of the climate, while climatic effects become relevant in areas with larger tracts of native vegetation, suggesting that these areas may be more vulnerable to climate change.

How to cite: Segura-Garcia, C., Bauman, D., S. Arruda, V. L., Alencar, A., and Oliveras Menor, I.: Human land occupation regulates the effect of the climate on the burned area of the Cerrado biome, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10377,, 2024.

EGU24-10606 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Characterizing lightning-ignited wildfire occurrences at sub-grid scales in orography-aware NOAA/GFDL land model LM4.2 

Rui Wang, Enrico Zorzetto, Sergey Malyshev, and Elena Shevliakova

Lightning ignitions are the dominant causes of wildfires in many regions, responsible for 80% of burned areas at high latitudes and about 70% of fires in the Amazon rainforest. With global wildfire activities and extreme fire events (e.g., intensity, duration, and size) increasing under the changing climate conditions, understanding the interactions between lighting, landscape characteristics, and wildfires is crucial for predicting and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Cloud-to-ground lightning activities are driven by a combination of large- and local-scale factors, e.g., local atmospheric circulations and convection and topography. Furthermore, the number of lightning strikes is predicted to increase by 10 – 30 % per degree warming. Decadal satellite observations have revealed Earth’s lightning hotspots at very high resolution, however, there is a paucity of fine-scale lightning strikes and lightning-ignited wildfires (LIW) in the Earth system and climate models. Currently, many climate and ESM  models do not include fires at all or simulate them with meteorological inputs and grid-average lightning at the scale of atmospheric models (25 to 100 km), introducing large uncertainties of LIW due to the lack of information at the scales relevant to fire dynamics.  Lack of information about lightning trends and variability hinders the prediction and projection of fires and their contribution to carbon and other atmospheric tracers and global warming. For example, in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) ESM4.1 model, the fire model uses a climatology of lightning strikes from preindustrial to 2100.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate the implications of capturing subgrid lightning distributions in the GFDL land model LM4.2 for the global simulations of wildfire dynamics over the available records (1998-2013) and provide insights into future projections. LM4.2 captures sub-grid heterogeneity of land cover and use, soil geomorphology, and topography, facilitating the understanding of LIW distribution across global to regional and sub-grid scales. In this study, we leverage 0.1° × 0.1° lightning observations from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and Optical Transient Detector (OTD) in the GFDL LM4-HB to characterize fine-scale lightning strike distribution and associated LIW.

How to cite: Wang, R., Zorzetto, E., Malyshev, S., and Shevliakova, E.: Characterizing lightning-ignited wildfire occurrences at sub-grid scales in orography-aware NOAA/GFDL land model LM4.2, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10606,, 2024.

EGU24-10793 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

A Decision Support System for Forest Fire Danger Notices in Ireland  

Padraig Flattery, Klara Finkele, Paul Downes, Alan Hally, and Ciaran Nugent

Since 2006 the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System (FWI) has been employed operationally at Met Éireann to predict the risk of forest fires in Ireland. Around 11% or 770,000 ha of the total land area of Ireland is afforested, but there are also large areas of open mountain and peatlands covered in grasses, dwarf-shrub and larger woody shrub type vegetation which can provide fuel for spring wildfires under suitable conditions. After winter, vegetation can be dead or have a very low live moisture content, and the flammability of this vegetation can be readily influenced by prevailing weather, especially following prolonged dry periods.

Different decision support tools are available to different sectors, namely:

  • The General Public: who have access to fire weather index meteograms on Met Éireann’s public website.
  • Local Authorities, who have access to the ANYWHERE multi-hazard warning system, which provides multiple sources of information about fire danger and propagation.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM), who are provided with information and additional support from National and European partners and networks.

DAFM is the Forest Protection authority in Ireland responsible for issuing Forest Fire Danger Notices which improve preparedness for fire responses and are based on a range of factors including information provided by Met Éireann who calculate the FWI and FWI components using observation data at synoptic stations, and the predicted FWI for the next five days ahead based on numerical weather prediction data. This allows fire responders to build resilience and prepare for impending fires.

The FWI is determined based on the types of forest fuel and how quickly they dry out/get rewetted, and components of fire behaviour. The FWI represents the fire intensity as the rate of energy per unit length of fire front (kW/m). The components which provide the most accurate indication of risk under Irish conditions are the Fine Fuel Moisture Code and Initial Spread Index, based on the fuels involved and ignition patterns observed to date. Since 2022 Met Eireann provide the FWI as well as the individual components Fine Fuel Moisture Content and Initial Spread Index via the public website for synoptic stations. These indices are based on observations and a seven-day forecast into the future using ECMWF predictions. This allows all county councils responsible for wildfire preparedness to access this information swiftly and directly.

Met Éireann also use the ANYWHERE multi-hazard warning tool which allows for visualisation of multiple fire-related risk factors and warning indices to be viewed simultaneously. The ANYWHERE system, in combination with our station-based forecast and antecedent conditions, provide fire managers and response teams with excellent information with which to make decisions.

How to cite: Flattery, P., Finkele, K., Downes, P., Hally, A., and Nugent, C.: A Decision Support System for Forest Fire Danger Notices in Ireland , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10793,, 2024.

EGU24-10920 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Reconstructing 20th century burned area by combining global fire model input, satellite observations and machine learning 

Seppe Lampe, Lukas Gudmundsson, Vincent Humphrey, Inne Vanderkelen, Bertrand Le Saux, and Wim Thiery

The temporal coverage (∼2000 to present) of global burned area satellite observations limits many aspects of fire research e.g., long-term trend analysis, disentangling the effect of various drivers on fire behaviour and detection and attribution of changes to climate change. As a result, global fire models are more frequently being called upon to answer questions about past and future fire behaviour. Unfortunately, the limited temporal coverage of the observations also hinders the development and evaluation of these fire models. The current generation of global fire models from ISIMIP are able to simulate well some characteristics of regional fire behaviour such as mean state and seasonality. However, the performance of these models differs greatly from region to region, and aspects such as extreme fire behaviour are not well represented yet. Here, we explore the possibility of using machine learning algorithms to model burned area from the same input parameters that are passed to global climate models. Once trained, this data-driven model can be evaluated against regional proxies for past fire behaviour e.g., tree rings and charcoal records. Hopefully, this data-driven reconstruction can provide valuable insights on the 20th century burned area, and can help improve and evaluate fire models.

How to cite: Lampe, S., Gudmundsson, L., Humphrey, V., Vanderkelen, I., Le Saux, B., and Thiery, W.: Reconstructing 20th century burned area by combining global fire model input, satellite observations and machine learning, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10920,, 2024.

EGU24-10947 | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Burned area and fire emissions according to the fifth version of the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) 

Guido van der Werf, James Randerson, Dave van Wees, Yang Chen, Roland Vernooij, Louis Giglio, Joanne Hall, Douglas Morton, Kelley Barsanti, and Bob Yokelson

Quantifying burned area and associated fire emissions is paramount to understand how changing fire patterns affect radiative forcing and air quality. It is now well established that many fires are too small to be detected by coarse resolution satellite burned area products on which the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) relied. In the fifth version of GFED (GFED5) we therefore combine burned area derived from mapped coarse-resolution burned area from the MODIS sensor -which excels in detecting larger fires- with small-fire burned area. The latter is derived from MODIS active fire detections scaled to burned area using ratios constrained by higher-resolution burned area datasets from Landsat and Sentinel-2 for selected regions. Burned area in cropland regions was based on the Global Cropland Area Burned (GloCAB) dataset. Total global burned area is 61% higher than in GFED4s. We converted burned area to emissions using a simplified version of the CASA model used in previous GFED versions, but which now runs at a 500 m spatial resolution. This allows for better constrained modeled fuel loads based on field measurements. Although GFED5 emissions are aggregated to a 0.25 degree grid due to the statistical nature of deriving our burned area, we can now account for heterogeneity in fire processes within these large pixels. Emissions (3 Pg carbon per year) are roughly 50% higher than in GFED4 and we show how diverging trends in grassland versus forest ecosystems impact trends in total emissions. Finally, we show how converting fire carbon losses to trace gas and aerosol emissions is now better constrained due to the addition of several new emission factor measurement campaigns. In the savanna biome we now account for spatial and temporal variability in emission factors.

How to cite: van der Werf, G., Randerson, J., van Wees, D., Chen, Y., Vernooij, R., Giglio, L., Hall, J., Morton, D., Barsanti, K., and Yokelson, B.: Burned area and fire emissions according to the fifth version of the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10947,, 2024.

EGU24-11206 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Global cloud-to-ground lightning data to inform wildfire ignition patterns 

Esther Brambleby, Sander Veraverbeke, Guilherme Mataveli, Manoj Joshi, and Matthew Jones

Lightning is recognised as a crucial wildfire ignition source worldwide, especially in remote regions including boreal and temperate forests where large carbon stocks are held. The societal consequences of these wildfires, as well as their contribution to climate change, can be immense. The occurrence of lightning is projected to increase in these areas under climate change, however robust assessments of lightning contribution to wildfire risk have been restricted to selected regions due to the narrow spatial extent of cloud-to-ground lightning records. Consequently, evaluations of lightning-fire relationships using existing global lightning observational datasets have been limited to considering the total amount of lightning. Only cloud-to-ground lightning can ignite a wildfire, therefore when considering impacts on wildfire risk it is essential to distinguish between lightning types.

Using Vaisala’s unique Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360), which discriminates between cloud lightning and cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, we present our preliminary analyses of the spatial patterns and seasonality of cloud-to-ground lightning. Here, we show the regional variation in the lightning frequency and the cloud-to-ground fraction, as well as the strength (current) and polarity of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

By considering cloud-to-ground lightning strikes only, we characterise the spatial and seasonal variation in lightning events with the potential to ignite wildfires. Combining global observations of lightning strikes with observations of individual fires and coincident meteorology will advance our mechanistic understanding of wildfire ignition potential in a range of weather conditions, improve the process representation of the ignition process in global models, and refine projections of changing wildfire risks under climate change.

How to cite: Brambleby, E., Veraverbeke, S., Mataveli, G., Joshi, M., and Jones, M.: Global cloud-to-ground lightning data to inform wildfire ignition patterns, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11206,, 2024.

This research delves into the dynamics of forest fires across various Indian regions, particularly during the unique COVID-19 lockdown period. The study's core focus is on the interaction between forest fires, climatic factors, and vegetation indices in a scenario of reduced human activity. It employs a multidimensional methodology, integrating satellite imagery and climatic data from periods before, during, and post-lockdown. The lockdown provides a critical opportunity to assess the impact of decreased human interference on forest fire patterns. Advanced statistical techniques are used to analyze the relationship between vegetation indices, fire occurrences, and meteorological conditions. This approach aims to uncover the underlying mechanisms driving these relationships, moving beyond simple trend identification. The research offers a nuanced perspective by differentiating natural factors from human influences. This distinction is vital in understanding the environmental dynamics during the lockdown. The findings have significant implications, offering insights for policymakers and environmentalists in enhancing forest fire management strategies. Emphasizing the need for a comprehensive understanding of environmental interactions, this study contributes to forming more informed and sustainable approaches to natural disaster management in the face of global challenges like climate change and pandemics.

How to cite: Kate, R. and Bhattacharya, J.: Forest Fires during COVID-19: Assessing Environmental Interactions and Fire Dynamics Amidst Reduced Human Intervention in India, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11291,, 2024.

EGU24-11432 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Northern high latitude peat fires: from lab to modelling  

Dimitra Tarasi, Eirini Boleti, Katie Blackford, Matthew Kasoar, Emmanouil Grillakis, Guillermo Rein, Hafizha Mulyasih, and Apostolos Voulgarakis

Climate warming is occurring most rapidly at high latitudes, heightening the vulnerability of carbon-rich peatlands to fire. Northern peatlands comprise the largest terrestrial carbon store, and exert a net cooling effect on the climate. Warmer and drier conditions due to the anticipated climate change are expected to contribute substantially to increased fire severity and frequency in the northern high latitudes, potentially shifting peatlands from being carbon sinks to being greenhouse gas emission sources. Therefore, peat fires, which are considered the largest and most persistent fires on Earth, can significantly impact the global carbon cycle, atmospheric composition, climate, air quality, and human health. Representing peatland fire feedbacks to climate in Earth system models is essential for accurately predicting the future of the climate system. Here, we present the first steps of an effort to distill lab results on peat burning and emissions into global fire modelling. Since peat moisture content and the depth of burn have been experimentally proved to be critical for the representation of peat fires, we aim to incorporate those mechanisms into a global model functionality. More specifically, we aim to represent the mechanistic understanding of the ignition and spread of peat fires in INFERNO-peat, the peat module of the JULES-INFERNO global fire model. To assess the added value of our updated model, we compare the simulated burnt area and carbon emissions with observation-based products. As boreal regions remain a big mystery for the future of our planet, our improved model representation of peat fires in northern high latitudes contributes to a better understanding of future atmospheric composition, radiative forcing and climate. 

How to cite: Tarasi, D., Boleti, E., Blackford, K., Kasoar, M., Grillakis, E., Rein, G., Mulyasih, H., and Voulgarakis, A.: Northern high latitude peat fires: from lab to modelling , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11432,, 2024.

EGU24-11599 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Comparison and validation of state-of-the-art fire emissions models for the Amazon 

Dave van Wees, Vincent Huijnen, Matthias Forkel, Jos de Laat, Niels Andela, and Christine Wessollek

Amazon forest conservation is critical for reaching net-zero carbon emissions and protecting regional biodiversity but these efforts are at risk from deforestation, fire and drought. In particular, accurate quantification of carbon losses from forest and deforestation fires are required to understand long-term impacts of fire on the carbon cycle and inform management strategies. Recent developments in the detection of burned area, near-real time tracking of fire patch metrics, and higher-resolution fire emissions models allow for improved estimates of carbon losses from fire. Nevertheless, independent validation of these novel approaches often remains elusive, leading to large disagreement between different emissions inventories.

Here, we compare carbon emissions estimates from several state-of-the-art fire emissions models, including a 500-m resolution GFED version, GFAS, and the Sense4Fire project, in a case-study for the Amazon region. Where necessary, we have updated the models to extend to 2022 and to include the most recent version of model input data from MODIS (Collection 6.1). We analysed the added years of data to elucidate recent trends in fire-related carbon emissions across the Amazon and adjacent biomes. For validation, we ingested the CO emissions from the considered fire emissions models into an atmospheric transfer simulation (IFS-COMPO) and compared those to column CO observations from Sentinel-5P TROPOMI. Finally, we propose an optimization methodology for matching modelled CO concentrations to observations with the objective of constraining regional carbon losses from fire. Results provide novel insights into carbon losses from fire across different fire types and land use practices, and can be extended to global scale for improved estimates of global fire emissions.

How to cite: van Wees, D., Huijnen, V., Forkel, M., de Laat, J., Andela, N., and Wessollek, C.: Comparison and validation of state-of-the-art fire emissions models for the Amazon, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11599,, 2024.

EGU24-11809 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Analysing the effects of postfire oak afforestation on the provision of ecosystem services 

Luis Filipe Lopes, Erika S. Santos, Leónia Nunes, Paulo M. Fernandes, and Vanda Acácio

Forests play a substantial role in generating externalities and supporting services essential for maintaining key ecosystem functions and processes. Fire has long been a natural element of forest dynamics, contributing to model the structure, composition, and diversity of vegetation. However, changes in fire regimes in recent decades in Europe (e.g., more frequent and severe fires) have led to negative ecological, social, and economic impacts, particularly marked by a decline in the provision of ecosystem services. Mediterranean Europe, being a region highly prone to wildfires and currently experiencing a change in fire regimes, exemplifies this situation.

In this study, we aim to understand the effects of postfire oak afforestation on the provision of ecosystem services (ES). We analysed 15 afforestation projects with the deciduous Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) carried out in 1994-2006 in similar soil type (Cambisols) in the North and Center of Portugal, including seven pure and eight mixed oak stands. For each project area, we identified an adjacent control area affected by the same fire event but without oak afforestation or evident management. In 2021-2022, for each project and control areas, we collected field data on: site conditions, stand characteristics, forest biometry, understory vegetation (height and cover), floristic richness and diversity, oak natural regeneration and litter. At the moment of data collection, the majority of projects (10) were 12 to 17 years old, with the remaining projects (5) having been implemented 21 to 25 years ago. Collected data was used to quantify provisioning ecosystem services (wood volume) and regulation and maintenance services (forest and litter carbon, fire protection, maintenance of nursery populations, habitats, and seed dispersal).

Afforested areas supplied more provisioning services (higher wood volume), as a consequence of a higher tree density when compared to non-afforested areas. Total carbon content and litter carbon were not significantly different between afforested and control areas. Nevertheless, afforested and control areas exhibited distinct patterns concerning carbon in the different forest layers: carbon in the tree layer was significantly higher in afforested areas, while carbon in the understory layer was significantly higher in control areas. Afforested areas also showed a significantly higher fire protection service, as a consequence of lower fuel load from regular understory shrub management. Lastly, we found no significant differences in services related to maintenance of nursery populations and habitats (estimated with floristic species and diversity), and seed dispersal (estimated with oak natural regeneration), although afforested areas presented a higher number of oak seedlings.

Our study shows that postfire afforestation in oak forests may have a positive, null or negative impact on ES, depending on the service under analysis, highlighting the existence of trade-offs among multiple ES. We emphasize the importance of a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of postfire afforestation on ES to guide postfire management, aiming to enhance forest resilience in the face of predicted climate change.

How to cite: Lopes, L. F., Santos, E. S., Nunes, L., Fernandes, P. M., and Acácio, V.: Analysing the effects of postfire oak afforestation on the provision of ecosystem services, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11809,, 2024.

EGU24-11962 | Orals | BG1.1

The Great Fuel Moisture Survey: developing fundamental wildfire science and sustainable community owned agency in traditionally non-fire prone societies 

Nicholas Kettridge, Katy Ivison, Alistair Crawford, Gareth Clay, Claire Belcher, Laura Graham, and Kerryn Little

New fire vulnerable communities are emerging in traditionally non-fire prone regions of the world. But these communities are often largely unaware of the developing threat and do not hold the core wildfire knowledge to galvanise collective community-based action to mitigate the risk. Furthermore, we urgently require knowledge of fuel moisture dynamics and flammability of fuels in such regions to provide accurate assessments of fire danger at the national scale. Here we characterise the moisture content and flammability of heather through engaged environmental science, demonstrating the potential of the approach to develop a public consciousness and knowledge of wildfire within communities. Fuel sampling kits were sent to 150 samplers who collected ~1000 vegetation samples across the UK (from Land’s End to John O’Groats) over a period of two days during a single period of high fire danger. The validity of the volunteer approach for collecting high quality fuel moisture data was also assessed from the analysis of a separate ~1500 samples collected by 17 samplers in a single test plot. The approach provides a simple nationally available entry point for residents traditionally unaware of both the wildfire risk and the management of their community for wildfire mitigation. Empowering samplers offers potential future opportunity to create meaningful local datasets, to build communities, and in doing so give a strong voice to residents in regional and national policy discussions.

How to cite: Kettridge, N., Ivison, K., Crawford, A., Clay, G., Belcher, C., Graham, L., and Little, K.: The Great Fuel Moisture Survey: developing fundamental wildfire science and sustainable community owned agency in traditionally non-fire prone societies, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11962,, 2024.

EGU24-11965 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Effects of 2018 wildfire on soil properties in a peatland within the Peak District National Park (central England) 

Luigi Marfella, Mark A. Ashby, Georgia Hennessy, Rossana Marzaioli, Flora A. Rutigliano, and Helen C. Glanville

Peatland soil is a valuable component of natural capital by constituting the largest terrestrial carbon sink (~30% of the global soil carbon) and an essential freshwater source. Despite covering only ~3% of the Earth’s surface, peatlands provide crucial ecosystem services i.e. water-quality improvement and climate regulation by storing carbon in peat. However, peat degradation due to anthropogenic activities (e.g. drainage) as well as global climate change exposes this ecosystem to fire risk.
This study assessed the medium-term (~5 years) impacts of the 10 August 2018 wildfire within The Roaches Nature Reserve. This area spans the southeastern sector of the Peak District National Park and Special Area of Conservation (SAC-UK0030280). According to the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust (responsible authority for Reserve management), the human-caused fire broke out in a wooded area and aided by wind, spread to the peatland. Here, we integrated soil analyses and vegetation surveys of a burnt and unburnt area i) to assess possible correlations between soil biogeochemical properties and vegetation cover with ii) remote sensing to collect data on fire severity exploring temporal and spatial wildfire impacts.
Processing of satellite imagery highlighted a high-severity fire impact within the perimeter of the burned area, which predicts alteration of soil characteristics. Preliminary outcomes on the soil indicated deacidification and reduced water content in the burned peat remains 5 years post-fire.
Given that global peatland conservation is an important tool for addressing climate-change, this research appears necessary to develop effective management strategies, including rewetting of peatlands postfire.

How to cite: Marfella, L., Ashby, M. A., Hennessy, G., Marzaioli, R., Rutigliano, F. A., and Glanville, H. C.: Effects of 2018 wildfire on soil properties in a peatland within the Peak District National Park (central England), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11965,, 2024.

The ignition, spread, and severity of wildfires are driven largely by weather conditions (Jain et al. 2020:; Liu et al. 2013:  The main tool for weather prediction across the globe is a set of physical, coupled atmosphere/ocean models, called numerical weather prediction (NWP).  Despite rapid improvements in the last few decades, NWP alone is not sufficient for wildfire prediction, because it does not resolve every process related to wildfire.  One solution is to post-process NWP with statistical models, which correct the NWP model towards better resolving processes related to the phenomenon of interest (here, wildfire).  This post-processing is called model-output statistics (MOS) and typically involves linear regression.  However, recent work has advanced MOS by incorporating more powerful statistical models from deep learning (DL).  We use DL to predict extreme fire weather and behaviour at multi-day lead times throughout the United States.


For fire weather, we have trained U-nets -- a type of deep neural network -- to predict at lead times of 3-240 hours over the United States.  The output (target) variables are seven indices from the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (CFWIS), computed from the ECMWF Reanalysis version 5 (ERA5).  These seven indices include the fine-fuel moisture code (FFMC), initial-spread index (ISI), overall fire-weather index (FWI), etc.  Meanwhile, the input (predictor) variables come from five sources.  The first is a forecast time series of atmospheric state variables (height, temperature, humidity, and wind) from the Global Forecast System (GFS) NWP model.  The second is a forecast time series of surface and subsurface moisture (soil moisture, accumulated precipitation, and snow depth) from the GFS.  The third is a set of constant fields (terrain height/slope/aspect, land-sea mask, etc.) describing the underlying terrain.  The fourth is a lagged time series of CFWIS over the past several days, i.e., past target values.  The fifth is a forecast time series of CFWIS indices, computed by applying the CFWIS functions directly to GFS-forecast weather variables.  These are the uncorrected (GFS-only) CFWIS forecasts, to be corrected by the U-net.


For fire behaviour, we have trained random forests -- ensembles of decision trees -- to predict fire radiative power (FRP) at lead times of 1-48 hours over the United States.  The labels (correct answers) for FRP are obtained from the Regional ABI and VIIRS Emissions (RAVE) merged satellite product.  Predictors for the random forest include the first three sources listed for the U-net above, plus a lagged time series of FRP over the past 24 hours, i.e., past target values.


Both models -- the U-net for fire weather and the random forest for fire behaviour -- are trained with built-in uncertainty quantification.  Thus, at every lead time and grid point, both models provide an expected value and an estimate of their own uncertainty.  We will present objective evaluation results (for both the mean forecast and uncertainty) and explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) to understand what the models have learned, e.g., which spatiotemporal weather patterns in a given area are most conducive to extreme fire weather/behaviour.

How to cite: Lagerquist, R. and Kumler, C.: Using deep learning to improve multi-day forecasts of extreme fire weather and behaviour throughout the United States, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12223,, 2024.

EGU24-12320 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Integrating Human Domain Knowledge into Artificial Intelligence for Hybrid Forest Fire Prediction: Case Studies from South Korea and Italy 

Hyun-Woo Jo, Shelby Corning, Pavel Kiparisov, Johanna San Pedro, Andrey Krasovskiy, Florian Kraxner, and Woo-Kyun Lee

Forest fires pose a growing global threat, exacerbated by climate change-induced heat waves. The intricate interplay between changing climate, biophysical, and anthropogenic factors emphasizes the urgent need for sophisticated predictive models. Existing models, whether process-based for interpretability or machine learning-based for automatic feature identification, have distinct strengths and weaknesses. This study addresses these gaps by integrating human domain knowledge, crucial for interpreting forest fire dynamics, into a machine learning framework. We introduce FLAM-Net, a neural network derived from IIASA's wildfire Climate impacts and Adaptation Model (FLAM), melding process-based insights of FLAM with machine learning capabilities. In optimizing FLAM-Net for South Korea, new algorithms interpret national-specific forest fire patterns, and multi-scale applications, facilitated by U-Net-based deep neural networks (DN-FLAM), yield downscaled predictions. Successfully tailored to South Korea's context, FLAM-Net and DN-FLAM reveal spatial concentration near metropolitan areas and the east coastal region, with temporal concentration in spring. Performance evaluation yields Pearson's r values of 0.943, 0.840, and 0.641 for temporal, spatial, and spatio-temporal dimensions. Projections based on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) indicate an increasing trend in forest fires until 2050, followed by a decrease due to increased precipitation. During the optimization process of FLAM-Net for Italy, optimal parameters for sub-areas are identified. This involves considering biophysical and anthropogenic factors at each grid, contributing to improved localized projection optimization by utilizing various sets of optimal parameters. There by, this process illuminates the intricate connections between environmental factors and their interpretation in the dynamics of forest fires. This study demonstrates the advantages of hybrid models like FLAM-Net and DN-FLAM, seamlessly combining process-based insights and artificial intelligence for interpretability, accuracy, and efficient optimization. The findings contribute scientific evidence for developing context-specific climate resilience strategies, with global applicability to enhance climate resilience.

How to cite: Jo, H.-W., Corning, S., Kiparisov, P., San Pedro, J., Krasovskiy, A., Kraxner, F., and Lee, W.-K.: Integrating Human Domain Knowledge into Artificial Intelligence for Hybrid Forest Fire Prediction: Case Studies from South Korea and Italy, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12320,, 2024.

EGU24-12529 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

GlobalRx: A global assemblage of regional prescribed fire records for use in assessments of climate change impacts 

Alice Hsu, Jane Thurgood, Adam Smith, Liana Anderson, Hamish Clarke, Stefan Doerr, Paulo Fernandes, Crystal Kolden, Cristina Santín, Tercia Strydom, and Matthew Jones and the GlobalRx Consortium

Prescribed (Rx) and controlled fires are an important land management tool used globally for a variety of reasons, including the reduction of hazardous fuel loads, ecological conservation, agriculture, and natural resource management. Its use has important implications for wildfire risk, biodiversity, and carbon storage. However, the use of Rx and controlled fires is highly dependent upon weather conditions, requiring a weather window during which a careful balance of temperature, moisture, and wind ensure that the burns achieve their objectives while minimizing ecological damage or risk to human lives or assets. The planning and execution of Rx burns must also consider how these weather conditions interact with the local vegetation and ecology. As fire weather is projected to grow more extreme under the impacts of climate change, there is a growing need to monitor this effect on the ability to carry out Rx burning.

Here, we introduce a new dataset, GlobalRx, which includes around 140,000 records of Rx and other controlled fires from 16 countries, encompassing 207 ecoregions and 13 biomes around the world. For each record, we have geolocated values of various metrics of fire weather and fire danger (e.g. fire weather indices, vapour pressure deficit) from the ERA5 meteorological reanalysis, as well as the biome, ecoregion, fuelbed type, and protected area status from global thematic layers. We demonstrate the usefulness of this dataset for analyzing viable meteorological windows under which Rx fires may be conducted across diverse environmental settings in the present climate, as well as how these Rx burning windows may shift under the threats of climate change. This dataset has potential to shed light on how Rx burning windows may shift under future climate change, as well as opportunities to understand other drivers and effects of Rx burning.

This project has been supported by valuable contributions from non-public data from a consortium of data providers: Parks Canada, South Africa National Parks, Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, East-Pyrenees Prescribed Burning Team, Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (Portugal), Regional Forest Fire Service (Italy), Russian Federal Forestry Agency, H2020 LifeTaiga Project, Government of the Principality of Asturias, Council of Andalucía, Council of Galicia, Forestry England, National Forestry Commission of Mexico, ZEBRIS Geo-IT GmbH, Hokkaido University, Pau Costa Foundation, Asian Forest Cooperation Organization.

How to cite: Hsu, A., Thurgood, J., Smith, A., Anderson, L., Clarke, H., Doerr, S., Fernandes, P., Kolden, C., Santín, C., Strydom, T., and Jones, M. and the GlobalRx Consortium: GlobalRx: A global assemblage of regional prescribed fire records for use in assessments of climate change impacts, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12529,, 2024.

EGU24-13237 | Posters on site | BG1.1

The role of fire radiative power to estimate fire-related smoke pollution. 

Rita Durao, Catarina Alonso, Ana Russo, and Célia Gouveia

The intensity of a wildfire can be assessed based on its released energy, obtained through remote measurements of the fire's radiative power. Since the Fire Radiative Power (FRP) is proportional to the amount of burned biomass and therefore to smoke production. Higher FRP values are associated with more severe fires, suggesting higher levels of smoke production and, consequently, higher emissions of particulate matter and other pollutants. The specific composition of smoke emissions can vary depending on factors such as the type of vegetation burned, the temperature of the fire, and the combustion conditions. In general, fire smoke is composed of a variety of air pollutants, including gases (NOx, CO, VOCs, O3, PAHs, etc) and particulate matter (PM). The objective of this work is to evaluate the ability of FRP, to be used as an indicator of fire smoke pollution. Particulate matter (PMx) and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations emitted during recent wildfires in Portugal are analyzed to assess the link between pollution concentration levels and fire intensity over the affected areas, taking into account the spatial and temporal characteristics of each event. For this purpose, two particularly severe fires with significant impacts on air quality in central and southern Portugal were analyzed namely the ones taking place in October 2017 and August 2018. Concentrations of PMx and CO were evaluated through CAMS data, and the radiative power through the FRP product of the SEVIRI/MSG disseminated by LSA-SAFThe results show that the emitted pollutant concentrations significantly exceeded the established daily target limit values (air quality and public health guidelines). The fire intensity, based on the emitted Radiative Energy (FRE) derived from FRP, aligns with the known severity of these events, consistent with the observed concentrations of air pollutants, being demonstrated that the FRP can be associated with smoke production, especially PMx emissions during a fire. Thus, the proposed methodology using FRP can be a valuable tool for assessing the impact of wildfires on air quality and understanding the potential for smoke dispersion over fire-affected regions. The role of FRP as an indicator of air pollution highlights the potential use of FRP in assisting in management activities, operational planning, and emergency intervention during ongoing fires. 

Acknowledgments: This study is partially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research project FirEUrisk (Grant Agreement no. 101003890); and by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) I.P./MCTES on behalf of DHEFEUS -2022.09185.PTDC and the project FAIR- 2022.01660.PTDC).

How to cite: Durao, R., Alonso, C., Russo, A., and Gouveia, C.: The role of fire radiative power to estimate fire-related smoke pollution., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13237,, 2024.

EGU24-13416 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Two decades of fire-induced albedo change and associated radiative effect over sub-Saharan Africa 

Michaela Flegrova and Helen Brindley

Fire is an important, widespread Earth-system process, influencing local ecosystems and climate around the globe. Over half of global burned area occurs in Africa, with over 10% of the continent affected by fire every year. Fire temporarily alters the surface properties, including surface albedo, causing long-lasting changes to the surface radiation budget.

We present the analysis of 20 years of fire and albedo data in Africa, using the MODIS product suite. We show that fire causes an average immediate albedo decrease, recovering exponentially with a time constant of several weeks. While the magnitude of albedo changes shows large spatial and temporal variations and a strong land cover type (LCT) dependency, exponential recovery is observed in the majority of LCTs. We show that fires cause long-term brightening, observing on average a small positive albedo change 10 months after a fire, but we find this is driven almost exclusively by slow vegetation recovery in the Kalahari region.

Using downward surface shortwave flux estimates we calculate the fire-induced surface radiative forcing (RF), peaking at 5±2 Wm−2 in the burn areas, albeit with a significantly smaller effect when averaged temporally and spatially. We find that the average long-term RF is negative because of the brightening observed.

Our temporal analysis does not indicate a decrease in overall fire-induced RF, despite a well-documented reduction in burning in Africa in the recent decades, suggesting that the RF of individual fires is increasing because of higher levels of downward surface shortwave flux. We hypothesise this may be due to lower levels of smoke aerosols in the atmosphere.

How to cite: Flegrova, M. and Brindley, H.: Two decades of fire-induced albedo change and associated radiative effect over sub-Saharan Africa, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13416,, 2024.

EGU24-14202 | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Evaluation of global fire simulations in CMIP6 Earth system models 

Fang Li, Xiang Song, Sandy Harrison, and Zhongda Lin

       Fire is the primary form of terrestrial ecosystem disturbance globally and a critical Earth system process. So far, most Earth system models (ESMs) have incorporated fire modeling, with 19 out of them submitted fire simulations to the CMIP6. Transitioning from CMIP5 to CMIP6, much more models submitted fire simulations and the dominant fire scheme has evolved from GlobFIRM to the Li scheme. However, it remains unknown how well CMIP6 ESMs perform in fire simulations. This study provides the first comprehensive evaluation of CMIP6 fire simulations, through comparisons with multiple satellite-based datasets and the Reading Paleofire Database of global charcoal records (RPD).

        Our results show that most CMIP6 models simulate the global amounts of present-day burned area and fire carbon emissions within the range of satellite-based products, and reproduce observed major features of spatial pattern and seasonal cycle as well as the relationships of fires with precipitation and population density, except for models employing the GlobFIRM fire scheme. Additionally, most CMIP6 models can reproduce the response of interannual variability of tropical fires to ENSO, except for some models incorporating the SPITFIRE fire scheme. From 1850 to 2015, CMIP6 models generally agree with RPD, with some discrepancies in southern South America before 1920 and in temperate and eastern boreal North America, Europe, and boreal Asia after 1990. Compared with CMIP5, CMIP6 has solved the serious issues of CMIP5 which simulates the global burned area less than half of observations, fails to capture the high burned area fraction in Africa, and underestimates seasonal variability. CMIP6 fire carbon emissions simulations are also closer to RPD. However, CMIP6 models still fail to capture the present-day significant decline in observed global burned area and fire carbon emissions partly due to underestimation in anthropogenic fire suppression, and fail to reproduce the spring peak in NH mid-latitudes mainly due to an underestimation of crop fires. Based on our findings, we identify potential biases in fire and carbon projection based on CMIP6 models. We also provide suggestions for the fire scheme development, and bias correction methods when generating multi-source merged fire products.

How to cite: Li, F., Song, X., Harrison, S., and Lin, Z.: Evaluation of global fire simulations in CMIP6 Earth system models, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14202,, 2024.

EGU24-14446 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Wildland Fire Smoke and Emissions Tradeoff Decision Support 

Laurel Sindewald, Shawn Urbanski, Karin Riley, Christopher Eckerson, Alex Dye, and Rachel Houtmann

In 2023, 6,551 wildfires across Canada burned 184,961 km2 of the landscape—about 5% of Canadian forests—emitting nearly 480 megatonnes of carbon, with emissions leading to air quality warnings as far away as Washington DC, USA. In early June, the air quality index in New York City was over 400, and by mid-June, smoke plumes passed above Europe. As wildland fires of increasing severity occur with increasing frequency, driven by global climate change and decades of fire suppression, societies near and far from high-risk ecosystems face increased exposure to wildfire emissions that may have both acute and long-term health impacts. Prescribed fire interventions show promise for reducing the risk of large wildfires in fire-prone ecosystems, but implementing prescribed fire can be difficult, in part due to concerns about the potential health impacts of prescribed fire smoke on nearby communities. To provide decision support for land managers aiming to reduce wildfire risk with prescribed fire treatments, we will produce a geospatial database of daily pollutant emissions and fire intensity from simulations of prescribed and wildland fires over a 20-year period for: 1) a baseline scenario of no management actions, 2) one or more scenarios of prescribed fire locations and timing based on interaction with tribes and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (OWNF) managers, and 3) scenarios of prescribed fire locations and timing based on fire paths, locations of highly valued resources, areas available and suitable for treatment, determined by the research team. We can accomplish this by iterating between FSim, the Large Fire Simulator, which stochastically simulates large wildfire ignition and spread across a LANDFIRE fuels landscape, and FFE-FVS, the Forest Vegetation Simulator with the Fire and Fuels Extension, which simulates post-fire regeneration, forest growth, management actions including prescribed fire, fuel dynamics, and fuel consumption and pollutant emissions from prescribed fires and wildfires. Because FSim takes a Monte Carlo approach, simulating fires over 10,000 or more hypothetical fire seasons comprised of daily weather sequences, we will be able to estimate the probability of each landscape pixel burning in a wildfire and the conditional probability of that pixel burning at different flame lengths, allowing us to provide emissions estimates within a risk-assessment framework for managers. The framework will allow land managers to quantify the likelihood that smoke impacts from near-term prescribed fire treatments will be offset by reductions in severe smoke events from future wildfires. Additionally, the smoke event geospatial datasets may provide input into atmospheric transport models which could be used to simulate regional to national scale smoke impacts. We will pilot the project in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington, USA, working with the forest’s managers to design fuel treatment scenarios that will yield realistic fire occurrence trajectories and emission estimates to inform near-term prescribed fire operations. As a U.S. Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Research & Development “proof of concept” project, the Wildland Fire Smoke and Emissions Tradeoff Decision Support project will inform U.S. Forest Service management policy and strategy around the use of prescribed fire in other National Forests in the U.S.

How to cite: Sindewald, L., Urbanski, S., Riley, K., Eckerson, C., Dye, A., and Houtmann, R.: Wildland Fire Smoke and Emissions Tradeoff Decision Support, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14446,, 2024.

EGU24-14748 | ECS | Posters virtual | BG1.1

Reconstructing human-fire-vegetation inter-relationships in a protected dry tropical forest, Mudumalai National Park, southern India 

Prabhakaran Ramya Bala, Nithin Kumar, Diptimayee Behera, Anoop Ambili, and Raman Sukumar

Tropical dry forests are recognized globally as the first frontier of human land-use change, due to multiple factors that make them amenable to human occupation, especially with the use of fire. However, in southern India, biodiversity ‘hotspots’ with human habitation are not uncommon with a long-term co-existence of humans in pristine environments. This points to the need for more accurate evidence-based (using charcoal, pollen, phytoliths) understanding of if, when and how land use and land cover changes impact regional vegetation-fire relationships. We reconstruct the environmental history for Mudumalai National Park, a fire-prone dry forest with >30% of the park subject to annual fires and a west-to-east rainfall-vegetation gradient. We examined a 150 cm sediment profile from an excavation in a seasonal wetland in the wettest part. The record spans 1200 years in time (bracketing radiocarbon dates) with very low macrocharcoal counts (mean - 4), with highest numbers in the surface and near-surface layers. Molecular fire proxies Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also found present - Phenanthrene (Phe), Anthracene (Ant), Fluoranthene (Fl), Pyrene (Py), Benzo[ghi]fluoranthene (Bghi), Benz[a]anthracene (BaA), Chrysene (Chr), Benzo(b)fluoranthene (BbF), Benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF), Benzo[e]pyrene (BeP), Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), and Perylene (Pry). Notably, Fl, Py, Bghi, BbF, BaA,and BeP constituted 90% of the total concentrations. Diagnostic ratios of PAHs for source determination pointed at a pyrogenic source consistently across all samples. Paleovegetation proxies n-alkanes (C14-C33) were analyzed and the average chain length (ACL) showed a transition towards higher chain lengths towards the surface indicating a change towards grass sources (C31, C33) in addition to woody biomass-derived compounds (C27, C29). Further analysis to characterize the human-fire-vegetation relationships is underway and to our knowledge, as the first report from a protected forest in India, our study offers critical insights for forest fire management in forested landscapes.

How to cite: Ramya Bala, P., Kumar, N., Behera, D., Ambili, A., and Sukumar, R.: Reconstructing human-fire-vegetation inter-relationships in a protected dry tropical forest, Mudumalai National Park, southern India, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14748,, 2024.

EGU24-14762 | Orals | BG1.1

Climate change has increased fire PM2.5 and its associated health burden 

Chaeyeon Park, Kiyoshi Takahashi, Shinichiro Fujimori, Thanapat Jansakoo, Chantelle Burton, Huilin Huang, Sian Kou-Giesbrecht, Christopher Reyer, Matthias Mengel, and Eleanor Burke

Climate change has influenced fire activities, altering the fire risk associated with air pollution and human health. However, the specific contribution of climate change to fire risks on air pollution and health burden has not yet been discovered. In this study, three fire-vegetation models were employed to simulate fire aerosol emissions under two simulations over the past six decades: an observation climate scenario and a counterfactual scenario where the long-term climate change trend is removed. Combining fire aerosol emissions with a chemical transport model and an avoidable mortality risk model, we calculated global fire PM2.5 and its associated mortality. By comparing the results under the two simulations, we demonstrated the climate change has increased the fire PM2.5 and its mortality. The findings indicated an increase in fire mortality over the six decades: 46,401 in the 1960s and 98,748 in the 2010s, with 3-8% attributed to climate change. Clear relationships were observed between the contribution of climate change to fire mortality and relative humidity or air temperature in some regions. This suggests that fire risks in these regions are sensitive to climate change and necessitate the development of adaptation strategies to mitigate risks in the future.  

How to cite: Park, C., Takahashi, K., Fujimori, S., Jansakoo, T., Burton, C., Huang, H., Kou-Giesbrecht, S., Reyer, C., Mengel, M., and Burke, E.: Climate change has increased fire PM2.5 and its associated health burden, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14762,, 2024.

EGU24-14891 | Orals | BG1.1

Fire hazard trajectories under climate change and management scenarios 

Marcos Rodrigues, Pere Gelabert, Teresa Lamelas, Raúl Hoffrén, Juan de la Riva, Darío Domingo, Cristina Vega-García, Paloma Ibarra, Aitor Ameztegui, and Lluís Coll

In this work we showcase the in-progress results from the FirePATHS project (PID2020-116556RA-I00). The project aims to assess the evolution of fire danger under different emission and forest management scenarios through the explicit interaction of the climate-vegetation-fire system. For this purpose, a methodological framework combining different simulation models of the elements of this system is proposed. The core of the process lies in the modeling of vegetation dynamics at stand scale according to different trajectories of climatic evolution to characterize the state and typology of fuels and the subsequent simulation of potential fire behavior during the 21st century.

We analyzed a set of 114 Pinus halepensis plots, surveyed in the field during 2017;  68 plots burned during the summer of 1994 and 46 unburned control stands. We used the medfate model to simulate forest functioning and dynamics, which provides the necessary fuel model parameters to be entered into fire behavior models (Fuel Characteristics Classification System, implemented in medfate as well). The combination of these two approaches provides time-varying estimates of fire behavior metrics (e.g., flame length or rate of spread). The simulation was conducted under SSP climate scenarios (SSP 126, 245, 370 and 585) depicting different levels of climate warming, vegetation dynamics and, hence, fire danger. Likewise, we devised a set of forest management prescriptions aimed at reducing climate vulnerability of tree communities and reducing extreme wildfire potentials. A baseline scenario with no management was also assessed.

We observed very contrasting trajectories between burned and control stands, with the first leading to increasing fuel loads, except in SSP 585. Fire potentials depicted a significant increase in surface fire behavior, with adaptive and mitigation management being able to mitigate it to some extent.

How to cite: Rodrigues, M., Gelabert, P., Lamelas, T., Hoffrén, R., de la Riva, J., Domingo, D., Vega-García, C., Ibarra, P., Ameztegui, A., and Coll, L.: Fire hazard trajectories under climate change and management scenarios, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14891,, 2024.

EGU24-15398 | Posters on site | BG1.1

Effects of recent increase in anomalous fires and smokes at high latitude regions on regional atmosphere 

Kwon-Ho Lee, Kwanchul Kim, and Dasom Lee

Spatiotemporal patterns and trends of atmospheric aerosols in high latitude region have been analyzed. Aerosol observation data from 2000-2022 acquired from the earth observing satellites including the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), or geostationary satellites such as the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-2A (GK-2A) . Results showed that Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) over the high latitude region has gradually decreased before 2016. However, AOT has increased significantly over the past 8 years. This increase was clearly shown in North America and North Asia, and was associated with an increase with fire activities. Smoke plumes originated from fire active fires transported eastward with meteorology, but occasionally moved toward the Arctic region. The occurrence of fires and the production and transport of aerosols will be a consequence or factor of the recent rapid climate change.

Acknowledgement: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2019R1I1A3A01062804).


How to cite: Lee, K.-H., Kim, K., and Lee, D.: Effects of recent increase in anomalous fires and smokes at high latitude regions on regional atmosphere, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15398,, 2024.

EGU24-15436 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

Investigation of spatiotemporal variability in South American wildfire emissions and its impacts on CO concentrations 

Maria Paula Velasquez Garcia, Richard Pope, Steven Turnock, and Martyn Chipperfield

Wildfires in South America are a significant concern, causing high emissions and deforestation rates. They affect air quality, radiation balance, and sensitive ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest. Wildfires are expected to intensify with future land use and climate changes, making it crucial to enhance decision-making tools. Models of atmospheric composition, combined with wildfire emissions inventories, support decision-making by simulating events and their impacts on air quality. There are currently a range of wildfire/biomass burning emission inventories, which all use different approaches. This can lead to substantial differences in estimated emissions and thus impacts on atmospheric composition estimation.  This study aims to assess four inventories (2004-2022) in South America: Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED), Fire INventory from NCAR (FINN), Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) and Brazilian Biomass Burning Emission Model (3BEM-FRP), focussing on carbon monoxide (CO) given its relatively large emission and complementary satellite missions retrieving atmospheric CO. Our results analyse the temporal consistency in the emission seasonal cycles from the inventories and quantify the spatial agreement/differences between them. We also exploit the Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) retrieved CO to assess the links between emission inventory tendencies with that of the atmospheric temporal evolution. Finally, we use an offline version of the INteractive Fire and Emission algoRithm for Natural envirOnments (INFERNO) model, within the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) framework to investigate simulated skill of emissions of CO against the observational constraints above as INFERNO is the fire model of choice in the UK Earth System Model (UKESM).

How to cite: Velasquez Garcia, M. P., Pope, R., Turnock, S., and Chipperfield, M.: Investigation of spatiotemporal variability in South American wildfire emissions and its impacts on CO concentrations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15436,, 2024.

EGU24-15518 | Posters on site | BG1.1

Integrating stakeholders’ opinion in land management to build climate resilience in the context of fire risk 

Valentina Bacciu, José Costa Saura, Grazia Pellizzaro, Bachisio Arca, Pierpaolo Duce, Donatella Spano, and Costantino Sirca

The Mediterranean region, already a climate change hotspot, is experiencing milder winters, hotter and drier summers, and increased extreme weather events, leading to longer fire seasons and increasing fire impacts. The socio-economic consequences of wildfires are significant, including the loss of human lives, infrastructure, and economic activity. Additionally, wildfires contribute significantly to climate change, accounting for up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Climate change is expected to worsen these conditions in the near future.

Given these circumstances, it is necessary to accelerate the transition towards the implementation of integrated and holistic fire management approaches aligned with future hazards. In the framework of The HUT project (The Human-Tech Nexus - Building a Safe Haven to cope with Climate Extremes), financed by the Horizon Europe program, the "Ogliastra-DEM8" case study (located in Sardinia, Italy) is aimed at responding to this necessity.

In particular, the main objective of The HUT is to mitigate the effects of climate-related events, by integrating and leveraging best practices and successful multi-disciplinary experiences and focusing on the prevention and preparedness phases of the disaster risk management cycle. In this context, the specific aim of the "Ogliastra-DEM8" case study is to provide the scientific/knowledge base needed to help policymakers and decision-makers defining adaptation and mitigation strategies that are effective in reducing fire impacts and associated costs in the short to medium-term under a changing climate. Towards this end, innovative tools (e.g., fire simulators, catastrophe insurance products, nature-based solutions) and stakeholder engagement, including participatory methods, will be developed.

This work presents the first phase of the work aimed at evaluating enablers and barriers to multi-hazard/systemic risk reduction by (i) reviewing the literature from other projects based in Sardinia, (ii) mapping and engaging stakeholders during an initial round of workshops, and (iii) debating fire-smart land management and adaptation options. Preliminary results indicate key barriers such as stakeholder conflicts, administrative silos, lack of political will, and funding complexities. All these elements contributed to varying degrees to the lack of a comprehensive approach towards integrated and sustainable management of the entire territory. On the other hand, enablers include stakeholder engagement, evidence of performance and co-benefits, and community awareness.

Further work will integrate stakeholder opinions into fire exposure and risk mapping under climate change conditions, with the goal of selecting and co-designing with them which fire-smart land management and adaptation options can be applied and where to protect the most important and vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

How to cite: Bacciu, V., Costa Saura, J., Pellizzaro, G., Arca, B., Duce, P., Spano, D., and Sirca, C.: Integrating stakeholders’ opinion in land management to build climate resilience in the context of fire risk, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15518,, 2024.

EGU24-16087 | Posters on site | BG1.1

Assessing post-fire soil erosion and water contamination risk in European fire-affected catchmentswith WEPPcloud-EU WATAR watershed model 

Jonay Neris, Carmen Sánchez-García, Marta Basso, Roger Lew, Anurag Srivastava, Mariana Dobre, Pete Robichaud, Erin Brooks, Cristina Santin, and Stefan Doerr

Soil and ash are key sources of sediment, carbon, nitrogen, and associated pollutant movement following a wildfire. Their transport into freshwater systems can pose severe environmental and socio-economic implications including impacts to water quality and aquatic ecosystems, disruptions to drinking water supply and high remediation costs, as well as the depletion of carbon and nutrients from areas affected by erosion. We assessed the risk of soil erosion, ash and contaminant transport, and water contamination in three burned European catchments in Central Europe (Germany and the Czech Republic), Portugal and Spain using the European Water Erosion Prediction Project cloud interface with the Wildfire Ash Transport and Risk (WEPPcloud-EU WATAR) watershed model. The watersheds varied in size from 100 to 22,000 ha and represent distinct climatic conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first application of this model in European post-fire scenarios. We calibrated and validated the model using catchment runoff data (where available) and nearby streamflow data from both pre- and post-fire periods when runoff data was unavailable. Additionally, we used sediment transport data (where available) along with ash contaminant content data to calibrate and validate erosion and ash transport rates. Model performance was assessed using statistics like Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE), coefficient of determination (R2) and percent bias (PBias (%)). Once the model was calibrated and validated, we estimated the post-fire risk of soil erosion, ash transport, and ash pollutant concentrations in the affected areas. The simulations provided the probabilities of occurrence and return periods for severe erosion events, as well as for ash and contaminant transport events. Based on these simulations, we identified hillslopes that were the main sources of runoff, erosion, ash and contaminant transport. This information is important to managers who can prioritize the application of mitigation treatments and prevention plans. Given the projected increase in fire weather in many regions in Europe, our findings suggest that the WEPPcloud-EU WATAR model is an increasingly useful tool in predicting and mitigating soil erosion and water contamination impacts of European burnt catchments.

How to cite: Neris, J., Sánchez-García, C., Basso, M., Lew, R., Srivastava, A., Dobre, M., Robichaud, P., Brooks, E., Santin, C., and Doerr, S.: Assessing post-fire soil erosion and water contamination risk in European fire-affected catchmentswith WEPPcloud-EU WATAR watershed model, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16087,, 2024.

EGU24-16263 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Fire, permafrost, and people: Late Holocene fire regimes and their impacts on lake systems in Yakutia, Siberia 

Ramesh Glückler, Elisabeth Dietze, Stefan Kruse, Andrei Andreev, Boris K. Biskaborn, Evgenii S. Zakharov, Izabella Baisheva, Amelie Stieg, Shiro Tsuyuzaki, Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring, Luidmila A. Pestryakova, and Ulrike Herzschuh

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the coldest permanently inhabited region on Earth, is characterized by unique ecological relationships between larch forest, permafrost, and wildfires. Together, they can stabilize each other, preserving the larch-dominated biome. Abundant lakes have important cultural and subsistence-related functions and are dynamically connected to warming permafrost processes. Recently intensified wildfire seasons, however, raised questions regarding the causes and impacts of long-term (centennial to millennial) fire regime changes. Despite recent progress, eastern Siberia is still sparsely covered by reconstructions of long-term fire history. This also limits any evaluation of fire regime impacts on permafrost lake development and catchment erosion. Past studies have shown the benefit of combining paleoecological fire reconstructions with geochemical data to shed light on fire regime changes and their impacts on lake catchments, as well as traces of potential human land use.

We present nine new records of Late Holocene wildfire activity, based on macroscopic charcoal in lake sediments (including information on charcoal particle sizes, morphologies, and length to width ratios), accompanied by sediment geochemistry data from high-resolution XRF core scanning. The studied lakes are located in the Lena-Amga interfluve of the Central Yakutian Lowlands, the Verkhoyansk Mountains, and the Oymyakon Highlands. The new data cover both thermokarst and glacial lakes, and a range from remote to rural settings and low to high elevations. Charcoal concentration in the lowland lakes is on average three times as high as in the highland lakes. Contrary to our hypothesis, charcoal concentration in most lakes is negatively correlated to many XRF-derived lithogenic elements indicating detrital input from catchment erosion (e.g., Ti, K). Reminiscent of earlier findings [1], multiple lowland sites share a signal of sharply decreasing biomass burning around 1300 CE. This coincides with the initial settlement of the Sakha people and increased catchment erosion. The new fire reconstructions allow for the evaluation of potential human impacts on past fire regime changes in Yakutia, while improving the region’s representation in global synthesis studies.

[1]  Glückler R. et al. (2021): Wildfire history of the boreal forest of south-western Yakutia (Siberia) over the last two millennia documented by a lake-sediment charcoal record. Biogeosciences 18 (13): 4185–4209.

How to cite: Glückler, R., Dietze, E., Kruse, S., Andreev, A., Biskaborn, B. K., Zakharov, E. S., Baisheva, I., Stieg, A., Tsuyuzaki, S., Stoof-Leichsenring, K., Pestryakova, L. A., and Herzschuh, U.: Fire, permafrost, and people: Late Holocene fire regimes and their impacts on lake systems in Yakutia, Siberia, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16263,, 2024.

EGU24-16293 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Global atmospheric impacts of aerosols emitted from the 2023 Canadian wildfires 

Iulian-Alin Rosu, Matt Kasoar, Eirini Boletti, Mark Parrington, and Apostolos Voulgarakis

Wildfires are a central but relatively unexplored component of the Earth system. Severe wildfire events can lead to intense destruction of both nature and property, as was the case during the anomalously intense 2023 Canadian wildfire event. Last year, approximately 5% of the total forest area of Canada burned [1] [2], which is the highest wildfire damage Canada has ever sustained [1].

Conditions pertaining to climate change and modifications in atmospheric conditions are considered to be responsible for this record series of wildfires [3]. Increasing mean temperatures and decreasing humidity in the region has exacerbated wildfire risk. Carbon emissions from the 2023 Canadian wildfires have been the highest on record [4], including large amounts of carbonaceous aerosol which can exert substantial atmospheric radiative forcing. Also, Canadian fire emissions contributed around 20% of global emissions from vegetation fires. Thus, beyond the well-known health risks of wildfire emission compounds, it is important to also study the consequences of these emissions on large-scale atmospheric composition and meteorological behavior.

In this work, the global and regional atmospheric impact of the previously mentioned series of wildfires is investigated using the EC-Earth3 and UKESM1 earth system models. Simulated atmospheric conditions with and without the wildfire emissions, as provided by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS), are compared through atmospheric modelling in the context of the Canadian 2023 fire season. The investigation reveals the connections between the emissions produced by this series of wildfires and atmospheric phenomena of importance, such as large-scale circulation, temperature patterns, and precipitation.

[1] "Fire Statistics". Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Retrieved January 4, 2024.

[2] The State of Canada’s Forests: Annual Report 2022. Canadian Minister of Natural Resources.

[3] Barnes, Clair, et al. "Climate change more than doubled the likelihood of extreme fire weather conditions in eastern Canada." (2023).

[4] “Copernicus: Emissions from Canadian wildfires the highest on record – smoke plume reaches Europe”. Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Copernicus. Retrieved January 4, 2024.

How to cite: Rosu, I.-A., Kasoar, M., Boletti, E., Parrington, M., and Voulgarakis, A.: Global atmospheric impacts of aerosols emitted from the 2023 Canadian wildfires, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16293,, 2024.

EGU24-16592 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

Exploring the role of post-fire erosion as a carbon sink mechanism 

Antonio Girona-García, Diana Vieira, Stefan Doerr, and Cristina Santín

Wildfires release approximately 2.1 Pg C to the atmosphere each year. The impact of wildfires on the carbon cycle, however, extends well beyond direct emissions, involving complex interactions among various source and sink processes. One such process, the enhanced post-fire soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion, remains unquantified as a potential C sink mechanism. Post-fire SOC erosion functions as a C sink when the subsequent burial and stabilization of eroded C offsite, coupled with the recovery of net primary production and SOC content onsite, outweigh the C losses to the atmosphere during post-fire transport of SOC. In this work, we synthesize published data on post-fire SOC erosion and evaluate its overall potential to act as C sink. In addition, we estimate its magnitude at continental scale following the 2017 wildfire season in Europe, showing that SOC erosion can indeed play a quantitatively significant role in the overall C balance of wildfires. 

How to cite: Girona-García, A., Vieira, D., Doerr, S., and Santín, C.: Exploring the role of post-fire erosion as a carbon sink mechanism, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16592,, 2024.

EGU24-16676 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1

Study of greenhouse gases emitted by biomass burnings with a decade of infrared observation of CO2 and CH4 by IASI 

Victor Bon, Cyril Crevoisier, and Virginie Capelle

Biomass burnings are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, impacting air quality, public health, climate, ecosystem dynamics, and land-atmosphere exchanges. In the tropics, South America represents about 10 % of the tropical emissions and present a large diversity of biomes and fire conditions. Over the last two decades, satellite observations have provided crucial information, notably via active fires detection, Fire Radiative Power (FRP) estimates and burned area (BA) measurements from imagers such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). Global inventories (e.g., GFED, GFAS, FEER, QFED, etc.) heavily rely on these satellite-derived indicators to estimate emissions from biomass burnings. However, emissions derived from these various models can significantly differ among them and large uncertainties persist regarding fire emissions, their variability, and their links with several drivers (e.g., type of combustion, vegetation, transport, etc.).

In this context, we propose a novel approach to estimate emissions from biomass burnings by directly using greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere derived from spaceborne observations. Leveraging a decade of observations from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Radiometer (IASI) on-board the three Metop satellites, we have access to an unprecedented spatial coverage of global mid-tropospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations twice a day (9:30 AM/PM LT). From this dataset, we developed the Daily Tropospheric Excess (DTE) method, which is based on the use of the diurnal cycle of biomass burnings and the vertical transport of their emissions to link the observed diurnal variations of the mid-tropospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations to burnings activities.

We will demonstrate the relevance of the DTE for analyzing CO2 and CH4 emissions from various type of burnings, biomes, and human activities across South America. This will be achieved by comparing DTE with existing indices of fire characteristics such as FRP and BA from MODIS/SUOMI satellite observations, alongside global emissions databases like GFED and GFAS. Globally, we will show that their spatial distribution, seasonal intensity, and interannual variability are consistent with each other, even if some differences have been found and will be discussed. Additionally, geostationary data from GOES-R, MSG, and Himawari-8 satellites will be used to analyze the impact of observation times on the differences observed between the various datasets and the DTE.

How to cite: Bon, V., Crevoisier, C., and Capelle, V.: Study of greenhouse gases emitted by biomass burnings with a decade of infrared observation of CO2 and CH4 by IASI, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16676,, 2024.

EGU24-17593 | Orals | BG1.1

Effect of combustion conditions on aerosol particle emissions from savanna and grassland fires 

Ville Vakkari, Angela Buchholz, Liqing Hao, Mika Ihalainen, Kerneels Jaars, Kajar Köster, Viet Le, Pasi Miettinen, Arya Mukherjee, Saara Peltokorpi, Iida Pullinen, Stefan J. Siebert, Olli Sippula, Markus Somero, Lejish Vettikkat, Annele Virtanen, Pasi Yli-Pirilä, Arttu Ylisirniö, and Pieter G. van Zyl

Fire is an integral part of savanna and grassland biomes and globally approximately half of landscape fire emissions originate from savannas and grasslands. Emissions of trace gases and aerosol particles from landscape fires are characterised by emission factors (EFs), which denote the amount of emitted substance per mass of combusted biomass. EFs vary depending on both the biomass that is consumed in the fire and the combustion characteristics of the fire, i.e. the ratio of flaming to smouldering combustion. However, emission inventories tend to use only one average EF for each biome.

Here, we use a set of 27 laboratory experiments to characterise the effect of combustion characteristics on submicron aerosol EFs from savanna and grassland biomass acquired from South Africa as well as boreal forest floor samples from Finland. Combustion experiments were carried out at the ILMARI facility in Kuopio, Finland from May to June 2022 under an open stack mimicking natural burning and dilution. Sample was injected into a 29 m3 environmental chamber for ageing studies. Chemical and physical properties of both fresh and aged smoke were observed with a host of instruments including e.g. AMS, FIGAERO-CIMS, VOCUS, SP2 and SMPS. The ratio of flaming to smouldering combustion was characterised by modified combustion efficiency (MCE), i.e. CO2/(CO2+CO).

The increase of organic aerosol EF with increasing smouldering fraction (i.e. decreasing MCE) was very similar for both the grassland and savanna combustion experiments. Surprisingly, also the boreal forest floor EFs closely follow the same trend, where smouldering-dominated combustion EFs are more than 10 times higher than EFs for flaming combustion. We observed also that the submicron aerosol particle size distribution shifts towards larger sized particles with increasing smouldering fraction. Furthermore, both the number and the mass of the size distribution cannot be fully characterised with a single log-normal size distribution, which needs to be considered when converting mass emissions into number size distribution in simulations.

How to cite: Vakkari, V., Buchholz, A., Hao, L., Ihalainen, M., Jaars, K., Köster, K., Le, V., Miettinen, P., Mukherjee, A., Peltokorpi, S., Pullinen, I., Siebert, S. J., Sippula, O., Somero, M., Vettikkat, L., Virtanen, A., Yli-Pirilä, P., Ylisirniö, A., and van Zyl, P. G.: Effect of combustion conditions on aerosol particle emissions from savanna and grassland fires, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17593,, 2024.

EGU24-17935 | Posters on site | BG1.1

The FLARE Workshop perspective on Fire’s Role in the Carbon Cycle 

Chantelle Burton, Stephen Plummer, Noah Liguori-Bills, Morgane Perron, Douglas Kelley, Miriam Morrill, Boris Vannière, Joanne Hall, Stijn Hantson, Matthias Forkel, Christoph Völker, Kebonye Dintwe, Cristina Santin, Jessie Thoreson, Benjamin Poulter, Matthew Jones, and Douglas Hamilton

Fire substantially influences and modulates the global carbon cycle through numerous processes, interactions, and feedbacks. Fires are also strongly intertwined with human activities; people act both as drivers of change through ignitions, suppression, land-cover change, prescribed burning, and climate change, and are affected in return by changes in fire regimes. 

Despite fire’s many complex interactions throughout the Earth System, it is often viewed only as a destructive process, and one that solely acts as a source of atmospheric carbon. In terms of fire’s carbon budget, the release of carbon only represents the very initial stages of the process, missing the drivers and complex ways in which fire shapes plant species evolution and ecosystem trajectories, nutrient cycling and redistribution, carbon allocation, deposition and sequestration over different spatiotemporal scales. Therefore, there is a clear need to fully understand the role of fire in the Earth System holistically. However, different aspects of fire’s role in the carbon cycle are often studied by different communities and disciplines, hindering this much-needed integrated understanding. 

Through the Fire Learning AcRoss the Earth Systems (FLARE) workshop (September 2023) we brought together fire scientists across multiple disciplines to facilitate transdisciplinary discussion. We propose that the visualization of fire processes as carbon colours across the Earth System can be a thematic tool for unifying disciplines. It explores all aspects of fire and smoke implications for living systems and opens questions about fire’s role in carbon budgets, afforestation, and climate change and related mitigation strategies. We also identified several scientific challenges for the community where, by working together, we can address some fundamental questions for fire’s role in the carbon cycle, such as: What is the contribution of fire and of individual fire events to the global carbon cycle? How do changes in fire regimes influence ecosystem stability across different timescales? How do future changes in fire regimes influence global climate, allowable emissions and carbon budgets, and temperature mitigation ambitions? In this presentation, we explore how we can bring a more interdisciplinary approach to fire science to address these fundamental questions.

How to cite: Burton, C., Plummer, S., Liguori-Bills, N., Perron, M., Kelley, D., Morrill, M., Vannière, B., Hall, J., Hantson, S., Forkel, M., Völker, C., Dintwe, K., Santin, C., Thoreson, J., Poulter, B., Jones, M., and Hamilton, D.: The FLARE Workshop perspective on Fire’s Role in the Carbon Cycle, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17935,, 2024.

EGU24-18169 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1 | Highlight

What makes a fire grow extremely large? 

Rebecca Scholten, Tirtha Banerjee, Yang Chen, Ajinkya Desai, Tianjia Liu, Douglas Morton, Sander Veraverbeke, and James Randerson

Wildfires are an important disturbance in global ecosystems and are a critical driver of trends in the land carbon budget. Fire is an extreme phenomenon, with the largest burned area often occurring during extreme fire seasons generating large fires. Days with fire conditions conducive to fire ignition and spread are increasing in a warming climate in many regions of the world, contributing to increases in fire occurrence and annual burned area. However, the climate, fuel, and weather conditions that lead to extremely large fires in different biomes are poorly understood.

Here, we explore the temporal evolution of extremely large fires in temperate and boreal regions using new satellite-derived fire event tracking datasets optimized to match higher resolution time series of fire progression from aircraft and other sources. We aimed to understand the specific environmental conditions required for the development of a large fire. Our analysis revealed a disproportionate impact of multiple fire ignitions in creating large fires through merging. Our findings suggest that the largest fires in both biomes may be commonly created through multiple fires growing together. We hypothesize that a combination of physical and anthropogenic factors may accelerate merging, making these fires extremely difficult to contain and more robust to environmental controls regulating extinction. In our analysis, we use the Fire Events Database, the Arctic-boreal Fire Atlas, and GOFER, which enable attribution of ignition sources. Our analysis may contribute to an improved understanding of the influence of large-scale lightning storms in creating extremely large and destructive fire events.

How to cite: Scholten, R., Banerjee, T., Chen, Y., Desai, A., Liu, T., Morton, D., Veraverbeke, S., and Randerson, J.: What makes a fire grow extremely large?, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18169,, 2024.

EGU24-18811 | Posters virtual | BG1.1

Taking advantage of satellite data, large datasets of fire records and cloud computing for modelling potential fire severity useful for better assess fire risk 

José Maria Costa Saura, Valentina Bacciu, Donatella Spano, and Costantino Sirca

Fire risk analyses, usually focused on fire hazard (i.e. the probability of fire occurrence), often neglect an important issue such as the sensitivity/vulnerability (i.e., the degree of potential damage, sensus IPCC) of different locations within the area of interest.  Such lack of consideration comes from past data processing constrains that limited fire severity studies to analyse only single or few fire events. Nowadays, online data repositories and processing platforms (e.g. Google Earth Engine) allow to easily integrate and process a vast amount of data from multiple sources that might prove useful for developing tailored tools for decision making. Here, we present an example for predicting potential fire severity based on the analysis of more than 1 000 fire events from southern France and western Italy which integrates climate, topographical and remote sensing variables. Furthermore, we assessed if the model “used” the explanatory variables under a meaningful biophysical sense.   Using the random forest algorithm and the relativized difference of the Normalized Burn Ratio (rdNBR) as proxy of fire severity, we reach to explain up to 75% of the variability in the data with most of the variables showing a clear and interpretable effect. Our results suggests that this type of approach might prove useful for better address fire risk assessments.

How to cite: Costa Saura, J. M., Bacciu, V., Spano, D., and Sirca, C.: Taking advantage of satellite data, large datasets of fire records and cloud computing for modelling potential fire severity useful for better assess fire risk, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18811,, 2024.

EGU24-18894 | ECS | Posters virtual | BG1.1

Mapping open burning of agricultural residues from Earth Observations 

Eduardo Oliveira, João Gata, Diogo Lopes, Leonardo Disperati, Carla Gama, and Bárbara Silva

Agricultural residue burning is a common practice in various regions of the world, which may have several environmental impacts, including on air quality, and the potential for triggering wildfires. In Portugal, this practice is particularly prevalent during the wet season, spanning from October to April. It involves open field burning of pruning residues and extensive burning to clear shrubbery, creating pastures for livestock. This research, conducted within the framework of the PRUNING project - Mapping open burning of agricultural residues from Earth Observations and modelling of air quality impacts- aims to explore the potential for detecting such events through satellite remote sensing.

The primary focus of this study is to assess the limitations of satellite remote sensing detection, with the overarching aim of integrating these findings into a systematic monitoring framework for open burning of agricultural residues. Additionally, the study aims to predict pollutant emissions and assess their impacts on air quality, providing valuable insights for environmental management and sustainable agricultural practices.

To achieve this goal, an in-depth analysis of known burning events was conducted using infrared thermal sensors. Multiple products, including Fire Radiative Power and fire masks from various sensors (e.g., MODIS, VIIRS, and Sentinel 3), were employed to characterize these known open field burning events. The results of this work allow verifying the tradeoffs effects associated with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions for each sensor, elucidating their impacts on the precision and accuracy of event detections. In parallel, this study evaluated the accuracy of the MINDED-FBA method in characterizing these known events. This automatic detection method, allows incorporating data from higher spatial resolution sensors (e.g., Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Landsat), for determining the extent of burned areas through multiple multispectral indices. In this context, the MINDED-FBA method may also be used to validate thermal anomalies detection products. Finally, the results of this work have also been compared to a national level register database of open burning, provided by the ICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests).

How to cite: Oliveira, E., Gata, J., Lopes, D., Disperati, L., Gama, C., and Silva, B.: Mapping open burning of agricultural residues from Earth Observations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18894,, 2024.

EGU24-18941 | Orals | BG1.1

Arctic peat fire emissions estimated from satellite observations of fire radiative power 

Johannes Kaiser, Kerstin Stebel, Philipp Schneider, and Vincent Huijnen

Exceptional wildfire activity occurred in the Arctic during the last years due to pronounced heat episodes. The Arctic has an abundance of peat and soils with organic content. When peat is burnt, the carbon flux into the atmosphere is virtually irreversible and this process may become of global significance for Arctic fires. Furthermore, smoke from smoldering fires (below-ground, peat) has a different chemical composition than smoke from flaming fires. It is therefore important to distinguish peat fires and above-ground, potentially flaming fires in fire emission estimation.

The operational Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) is tracking global fire activity and emissions with its Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) as a near-real time service. GFAS uses satellite-based observations of fire radiative power (FRP), which links observed thermal radiation directly to the biomass combustion rate, i.e. amount of biomass burnt and corresponding emission of carbon into the atmosphere, based on satellite retrievals from MODIS and VIIRS. 

Here, we present a partitioning of the Arctic fire activity represented in GFAS into smoldering below-ground and potentially flaming above-ground fires using two approaches: (1) masking the fire activity maps with published peat maps and (2) analysing the observed diurnal cycles of the fire activity at all locations. We subsequently apply adapted emission factors and compare the resulting emission estimates to the standard values produced by CAMS for carbon, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and aerosols.

Furthermore, we may confront the fire emission estimates with independent atmospheric smoke observations by feeding them into IFS-COMPO, which is used to generate hindcasts of atmospheric composition, including tropospheric columns of CO and NO2. This allows an evaluation of the estimated trace gas emissions, by comparing the model simulations to satellite retrievals of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. It thus provides an independent assessment of the estimated fire emissions, and, in turn, carbon flux.

How to cite: Kaiser, J., Stebel, K., Schneider, P., and Huijnen, V.: Arctic peat fire emissions estimated from satellite observations of fire radiative power, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18941,, 2024.

EGU24-18977 | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Global seasonality of small-scale livelihood fire 

Matthew Kasoar, Cathy Smith, Ol Perkins, James Millington, and Jayalaxshmi Mistry

Landscape fires are increasingly represented in dynamic global vegetation models to understand impacts on carbon emissions and climate. Deliberate human fire use and management influence landscape fire characteristics, varying in space and time depending on social, economic, and ecological factors. For example, fire is used variously in rural livelihoods involving e.g., agriculture, hunting, gathering, and for other cultural practices, often depending on the time of year. Yet existing global fire models typically represent human fire use as a constant function of gridded datasets such as population density or gross domestic product.

Recently, initiatives have begun to draw together available data on global fire use from across multiple disciplines and disparate sources into coherent databases. We draw on information from one of these databases, the Livelihood Fire Database (LIFE), which includes case studies in 587 locations worldwide, to assess the availability of data on seasonality of anthropogenic fires associated with small-scale rural livelihoods. By defining seasonal cycles relative to the local variation of precipitation and evapotranspiration at each case study location, we look for patterns in the spatiotemporal nature of anthropogenic fires associated with different fire-use purposes - such as clearing vegetation for agriculture, maintaining pasture for livestock, or driving game when hunting - and consider the potential for this analysis to inform fire models.

For many fire types, especially those related to hunting, gathering, human wellbeing, and social signalling, there are limited quantitative data available, but it is possible to draw qualitative insights from case studies. Where quantitative data are available, we find some correspondence between fire seasonality and the intended fire-use purpose, suggesting that distinguishing between distinct fire-use purposes could improve the representation of human fire use in fire models, and consequently the seasonal cycle of fire emissions. Case studies demonstrate that environmental and social conditions drive variation in fire use for the same purpose, reiterating that a wide range of factors influence human behaviour and that assumptions of uniform drivers of anthropogenic fire may be misleading. Many of the fires now being revealed in global burned area data by new fine-scale remote sensing products are likely human-set; continued collection, collation, and analyses of data on human fire use globally is important to ensure appropriate anthropogenic representation in fire models.

How to cite: Kasoar, M., Smith, C., Perkins, O., Millington, J., and Mistry, J.: Global seasonality of small-scale livelihood fire, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18977,, 2024.

EGU24-19223 | ECS | Posters virtual | BG1.1

Monitoring wildfires from satellite, integration in Copernicus services and characterizing atmospheric impacts from the regional to the global scales 

Dominika Leskow-Czyżewska, Stephan Bojinski, Julien Chimot, Andrea Meraner, Mark Parrington, and Federico Fierli

Satellite-borne observations offer the possibility to monitor wildfires and their impact worldwide. In addition, satellite products are increasingly used in early warning and forecasting systems for fire management. Europe is implementing a long-term and reliable observational programme and, within this frame, EUMETSAT, the European meteorological satellite operator, provides numerous observational products ranging from near-real-time wildfire identification (e.g. fire radiative power) to atmospheric impacts (e.g. major pollutants and smoke). 

Our presentation will focus on the satellite data value chain, e.g. the integration in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS). To do that, we will firstly present datasets addressing wildfires (e.g. Fire Radiative Power, atmospheric composition, and smoke) currently generated at EUMETSAT and its Satellite Applications Facility (SAF). We will also introduce upcoming (based on the Flexible Combined Imager on-board the Meteosat Third Generation) and future products (Sentinel-4 and 5), with an example of potential joint use for a past intense fire case in the Mediterranean (Greece, August 2023).  

We will then show the entire value chain, including how the data is used in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS), with an example on the recent intense and anomalous fire season in Canada (spring to summer 2023). This will show how distinct phases of wildfires management – from early warnings up to the impacts on yearly emissions – can be monitored with the synergy of satellite data and Copernicus forecast and analysis. Finally, we will touch also on the user support activities within EUMETSAT in this area. 

How to cite: Leskow-Czyżewska, D., Bojinski, S., Chimot, J., Meraner, A., Parrington, M., and Fierli, F.: Monitoring wildfires from satellite, integration in Copernicus services and characterizing atmospheric impacts from the regional to the global scales, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19223,, 2024.

EGU24-19330 | Orals | BG1.1

Burned Area Mapping with Sentinel-2 based on reflectance modelling and deep learning – preliminary global calibration and validation 

Marc Padilla, Ruben Ramo, Sergio Sierra, Bernardo Mota, Roselyne Lacaze, and Kevin Tansey

Current global burned area products are available at coarse spatial resolutions (300-500 m), what leads to large amounts of errors, hindering an accurate understanding of fire-related processes. This study proposes a global calibration method for a sensor-independent burned area algorithm, previously used with 300 m Sentinel-3 Synergy data, and here implemented with 20 m Sentinel-2 MSI imagery. A binomial model that combines reflectance-based burned area predictions constrained by spatio-temporal densities derived from VIIRS active fires is calibrated using a reference dataset generated from Landsat imagery at a sample of 34 units across the globe. Preliminary leave-one-out cross-validation analyses show promisingly high accuracies (Dice of coefficient of 84.8%, commission error ratio of 13.2%, omission error ratio of 17.1% and relative bias of -4.5%), especially taking into account the mismatch of acquisition dates between reference and algorithm input data, what introduces apparent errors on the validation results.

How to cite: Padilla, M., Ramo, R., Sierra, S., Mota, B., Lacaze, R., and Tansey, K.: Burned Area Mapping with Sentinel-2 based on reflectance modelling and deep learning – preliminary global calibration and validation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19330,, 2024.

EGU24-19716 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.1

"Fire impacts in the Cerrado: Integrating LiDAR and field data to monitor vegetation structure and post-fire recovery." 

Manoela Machado, Wesley da Cruz, Maria Antonia Carniello, Emily Sturdivant, Francisco Navarro-Rosales, Marcia Macedo, Wayne Walker, and Imma Oliveras Menor

Fire is a natural disturbance capable of altering plant distributions and community assemblages, influencing species evolution through the selection of traits and strategies, and affecting biogeochemical cycles. This powerful tool of landscape transformation can negatively impact even a fire-dependent ecosystem when natural fire regimes are altered. In recent times, interactions between human activities in the Cerrado (e.g., deforestation and intentional fires used to clear land), and a hotter and drier climate (due to climate change), have altered natural fire regimes causing more frequent and intense fire events, negatively impacting biodiversity, human health, and the regional climate. These fire-disturbed areas are widespread and highly vulnerable to future degradation from compounding disturbances, but they still harbour valuable biodiversity and carbon stocks that deserve protection and restoration. Monitoring the impacts of fire disturbance on vegetation structure and the potential pathways of recovery is critical to understand and protect resilient ecosystems under a rapidly changing climate. Robust monitoring requires the integration of modelled and field-based data tools and techniques. Field inventories alone are insufficient to capture the spatiotemporal variability of impacts of fire on native vegetation and should be coupled with remotely sensed data, among which, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is unparalleled in characterising 3-D vegetation structure. Thus, the combination of LiDAR and forest inventory data is ideally suited for scaling the impacts of fire on forest vegetation and associated carbon stocks. In this study, we are assessing key metrics of vegetation structure derived from a combination of LiDAR and field data collected at the Experimental Station Serra das Araras, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. This field site comprises Cerrado vegetation that has been subject to three experimental fire treatments: every year, every two years, and every three years beginning in 2017, as well as fire suppression for over three decades. We are investigating whether key vegetation structural metrics can capture different fire treatments and identify spatial patterns of disturbance. We are also assessing if these patterns are different when comparing LiDAR data collected with a handheld scanner versus an airborne drone. This study aims to refine our methods and improve our understanding of vegetation structure responses across a gradient of fire disturbance regimes and potential post-fire recovery trajectories, which are key not only for ecological studies but also for emerging carbon markets – one of several mechanisms aimed at achieving climate change mitigation, conservation, and sustainable development outcomes. We hope to improve the process of carbon stock mapping in disturbed ecosystems and use the outputs to drive scenarios modelling at larger scales, providing a more comprehensive assessment of what future Cerrado carbon dynamics might look like under a range of possible disturbance/recovery dynamics.

How to cite: Machado, M., da Cruz, W., Carniello, M. A., Sturdivant, E., Navarro-Rosales, F., Macedo, M., Walker, W., and Oliveras Menor, I.: "Fire impacts in the Cerrado: Integrating LiDAR and field data to monitor vegetation structure and post-fire recovery.", EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19716,, 2024.

EGU24-20564 | ECS | Orals | BG1.1 | Highlight

Future global wildfire regimes under high and low climate mitigation efforts  

Olivia Haas, Colin Prentice, and Sandy P. Harrison

There is growing concern over future trajectories of burning on Earth. One the one hand, some regions have seen the emergence of large and novel wildfires, whilst satellite observations continue to show declining burnt area globally, most notably in the tropics. Quantifying the response of global wildfire regimes to future changes in especially challenging given that wildfires are driven by climate, vegetation, and human activities, and that these different factors may have contrasting and opposing effects.

Using global empirical models of burnt area, fire size and fire intensity we explore the trajectory of future fire regimes under high and low climate change mitigation efforts. The models are driven by lightning ignitions, climate, vegetation properties, topography, and human factors. Making use of a set of sensitivity analysis, we show a global shift in wildfire patterns by the end of the 21st century even with warming kept below 1.5°. Burning will generally be reduced in tropical regions but larger and more intense wildfires will occur in extra-tropical regions. Under low mitigation, increases in burnt area worldwide overwhelm the human-driven decline, with up to a 60% increase in burnt area by the end of the century. However, fire size and intensity will be increasingly limited by dryness and vegetation fragmentation.

These results suggest that even under high climate change mitigation, fire management strategies must urgently be revised as current fire-suppression policies will no longer be effective in much of the world. Regional-level fire management, led by local stakeholders, should be encouraged. Wildfire risk and management must also be incorporated into mitigation scenarios that rely on extending forest area if these mitigation scenarios want to remain realistic.

How to cite: Haas, O., Prentice, C., and Harrison, S. P.: Future global wildfire regimes under high and low climate mitigation efforts , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20564,, 2024.

EGU24-2140 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3 | Highlight

Enhanced methane concentrations measured over the Amazon rainforest 

Linda Ort, Lenard Lukas Röder, Peter Hoor, Jos Lelieveld, and Horst Fischer

Recently, global mean methane concentrations have increased strongly. Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases and plays a key role in atmospheric chemistry. Especially, due to its long lifetime of approx. 10 years and its significant effect on Earth’s climate change, a detailed knowledge of its source regions and their temporal evolution is crucial.

In this study, we present a unique data set of methane measured in situ over the Amazon rainforest region during the wet season in the CAFE Brazil (Chemistry of the Atmosphere Field Experiment) aircraft campaign from December 2022 to January 2023 in Manaus, Brazil. Methane was measured with an infrared quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer on board the High Altitude and LOng-range aircraft (HALO). These observations show enhanced concentrations of methane in and above the boundary layer of the Amazon rainforest. Locally, dry air mixing ratios of up to approx. 2100 ppbv could be measured up to 4 km of altitude. Detailed analysis shows only a small contribution from anthropogenic sources. Especially over permanent wetlands and deforested areas, the methane concentrations were enhanced. Furthermore, the data has been compared to satellite measurements from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), indicating good agreement in the free troposphere. Nevertheless, the mean levels directly above the Amazon rainforest are approx. 100 ppbv higher than the global background. Moreover, a global distribution based on airborne data from several campaigns (PHILEAS 2023, CAFE Brazil 2022/23, SouthTrac 2019, CAFE Africa 2018, WISE 2017, ATom 2016/17, OMO 2015, ESMVal 2012) shows that the methane surface concentrations over the Amazon rainforest has a local maximum. This calls for more detailed investigations of methane near the surface in the Amazon and raises an important question: Have we underestimated the Amazon rainforest as a significant source of the global methane budget?

How to cite: Ort, L., Röder, L. L., Hoor, P., Lelieveld, J., and Fischer, H.: Enhanced methane concentrations measured over the Amazon rainforest, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2140,, 2024.

Land and freshwater ecosystems play a significant role in affecting the global methane budget. With future warming, the increase of methane emissions could create large positive feedbacks to the global climate system.  We have used observation data of methane fluxes from diverse land and freshwater ecosystems to calibrate and evaluate extant land and freshwater biogeochemistry models of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) and the Arctic Lake Biogeochemistry Model (ALBM) to quantify the global methane emissions for the past few decades and the 21st century in a temporally and spatially explicit manner. Land ecosystems could emit methane from wetlands while uplands could uptake atmospheric methane. TEM simulates that global wetlands emissions are 212 ± 62 and 212 ± 32 Tg CH4 yr−1 due to uncertain parameters and wetland type distribution, respectively, during 2000–2012. After combining the global upland methane consumption of −34 to −46 Tg CH4 yr−1, we estimate that the global net land methane emissions are 149–176 Tg CH4 yr−1 due to uncertain wetland distribution and meteorological input. During 1950–2016, both wetland emissions and upland consumption increased during El Niño events and decreased during La Niña events. For freshwater ecosystems, we find that current emissions are 24.0 ± 8.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from lakes larger than 0.1 km2. Future projections under the RCP8.5 scenario suggest a 58–86% growth in emissions from lakes.  Warming enhanced methane oxidation in lake water can be an effective sink to reduce the net release from global lakes. Additionally, these studies identify the key biogeochemical and physical processes of controlling methane production, consumption, and transport in various hotspot emission regions.  We also highlight the need for more in situ methane flux data, more accurate wetland and lake type and their area distribution dynamics information to better constrain the quantification uncertainty of global biogenic methane emissions across the landscape.

How to cite: Zhuang, Q.: Quantifying global biogenic methane emissions from land and freshwater ecosystems across the landscape , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2178,, 2024.

EGU24-2479 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

The UFLUX ensemble of multiple-scale carbon, water, and energy fluxes. 

Songyan Zhu and Jian Xu

In light of the challenges posed by climate change, global governments, including the United Kingdom (UK), have committed to addressing and mitigating the impacts of climate change, emphasizing the pursuit of Net Zero objectives. The terrestrial ecosystems on a global scale, functioning as pivotal carbon reservoirs, assume a critical role in climate change mitigation, especially within the context of an imminent scenario marked by accelerated warming and drying conditions. Recognizing that the carbon sequestration capacity of ecosystems is intricately linked to their energy and water cycling dynamics, this study presents the Uniform FLUXes (UFLUX)-ensemble dataset ( that accurately quantifies carbon, water, and energy fluxes across ecosystems in a consistent and mutually comparable manner. The UFLUX ensemble, relying on the upscaling of in-situ eddy covariance (EC) tower measurements using satellite vegetation proxies and meteorology reanalysis, constitutes the methodological foundation of this research.

The UFLUX originated from our prior investigations into filling gaps in EC fluxes. This is due to the analogous nature of the procedures involved in flux gap-filling and upscaling, wherein both entail the interpolation/extrapolation of fluxes, albeit in the temporal and spatial domains, respectively. The fluxes in UFLUX are upscaled through the application of a uniform set of algorithms and environmental determinants, aiming to mitigate the sources of uncertainty. The UFLUX methodology has demonstrated effectiveness in capturing the global CO2 fertilization effect. Furthermore, it has exhibited resilience to agricultural management interventions and has adeptly captured flux variability at a high spatial resolution of 20 meters in southwest England. These accomplishments lay the groundwork for generating the UFLUX-ensemble dataset.

The resulting UFLUX-ensemble dataset incorporates 60 members considering specific advantages of multiple satellite and meteorology reanalysis products. Aligned with the Net Zero vision articulated by nations, and recognizing the imperative of addressing data storage requirements, the dataset is made available on three scales: 1) daily 100-m resolution for the UK, 2) half-yearly 100-m resolution for Europe, and 3) monthly 0.25°×0.25°resolution for the entire globe. This diverse data provision is designed to assist climate actions, particularly in countries grappling with specific socio-economic challenges. A rigorous technical validation underscores the merits of the UFLUX ensemble, demonstrating its ability to capture 0.8 % of the flux variability with errors amounting to 0.76 g C m-2 d-1 and 11.67 W m-2. The UFLUX-ensemble dataset serves as a valuable resource, offering insights to inform land management practices, including nature-based solutions, with the overarching objective of augmenting carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems and contributing to the realization of a carbon-neutral future.

How to cite: Zhu, S. and Xu, J.: The UFLUX ensemble of multiple-scale carbon, water, and energy fluxes., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2479,, 2024.

EGU24-2492 | Orals | BG1.3

Future CH4 budgets as modelled by a fully coupled Earth system model using prescribed GHG concentrations vs. interactive CH4 sources and sinks 

Ulas Im, Kostas Tsigaridis, Susanne Bauer, Sabine Eckhardt, Drew Shindell, Lise Lotte Sørensen, and Simon Wilson

We have used the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Earth system model GISS-E2.1 to study the future budgets and trends of global and regional CH4 under different emission scenarios. GISS-E2.1 is one of the few ESMs that can be driven by anthropogenic CH4 emissions, as well as interactive natural sources such as wetlands, and can simulate the tropospheric CH4 chemistry. In frame of the recent short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) assessment by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), we used the GISS-E2.1 model with prescribed long-lived greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. In the present study, we have supplemented these simulations using the interactive CH4 sources and sinks in order to quantify the model performance and the sensitivity to CH4 sources and sinks. We have used the Current Legislation (CLE) and the Maximum Feasible Reduction (MFR) emission scenarios from the Eclipse V6b emission database to simulate the future chemical composition and climate impacts from 2015 to 2050. We have also simulated 1995-2014 in order to evaluate the model performance following the AMAP-SLCF protocol.

The prescribed GHG version underestimates the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) surface CH4 observations during the period between 1995 and 2023 by 1% [-8.4%-2.0%], with a correlation (r) of 0.71 [-0.41 0.99]. The largest underestimations are over the continental emission regions such as North America, Europe, and Asia, while biases are smallest over oceans. On the other hand, the simulation with interactive sources and sinks underestimates the GAW observations more than the prescribed simulation, by 18.5% [-25% -10.4%], with a lower r of 0.36 [-0.82 0.93]. Opposite to the prescribed simulation, the biases are largest over oceans and smaller over the continents, however they are still larger over land than the prescribed simulation. The interactive simulation, with large sources virtually over land and strong sink over oceans, has a land/ocean ratio larger than 1 while the prescribed simulation has this ratio equal to 1 as it distributes the global prescribed CH4 concentration equally in longitude over a given latitude. This clearly shows that the interactive sources and sinks should be represented in models in order to realistically simulate the chemical composition and the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere.

As expected, the MFR scenario simulates lower global surface CH4 concentrations and burdens compared to the CLE scenario, however in both cases, global surface CH4 and burden continue to increase through 2050 compared to present day.  In the CLE scenario, increases are largest over the equatorial belt, in particular over India and East China, while the MFR scenario shows increases over the whole Southern Hemisphere, however much smaller compared to CLE. Finally, the interactive simulation shows that the chemical CH4 sink increases in the CLE scenario, while it slightly decreases in the MFR, leading to a larger CH4 lifetime in the MFR scenario compared to in the CLE scenario.

How to cite: Im, U., Tsigaridis, K., Bauer, S., Eckhardt, S., Shindell, D., Sørensen, L. L., and Wilson, S.: Future CH4 budgets as modelled by a fully coupled Earth system model using prescribed GHG concentrations vs. interactive CH4 sources and sinks, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2492,, 2024.

Radiocarbon can be used as an independent and objective tracer to evaluate fossil fuel CO2 (CO2ff) emissions, because of its complete depletion in fossil fuel sources. Here, we present a study on the CO2ff emissions reduction during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 based on atmospheric Δ14CO2 observation at Chinese background sites. We observed obvious enhancements (several per mill to dozens of per mill) of atmospheric Δ14CO2 during the COVID-19 lockdowns compared with that in the same period. A preliminary analysis showed that these enhancements indicate several percepts to dozens of percents CO2ff emissions reduction from Eurasia (exclude China) and different parts in China during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

How to cite: Niu, Z.: Decrease in fossil fuel CO2 emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns based on  Δ14CO2 observation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3721,, 2024.

EGU24-4150 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Satellite-driven model to upscale Irish CO2 Net Ecosystem Exchange (ICONEEx) 

Wahaj Habib and John Connolly

Climate change poses a significant environmental challenge for humanity, and accurately predicting its intensity as well as its impact on terrestrial ecosystems is crucial. To achieve this, monitoring, modelling, and mapping greenhouse gas (GHG) exchanges between the biosphere and the atmosphere is essential. Monitoring is also important to achieve the European Union’s goal to achieve a balance between GHG emissions and removals by 2050 and maintain negative emissions thereafter. While in situ measurement techniques, such as the eddy covariance flux tower (ECFT), have been used for decades to measure ecosystem-level exchanges of carbon, such as Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) of CO2, their footprint is limited to only 1 km². To overcome this limitation, satellite remote sensing data has been used to upscale these measurements to regional and global scales, but previous work has relied on low-resolution remote sensing data, such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor (at 250m or 500m spatial resolution).


This study aims to use a combination of high-resolution remote sensing data and measurements from in situ ECFT data to model the NEE of CO2 across ~92% of Ireland's terrestrial area, covering major land covers such as wetlands (coastal and peatlands), grassland, and forestry. The model will integrate datasets from both ESA (Copernicus Sentinel-1 and 2) and NASA (MODIS PAR) with the light response curve parameters derived from the ECFT data in Ireland, to model NEE CO2 at a national scale. The results will be useful for monitoring, reporting, and verifying NEE across a range of ecosystems in Ireland. They can also be used to enhance National Inventory Reporting and national ambitions on climate, influence targeted policymaking, and verify land management decisions.

How to cite: Habib, W. and Connolly, J.: Satellite-driven model to upscale Irish CO2 Net Ecosystem Exchange (ICONEEx), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4150,, 2024.

EGU24-4196 | Orals | BG1.3

Drivers of ocean carbon sink variability across spatial scales 

Galen McKinley, Amanda Fay, Dustin Carroll, and Dimitris Menemenlis

Since the preindustrial era, the ocean has removed roughly 40% of fossil CO2 from the atmosphere, and it will eventually absorb at least 80% of human CO2 emissions. While there is no doubt that the ocean is a critical player in the global carbon cycle, many uncertainties remain and the drivers and magnitude of interannual-to-decadal timescale variability remain poorly constrained. A key question is the extent to which external forcing, specifically the variability of the atmospheric pCO2 growth rate, or internal ocean variability is the dominant mechanism of variability. We use a suite of experiments from the ECCO-Darwin data-assimilative ocean biogeochemistry model to isolate and explore the impact of these two drivers. We demonstrate that at the global scale, external and internal variability equally drive ocean sink variability. However, as the spatial scale becomes more regional, internal variability becomes increasingly dominant. To diagnose the future evolution of the global-scale ocean carbon sink in response to a changing atmospheric growth rate, both skillful observation-based products and data-assimilative models will be required.   

How to cite: McKinley, G., Fay, A., Carroll, D., and Menemenlis, D.: Drivers of ocean carbon sink variability across spatial scales, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4196,, 2024.

EGU24-4472 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Greenhouse gas emissions and their trends over the last three decades across Africa 

Mounia Mostefaoui, Philippe Ciais, Matthew Joseph McGrath, Philippe Peylin, Prabir K. Patra, and Yolandi Ernst

 A key goal of the Paris Agreement (PA) is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 globally, which requires mitigation efforts from all countries. Africa’s rapidly growing population and gross domestic product (GDP) make this continent important for GHG emission trends. In this project we study the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in Africa over 3 decades. We compare bottom-up (BU) approaches, including United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) national inventories, FAO, PRIMAP-hist, process-based ecosystem models for CO2 fluxes in the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector and global atmospheric inversions. For inversions, we applied different methods to separate anthropogenic CH4 emissions. The BU inventories show that, over the decade 2010–2018, fewer than 10 countries represented more than 75 % of African fossil CO2 emissions. With a mean of 1373 Mt CO2 yr−1, total African fossil CO2 emissions over 2010–2018 represent only 4 % of global fossil emissions. However, these emissions grew by +34% from 1990–1999 to 2000–2009 and by +31% from 2000–2009 to 2010–2018, which represents more than a doubling in 30 years. This growth rate is more than 2 times faster than the global growth rate of fossil CO2 emissions. The anthropogenic emissions of CH4 grew by 5 % from 1990–1999 to 2000–2009 and by 14.8 % from 2000–2009 to 2010–2018. The N2O emissions grew by 19.5 % from 1990–1999 to 2000–2009 and by 20.8 % from 2000–2009 to 2010–2018. When using the mean of the estimates from UNFCCC reports (including the land use sector) with corrections from outliers, Africa was a mean source of greenhouse gases of 2622 (min: 2186, max: 3239) Mt CO2 eq. yr−1 from all BU estimates (the min–max  indicate range uncertainties) and of +2637 (min: 1761, max: 5873) Mt CO2 eq. yr−1 from top-down (TD) methods during their overlap period from 2001 to 2017. Although the mean values are consistent, the range of TD estimates is larger than the one of the BU estimates, indicating that sparse atmospheric observations and transport model errors do not allow us to use inversions to reduce the uncertainty in BU estimates. The main source of uncertainty comes from CO2 fluxes in the LULUCF sector, for which the spread across inversions is larger than 50 %, especially in central Africa. Moreover, estimates from national UNFCCC communications differ widely depending on whether the large sinks in a few countries are corrected to more plausible values using more recent national sources following the methodology of Grassi et al. (2022). The medians of CH4 emissions from inversions based on satellite retrievals and surface station networks are consistent with each other within 2 % at the continental scale. The inversion ensemble also provides consistent estimates of anthropogenic CH4 emissions with BU inventories such as PRIMAP-hist. For N2O, inversions systematically show higher emissions than inventories, either because natural N2O sources cannot be separated accurately from anthropogenic ones in inversions or because BU estimates ignore indirect emissions and underestimate emission factors. 

How to cite: Mostefaoui, M., Ciais, P., McGrath, M. J., Peylin, P., Patra, P. K., and Ernst, Y.: Greenhouse gas emissions and their trends over the last three decades across Africa, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4472,, 2024.

EGU24-5271 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3

Peatland IPCC emission factors in the light of new EC carbon flux time series 

Nicolas Behrens, Klaus-Holger Knorr, and Mana Gharun

Peatlands are the world’s largest storage of soil organic carbon. While natural peatlands act as sinks of atmospheric carbon, drainage and disturbance (e.g., due to land use and climate change) turn peatlands into net carbon sources. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from drained peatlands are therefore part of national GHG-emission reports, guided by the IPCC wetlands supplement. Herein, default emission factors (EF) are defined both for drained and rewetted peatlands, the former split into tropical and boreal/temperate wetlands, the latter further sub-categorized into nutrient poor and rich peatlands. These default emission factors are to date largely based on a limited number of static chamber-based studies, many measured over relatively short periods of time (1-3 years). As carbon flux measurements on peatlands have gained more attention, recent publications have added several new datasets to the EF calculations, significantly reducing the EF and narrowing confidence intervals. However, the final values are still almost entirely derived from chamber-based measurements with inherent limitations and uncertainties.

The Eddy-Covariance (EC) method is an alternative, established method to quantify carbon fluxes from ecosystems, spatially and temporally integrated (typically every 30 min throughout the year, representing a “flux-footprint” covering a whole ecosystem). As EC-based measurements are increasingly applied and such data are now available from several disturbed peatlands over several years, it is plausible to revise the default EFs. In this study we compile global EC time series for CO2 fluxes from disturbed peatlands of different land use categories with a focus on drained and rewetted peatlands affected by no or by  minor extensive management practices.  We investigate the diurnal, seasonal and annual variability of the fluxes. The net carbon emissions are compared to the EFs currently in use. With available ancillary data such as climate, water table depths, nutrients, ecosystem type and (succession-) state of the ecosystem we asses controlling factors for carbon fluxes. This investigation yields important context to evaluate the uncertainty and reliability of default emission factors for disturbed peatlands. Additionally, we apply a process-based model (CoupModel) to an own study-site to generate a higher-tier emission factor, including seasonality and climate variations.

How to cite: Behrens, N., Knorr, K.-H., and Gharun, M.: Peatland IPCC emission factors in the light of new EC carbon flux time series, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5271,, 2024.

EGU24-5576 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3

The greenhouse gas budget of terrestrial ecosystems in China since 2000 

Yuanyi Gao, Xuhui Wang, Kai Wang, Yuxing Sang, Yilong Wang, Yuzhong Zhang, Songbai Hong, Yao Zhang, Wenping Yuan, and Shilong Piao

As one of the world’s economic engine and the largest greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitter of fossil fuel in the past two decades, China has expressed the recent ambition to reduce GHG emissions by mid-century. The status of GHG balance over terrestrial ecosystems in China, however, remains elusive. Here, we present a synthesis of the three most important long-lived greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) budgets over China during the 2000s and 2010s, following a dual constraint bottom-up and top-down approach. We estimate that China’s terrestrial ecosystems act as a small GHG sink (-29.0 ± 207.5 Tg CO2-eq yr-1 with the bottom-up estimate and -75.3 ± 496.8 Tg CO2-eq yr-1 with the top-down estimate). This net GHG sink includes an appreciable land CO2 sink, which is being largely offset by CH4 and N2O emissions, predominantly coming from the agricultural sector. Emerging data sources and modelling capacities have helped achieve agreement between the top-down and bottom-up approaches to within 25% for all three GHGs, but sizeable uncertainties remain. 

How to cite: Gao, Y., Wang, X., Wang, K., Sang, Y., Wang, Y., Zhang, Y., Hong, S., Zhang, Y., Yuan, W., and Piao, S.: The greenhouse gas budget of terrestrial ecosystems in China since 2000, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5576,, 2024.

EGU24-6021 | Orals | BG1.3

Non-intuitive differences in Ninos-driven CO2 flux variability and long-term changes in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic 

Jerry Tjiputra, Shunya Koseki, and Pradeebane Vaittinada Ayar

Both the tropical Pacific and Atlantic upwelling systems are modulated by their respective Ninos (ENSO and Atlantic Nino), which significantly affect the regional and global climate variability. Coincidentally, two of largest ocean carbon outgassing systems are also located in these domains. As a result, the interannual variability of ocean CO2 fluxes in these regions have predominant imprint on the globally integrated variations (Landschutzer et al., 2016). In contrast to the effect of anomalously cold surface temperature, the upwelling of deep-water rich in dissolved inorganic carbon is understood to be the main driver for the mean CO2 outgassing. In the tropical Pacific, El Nino (La Nina) leads to a suppressed (stronger) upwelling condition and an anomalously weaker (stronger) carbon outgassing. On the other hand, the Atlantic Nino and Nina exert considerable variability in the surface freshwater and temperature, which leads to spatially heterogeneous responses in the contemporary CO2 fluxes. In both systems, we discover a critical role of subsurface alkalinity in regulating the observed variability, primarily through altering the surface buffering capacity (Koseki et al., 2023). We show that bias in CMIP6 Earth system models in simulating the mean contemporary alkalinity state in the tropical Pacific leads to contrasting future impacts (Vaittinada Ayar et al., 2022) and could have ramifications on the climate carbon cycle feedback. 



Koseki, S., J. Tjiputra, F. Fransner, L. R. Crespo, and N. S. Keenlyside (2023), Disentangling the impact of Atlantic Nino on sea-air CO2 fluxes, Nature Communications, 14, 3649,

Landschützer, P., N. Gruber, and D. C. E. Bakker (2016), Decadal variations and trends of the global ocean carbon sink, Global Bio- geochem. Cycles, 30, 1396–1417,

Vaittinada Ayar, P., L. Bopp, J. R. Christian, T. Ilyina, J. P. Krasting, R. Séférian, H. Tsujino, M. Watanabe, A. Yool, and J. Tjiputra (2022), Contrasting projections of the ENSO-driven CO2 flux variability in the equatorial Pacific under high-warming scenario, Earth Syst. Dynam., 13, 1097–1118,

How to cite: Tjiputra, J., Koseki, S., and Vaittinada Ayar, P.: Non-intuitive differences in Ninos-driven CO2 flux variability and long-term changes in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6021,, 2024.

EGU24-7267 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Recent increasing trend of global CO2 growth rate due to a slowdown in terrestrial carbon uptake 

Chaerin Park and Sujong Jeong

The global atmospheric CO2 growth rate is a product of the combined effects of emissions and uptake from both anthropogenic and natural carbon sources. Therefore, an evaluation of the global CO2 growth rate should be preceded to understand the global carbon-climate process. In this study, we analyzed the long-term changes in the global CO2 growth rate from 1991 to 2020, using data from 42 global sites and model simulations to assess recent changes in the global carbon-climate feedback process. Our results indicate that the annual CO2 growth rate has increased by 0.032 ppm yr-2 since the 2000s. A comprehensive assessment of carbon cycle components contributing to atmospheric CO2 growth rate changes reveals that the strengthening of this rate is linked to a decline in terrestrial carbon absorption over the last decade. This decline is primarily associated with a slowdown in the increasing trend of Net Primary Productivity. Consequently, the reduced terrestrial carbon uptake in recent decades contributed to an approximately 3 ppm increase in global CO2 concentration by 2020. Our findings highlight that the vegetation's carbon uptake capacity can no longer offset anthropogenic CO2 emissions, underscoring the importance of achieving global carbon neutrality in climate change mitigation.


This work was supported by Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute(KEITI) through Project for developing an observation-based GHG emissions geospatial information map, funded by Korea Ministry of Environment(MOE) (RS-2023-00232066)

How to cite: Park, C. and Jeong, S.: Recent increasing trend of global CO2 growth rate due to a slowdown in terrestrial carbon uptake, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7267,, 2024.

EGU24-7366 | Orals | BG1.3

Quantifying permafrost C-cycling by fusing process-models and observations  

Luke Smallman and Eleanor Burke

Globally permafrost soils store huge quantities of carbon (C) in dead organic matter (DOM). Currently, the permafrost region is estimated to be a small net C sink. However, as the climate warms permafrost soils have begun to thaw, making a massive quantity of DOM available for potential decomposition and likely shifting the region to a net source of C. Process-models of terrestrial ecosystems are a vital tool in evaluating our understanding of ecosystem function, but also in generating forecasts of C emissions under varied climate change scenarios in support of decision support. But different models contain competing hypothesise of ecosystem functioning, leading to divergent forecasts despite convergent estimates of contemporary net C emissions. These process-models also result in contrasting estimates of the internal C-cycling. We currently lack a consistent, rigorous observational constraint on ecosystem C-stocks and dynamics (particularly below ground) due to varied challenges across both in-situ and satellite-based Earth Observation (EO). Here, we present a Bayesian model-data fusion approach (CARDAMOM) which combines diverse observations of terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. leaf area, soil C, biomass, net C exchange) to calibrate an intermediate complexity model (DALEC). CARDAMOM generates a probabilistic estimates of DALEC parameters at pixel scale based on local information. Using these local calibrations, DALEC offers a probabilistic, data-constrained estimate of current ecosystem C-cycling including its internal dynamics, which can be used to evaluate large scale process-models. We evaluate process-model estimates of key ecosystem properties, e.g. DOM residence time, and their climate sensitivity. Through this process we can identify and exclude process-models which are inconsistent with data from forecast analyses.

How to cite: Smallman, L. and Burke, E.: Quantifying permafrost C-cycling by fusing process-models and observations , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7366,, 2024.

EGU24-8175 | Orals | BG1.3

Estimating methane emissions at high northern latitudes using regional data and global inverse modelling 

Luana Basso, Christian Rödenbeck, Victor Brovkin, Goran Georgievski, and Mathias Göckede

Atmospheric methane levels (the second largest contributor to climate change) have more than doubled over the last 200 years, though with highly variable trends over time. The relative contribution of different sources and sinks to the global CH4 budget remains uncertain despite ongoing efforts to improve the estimates based on various approaches, and particularly the causes for an accelerated increase in recent years remain unclear. Therefore, understanding and quantifying methane sources at global to regional scales is essential to reduce uncertainties in the global methane budget and its feedback with the climate system.

Within the Arctic region, wetlands and lakes constitute a major natural source of methane. With temperatures rising at rates at least twice the global average over the last decades, Arctic permafrost is increasingly thawing. Associated disturbance processes hold the potential to increase methane emissions, and as a consequence result in a positive feedback to climate change. However, until now neither observations nor model estimates could provide clear evidence of such a trend in emissions. As a consequence, current and possible future contributions of Arctic ecosystems to the accelerated increase in the global atmospheric methane levels remain highly uncertain.

To help reduce methane emission uncertainties in the high northern latitudes, we estimated global CH4 fluxes to the atmosphere using the Jena CarboScope Global Inversion System, with a strong focus of our analysis on the Arctic region. We used wetland flux from JSBACH model as prior and assimilated atmospheric observations from regional networks available over the last years for the region above 60°N latitude (a total of 23 towers) to quantify the methane emissions over this region between 2010 to 2020. We found a clear seasonal pattern with emission peaks during July and August. As a sensitivity test to evaluate the improvement to constrain the Arctic methane fluxes with the assimilation of the regional data, we also conducted an inversion using just the global background surface stations (a total of 30 global stations). We found higher mean annual methane flux to the atmosphere when assimilating the regional data, with the largest difference between May to August. These estimates were finally evaluated against an ensemble of inverse model estimates from Global Methane Project available for the period between 2010 to 2017.

How to cite: Basso, L., Rödenbeck, C., Brovkin, V., Georgievski, G., and Göckede, M.: Estimating methane emissions at high northern latitudes using regional data and global inverse modelling, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8175,, 2024.

EGU24-8349 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Drivers and trends in Land-use change and associated carbon emissions over Indonesia 

Ida Bagus Mandhara Brasika, Pierre Friedlingstein, Stephen Sitch, and Michael O'Sullivan

Indonesia is currently known as one of the three largest contributors of carbon emissions from land and land cover change (LULCC) globally, together with Brazil & the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, there is a limited reliable data on LULCC across Indonesia, leading to a lack of agreement on drivers and trends in carbon emissions. This can also be seen in the annual global carbon budget (GCB). Here, we assess the new satellite-based land cover dataset from Mapbiomas over Indonesia to illustrate how changes in forest and agriculture (mainly palm oil) areas across Indonesia determine trends in carbon emissions from land use change (ELUC). ELUC is simulated with a process-based Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, JULES-ES using annually varying LULCC maps from Mapbiomas as input. Our results show that the forest loss and agriculture expansion have a strong correlation and trend in the last two decades. Furthermore, palm oil plantation is the major contribution to the forest-agriculture dynamics, mainly appearing in Kalimantan & Sumatera island. This dynamic has a major impact on Indonesia ELUC with a positive trend in ELUC of 0.06 PgC/yr2 since 2000 . The use of the satellite-based dataset, Mapbiomas, is shown to improve our understanding of the LULCC dynamics over Indonesia, hopefully contributing to a reduction of the ELUC uncertainty for Indonesia and the SE Asia region.

How to cite: Brasika, I. B. M., Friedlingstein, P., Sitch, S., and O'Sullivan, M.: Drivers and trends in Land-use change and associated carbon emissions over Indonesia, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8349,, 2024.

EGU24-8601 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Estimation of methane emissions at European scale with a special focus on Austria 

Sophie Wittig, Anjumol Raju, Seyed Omid Nabavi, Martin Vojta, Peter Redl, Antje Hoheisel, Marcus Hirtl, Christine Groot Zwaaftink, and Andreas Stohl

In recent years, methane (CH4) has attracted increasing scientific attention as the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere. Due to the high reduction potential and the relatively short atmospheric lifetime of around 9 years, mitigation measures can become effective within a relatively short period of time. However, the current estimates of CH4 fluxes from emission inventories are still subject to uncertainties at both global and regional scale.

An effort to reduce uncertainties from those bottom-up flux estimates is given by inverse modelling, which provides a robust tool to verify GHG emissions by combining GHG observations as well as atmospheric transport modelling and statistical optimization.

In this study, we use an inverse modelling approach to estimate CH4 fluxes at European scale for the year 2022. Additionally, we use the European in-situ observation network to explore the feasibility of reducing uncertainties in CH4 fluxes in Austria, a European country with a limited availability of stationary observations. This work is part of the Austrian ASAP18 flagship project “GHG-KIT: Keep it traceable”.

Hereby, the inverse modelling tool FLEXINVERT is used, which is based on the backward simulations of the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART (FLEXible PARTicle). In particular, we investigate to what extent prolonged backward trajectories of 50 to 100 days contribute to better constrain the CH4 fluxes. In an attempt to estimate background concentrations as accurately as possible, we use global CH4 concentration fields obtained with the chemical transport model FLEXPART (CTM).

How to cite: Wittig, S., Raju, A., Nabavi, S. O., Vojta, M., Redl, P., Hoheisel, A., Hirtl, M., Groot Zwaaftink, C., and Stohl, A.: Estimation of methane emissions at European scale with a special focus on Austria, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8601,, 2024.

EGU24-9459 | Posters on site | BG1.3

The methane record at the ICOS background station at Plateau Rosa: identification of source areas in Europe 

Giulia Zazzeri, Francesco Apadula, Andrea Lanza, and Stephan Henne

Methane and carbon dioxide mole fractions are measured continuously at the atmospheric station at Plateau Rosa since 2018, with a Picarro cavity ring down spectrometer G2301. The station, at 3480 meter MSL, represents an ideal location for, on one hand, measurements of background air and, on the other hand, intercepting air with recent boundary layer contact. Since 2021 the site contributes as an atmospheric station to the ICOS network.

In this study we present the methodology used to filter background data, and we provide an analysis of the continuous record of CH4 since 2018. We used Hysplit back trajectories and the FLEXPART atmospheric transport model coupled with EDGAR inventories to identify source areas in Europe. We focused our analysis on April 2022, when the CH4 increment above the baseline was consistently high.

We demonstrate how the CH4 mole fraction data measured at the station at Plateau Rosa provide information on the global CH4 trend, and that, with our continuous record, we can detect high emissions events over Europe.

How to cite: Zazzeri, G., Apadula, F., Lanza, A., and Henne, S.: The methane record at the ICOS background station at Plateau Rosa: identification of source areas in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9459,, 2024.

EGU24-9609 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Terrestrial Carbon Flux Dynamics in the Southern American Temperate Region: Insights from Dynamic Global Vegetation Models and GOSAT XCO2 Measurements   

Sanam Noreen Vardag, Lukas Artelt, Eva-Marie Metz, Sourish Basu, Martin Jung, and André Butz

Understanding terrestrial carbon fluxes is a prerequisite for accurately predicting the global biospheric uptake and release of CO2 under climate change and other environmental stressors. Terrestrial carbon fluxes in the southern hemisphere still exhibit quite large uncertainties due to limited measurements and a lack of comprehensive process understanding. This study focuses on the South American Temperate (SAT) region, employing various Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (DGVM) models (TRENDY v9) to investigate carbon flux dynamics. We find significant discrepancies between these DGVM models in terms of both phasing and magnitude. To address this, atmospheric XCO2 measurements from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) during the period 2009-2018 are incorporated into an atmospheric inversion using the model TM5-4DVar to obtain net CO2 fluxes. We identify DGVM models that match the inversion results, particularly showing the same phasing and similar magnitude of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) as the inversion results. The matching DGVMs show that the increase in NEE during the mid of the year is driven by an early increase in heterotrophic respiration whereas the autotrophic respiration remains in phase with the gross primary production (GPP) and is delayed with respect to heterotrophic respiration. The observed flux behavior is linked to the onset of rainfall in the semi-arid regions of SAT, resembling findings in Australia by Metz et al. (2023). We hypothesize that soil rewetting processes in semi-arid areas play an important role in constraining the global carbon budget and should be represented more accurately in global carbon cycle models to improve the estimation of the global carbon budget.  


Metz, E.-M., Vardag, S.N., Basu, S., Jung, M., Ahrens, B., El-Madany, T., Sitch, S., Arora, V.  K., Briggs, P. R., Friedlingstein, P., Goll, D.S., Jain, A.K.,  Kato, E., Lombardozzi, D., Nabel,J .E. M. S., Poulter, B., Séférian, R., Tian, H., Wiltshire, A., Yuan, W., Yue, X., Zaehle, S.,  Deutscher, N.M.,  Griffith, D.W.T., Butz, A. Soil respiration–driven CO2 pulses dominate Australia’s flux variability. Science, 379, 1332-1335,, 2023. 

How to cite: Vardag, S. N., Artelt, L., Metz, E.-M., Basu, S., Jung, M., and Butz, A.: Terrestrial Carbon Flux Dynamics in the Southern American Temperate Region: Insights from Dynamic Global Vegetation Models and GOSAT XCO2 Measurements  , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9609,, 2024.

EGU24-10840 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3 | Highlight

A new synthesis of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes for improved carbon budget estimates 

Anna Virkkala, Isabel Wargowsky, Judith Vogt, McKenzie Kuhn, Susan Natali, Brendan Rogers, Mathias Goeckede, Kyle Arndt, Jennifer Watts, Tiffany Windholz, and Simran Madaan

The Arctic-boreal zone and its permafrost regions have historically been sparsely measured for carbon dioxide and methane fluxes. This data sparsity has created significant uncertainties in Arctic-boreal carbon budget estimates. However, over the past decade, the availability of Arctic-boreal carbon flux data has increased substantially. Yet, it remains scattered across different repositories, papers, and unpublished sources, making it hard to estimate more accurate Arctic-boreal carbon budgets. To address this research gap, we have compiled a database of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes (ABCFlux v2) from flux repositories, literature, and site principal investigators, which will be openly distributed. The database includes carbon dioxide fluxes of gross primary production, ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem exchange, and plant-mediated, diffusive, ebullitive, and storage methane fluxes measured with eddy covariance and chamber techniques with supporting methodological and environmental metadata from terrestrial (including wetland) and freshwater ecosystems. It has in total over 12,000 site-months and 30,000 unique monthly flux values, therefore almost doubling earlier synthesis efforts in the region. Here, we present preliminary results on carbon flux magnitudes across key land cover types and multidecadal trends based on the in-situ data and machine-learning based upscaling. These indicate, for example, that the Arctic-boreal region has been an increasing annual terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 sink with the boreal biome primarily driving this trend. This collaborative initiative, involving contributions from over 100 researchers, serves as an important step in reducing uncertainties in Arctic-boreal carbon budgets and enhancing our understanding of climate feedbacks.

How to cite: Virkkala, A., Wargowsky, I., Vogt, J., Kuhn, M., Natali, S., Rogers, B., Goeckede, M., Arndt, K., Watts, J., Windholz, T., and Madaan, S.: A new synthesis of Arctic-boreal carbon fluxes for improved carbon budget estimates, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10840,, 2024.

EGU24-11622 | Orals | BG1.3

Constraining atmosphere-terrestrial-aquatic carbon cycle processes at national and ecoregional scales with radiocarbon data: Introducing the Radiocarbon Inventories of Switzerland (RICH) project 

Timothy Eglinton, Heather Graven, Frank Hagedorn, Soenke Szidat, Alexander Brunmayr, Margaux Duborgel, Dylan Geissbuehler, Thomas Laemmel, Luisa Minich, Benedict Mittelbach, Timo Rhyner, and Margot White

New constraints on carbon exchanges between atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic systems are needed to reduce uncertainty in future predictions of the global carbon cycle and climate change. Radiocarbon is a powerful tool for studying the carbon cycle due to its to its ~5700-year half-life that sheds light on processes occuring on centennial to millenial timescales, as well as the 14C “bomb spike” resulting from above-ground nuclear weapons testing in the mid-20th Century that serves as a tracer of carbon flow among more rapidly cycling pools. The “Radiocarbon Inventories of Switzerland” (“RICH”) project is a collaborative initiative that involves undertaking a first-of-its-kind, national-scale 14C survey spanning all major carbon pools and encompassing the five different Swiss ecoregions. The project is acquiring a comprehensive “snapshot” of 14C measurements for carbon species in the atmosphere, soils and the hydrophere (e.g. 14C in atmospheric and soil-derived gas samples, 14C in bulk samples and different sub-fractions of soil, water and sediment samples), and developing historical context through 14C analysis of natural archives and of archived samples spanning the pre-bomb era to the present. The measurements are being used to study various carbon cycle processes, including turnover rates of different soil carbon fractions, budgets of riverine carbon, and anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and CH4. New, integrated atmospheric-terrestrial-aquatic carbon cycle models are being developed and calibrated, and existing models are being evaluated. This presentation will outline the goals and scope of the RICH project, and provide illustrations of the information that is now flowing from this collaborative undertaking. The project structure is envisioned to serve as template that can be  adapted in carbon cycle studies on regional to global scales, and the scientific outcomes will be relevant not only to Switzerland but also to the broader understanding of carbon cycle processes.

How to cite: Eglinton, T., Graven, H., Hagedorn, F., Szidat, S., Brunmayr, A., Duborgel, M., Geissbuehler, D., Laemmel, T., Minich, L., Mittelbach, B., Rhyner, T., and White, M.: Constraining atmosphere-terrestrial-aquatic carbon cycle processes at national and ecoregional scales with radiocarbon data: Introducing the Radiocarbon Inventories of Switzerland (RICH) project, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11622,, 2024.

EGU24-12156 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Constraining CO2 fluxes over Europe using FLEXINVERT and in-situ measurements 

Anjumol Raju, Sophie Wittig, Martin Vojta, Omid Nabavi, Peter Redl, Antje Hoheisel, Marcus Hirtl, Christine Groot Zwaaftink, and Andreas Stohl

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a significant greenhouse gas, and its concentration has increased by 51% compared to the pre-industrial value. Concerning its impact on the earth’s climate system, there is an urge to reduce CO2 emissions, hence mitigating global warming and climate change. This requires adequate knowledge of its source-sink distribution and quantification of the CO2 budget. Inverse modeling has emerged as an effective tool to constrain greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes using the spatiotemporal pattern of atmospheric concentration measurements. In this regard, this study focuses on estimating CO2 fluxes over Europe using the Bayesian inverse modelling framework FLEXINVERT during the year 2021. In-situ CO2 concentrations were taken from various locations across Europe (World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases, WDCGG) and data were averaged every 3 hours. The Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Model FLEXPART (FLEXible PARTicle) is employed to calculate the source-receptor relationship (SRR). The FLEXPART model has been run backward in time to trace back the particles (released from the locations of observation sites) for 10 days. Background CO2 concentrations are calculated using the sensitivity of concentration at the termination points from FLEXPART and the global 3D concentration from the FLEXible PARTicle-chemical transport model (FLEXPART-CTM). The uncertainty reduction, calculated from posterior and prior flux uncertainties, indicates how well the prior fluxes are optimized. In addition, longer backward simulations can be carried out to assess the impact of transport on background CO2 concentrations and the uncertainty reduction.

How to cite: Raju, A., Wittig, S., Vojta, M., Nabavi, O., Redl, P., Hoheisel, A., Hirtl, M., Zwaaftink, C. G., and Stohl, A.: Constraining CO2 fluxes over Europe using FLEXINVERT and in-situ measurements, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12156,, 2024.

EGU24-12441 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Estimating methane sources and sinks by assimilating satellite data in a global atmospheric inverse system. 

Nicole Montenegro, Marielle Saunois, Antoine Berchet, Adrien Martinez, Philippe Bousquet, and Isabelle Pison

Methane (CH4) is the second most important greenhouse gas, contributing to approximately 30% of the additional greenhouse effect since 1750. Its varied sources and relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere (~9 years) offer interesting mitigation opportunities. To develop practical strategies for mitigating climate change, precise quantification of methane fluxes and a better understanding of its spatial distribution and biogeochemical cycling are imperative. The observations currently used to infer methane sources and sinks face limitations affecting calculation accuracy. Surface stations measuring CH4 are sparse and notably absent in major emitting regions. In contrast, satellite-derived data, while providing broader coverage, present systematic errors and estimate atmospheric composition with an accuracy range of 1-10%. Additionally, passive satellite shortwave infrared (SWIR) measurements exhibit higher sensitivity near surface emission sources but are less effective in high latitude regions. Conversely, passive satellite thermal infrared (TIR) measurements have a higher sensitivity between the free troposphere and the stratosphere.Current worksare currently being developed to integrate TIR and SWIR to obtain consolidated CH4 information on the vertical atmospheric profile. This studyaims on improving methane flux estimates using the top-down approach, which integrates observations, flux priors, and an atmospheric chemical transport model utilizing Bayesian methodology. This will be perfomed on the inversion system developed at the LSCE (Community Inversion Framework – CIF) using the global transport model LMDz. We analyze the information provided by different observing systems (TIR, SWIR and surface network) at the global scale and for a period between June 2018 and June 2020. In a first step, the sensitivity of the fluxes to the observations is estimated. In a second step, Observing System Simulation Experiments are performed to evaluate the performance of the different observations system to retrieve the target fluxes. Considering both steps, observing systems are chosen to provide the best information in terms of sensitivity and spatial representation (vertical and horizontal).

How to cite: Montenegro, N., Saunois, M., Berchet, A., Martinez, A., Bousquet, P., and Pison, I.: Estimating methane sources and sinks by assimilating satellite data in a global atmospheric inverse system., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12441,, 2024.

EGU24-12480 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3

Reassessing the pre-industrial air-sea carbon flux considering the ocean alkalinity budget 

Alban Planchat, Laurent Bopp, and Lester Kwiatkowski

Disparities in estimates of the ocean carbon sink, whether derived from global ocean biogeochemical models or from data products based on observations of surface ocean pCO2, question our ability to accurately assess ocean carbon uptake and its trend over recent decades. A potential factor contributing to the inconsistency between data products and model-based estimates is the pre-industrial air-sea carbon flux that is required to isolate the anthropogenic component from the total air-sea carbon flux estimated from observations. This pre-industrial air-sea carbon flux is thought to stem at the global scale from an imbalance between riverine carbon discharge to the ocean and sediment carbon burial.  Using a mass-balanced approach and comprehensive estimates of carbon inputs to the ocean by rivers and groundwater as well as carbon burial in marine sediments, Regnier et al. (2022) estimated that the pre-industrial ocean was outgassing 0.65 ± 0.30 petagrams of carbon per year. This updated estimation was used in the latest Global Carbon Budget (Friedlingstein et al., 2023) to derive an estimate of the ocean carbon sink over recent decades. In this study, we use a series of ocean biogeochemical pre-industrial simulations with varying assumptions related to carbon riverine input and burial to develop a theoretical framework to determine the ocean carbon outgassing and its spatial distribution. Building upon previous efforts, we integrate a carbon mass-balance approach with consideration of the ocean alkalinity budget. While conventionally assumed that the global alkalinity inventory was in equilibrium during the pre-industrial era — with riverine alkalinity discharge offset by CaCO3 burial — we demonstrate that an imbalance in the pre-industrial ocean alkalinity budget could significantly affect the carbon outgassing flux. This novel conceptual framework allows us to reestimate the pre-industrial carbon flux while considering the ocean alkalinity budget. Furthermore, it provides a simple method to reevaluate this flux in light of new assessments of carbon or alkalinity sources and sinks, while also covering their uncertainty ranges.

How to cite: Planchat, A., Bopp, L., and Kwiatkowski, L.: Reassessing the pre-industrial air-sea carbon flux considering the ocean alkalinity budget, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12480,, 2024.

EGU24-12481 | Orals | BG1.3 | Highlight

Methane’s record rise 2020-2023: likely causes, impacts and consequences 

Martin R. Manning, Euan G. Nisbet, Sylvia E. Michel, Xin Lan, Ed Dlugokencky, David Lowry, Rebecca E. Fisher, and James L. France

From 2020, the atmospheric methane burden has grown at the fastest rate in the detailed observational record. This rise has been accompanied by an unprecedented plunge in d13C(CH4). The causes of recent accelerated growth are as yet uncertain but the geographic spread of growth and the rapid isotopic plunge suggest strong rises in isotopically light emissions from both Tropical and Boreal wetlands. These emissions may be due to rising precipitation and temperatures in parts of the tropics, and by rising temperatures in northern Canada, Siberia, and Europe. Over the longer period since 2007, methane’s actual growth is comparable to methane’s growth in the ‘worst case’ very high baseline emission scenario RCP8.5 (8.5 W/m2 forcing increase relative to pre-industrial). If the recent trend were to continue for more than another decade it could make the 2°C target as hard to achieve as the 1.5°C target is now. Natural feedbacks to climate warming in wetlands need to be included in future modelling and should be incorporated in climate modelling projects such as CMIP7. Methane’s recent accelerated growth also has wide implications for climate negotiations as it reduces the permissible total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions if the Paris Agreement is to be achieved. Strong growth in non-anthropogenic methane emissions, driven by feedback impacts on natural and quasi-natural sources, was not expected in modelling at the time of the Paris Agreement and shows the urgency of improving our understanding of the feedback impacts of climate change. The simplest way to limit methane’s growth is for all nations,  including non-signatory countries, to cut anthropogenic emissions urgently and sharply, meeting or exceeding the targets of the Global Methane Pledge.

How to cite: Manning, M. R., Nisbet, E. G., Michel, S. E., Lan, X., Dlugokencky, E., Lowry, D., Fisher, R. E., and France, J. L.: Methane’s record rise 2020-2023: likely causes, impacts and consequences, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12481,, 2024.

EGU24-12756 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Identifying the origins of the global carbon budget imbalance using oxygen 

Nicolas Mayot, Corinne Le Quéré, and Andrew Manning

Despite major advances in the estimation of all fluxes in the global cycles of carbon and oxygen, mathematical imbalances continue to arise when these fluxes are combined. Between 1997 and 2022, the global budget imbalances (BIM) for CO2 and O2 budgets – a quantification of the missing sources and/or sinks of CO2 and O2 – are -18 Tmol/yr and 41 Tmol/yr, respectively. The CO2 BIM has tended to become increasingly negative over the last decade, while the O2 BIM has tended to become increasingly positive. To identify the origins of the BIMs, we carried out a systematic analysis of the combination and permutation of all available individual flux estimates provided by a sub-set of contributors to the Global Carbon Budget 2023 update. We first examine the possibility that inaccuracies in the ocean air-sea fluxes contributes to the CO2 and O2 BIM. We show that the interannual variability of the air-sea O2 flux required for a reduction of the O2 BIM tends to be close to that simulated by several ocean models. An in-depth analysis of the Southern Ocean has confirmed their ability to simulate reasonable interannual variability in the air-sea fluxes of O2 and CO2. We conclude that in order to simultaneously reduce the negative trend in CO2 BIM and the positive trend in O2 BIM in the recent decade, a reduction in the increasing trend in the terrestrial CO2 sink over the last decade is most likely required.

How to cite: Mayot, N., Le Quéré, C., and Manning, A.: Identifying the origins of the global carbon budget imbalance using oxygen, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12756,, 2024.

EGU24-13094 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

High-Resolution Inversion Modeling of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions in Europe: Assessing Accuracy and  Dynamics 

Anteneh Getachew Mengistu, Aki Tsuruta, Maria Tenkanen, Tiina Markkanen, Maarit Raivonen, Antti Leppänen, Antoine Berchet, Rona Thompson, Hannakaisa Lindqvist, and Tuula Aalto

Accurate estimation of critical greenhouse gas fluxes, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), is vital for shaping effective climate change policies. Leveraging the state-of-the-art Community Inversion Framework (CIF), we estimate high-resolution emissions across Europe (-12°E to 37°E, 35°N to 73°N). Using the Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Model (FLEXPART) with ECMWF meteorological data, we calculate surface flux footprints at 0.2° × 0.2° resolution, enhancing comparisons with national inventories. Assimilating data from 40+ in-situ observations, including ICOS and non-ICOS stations, our 4-dimensional variational optimization refines prior high-resolution flux estimates. Diverse sources contribute to the total flux, including fossil fuel emissions, biomass burning, land emissions, air-sea exchange. Flux corrections enhance accuracy, yielding posterior estimates with reduced bias and heightened correlation. Major CH4 emitters (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the UK) collectively contribute 72% of total emissions. The EU27 + UK average is 16.47 ± 1.33 Tg CH4/yr. Posterior anthropogenic emissions reveal a regional mean reduction of > 5 gC/m2/month in summer compared to prior estimates, highlighting seasonal emission dynamics.

How to cite: Mengistu, A. G., Tsuruta, A., Tenkanen, M., Markkanen, T., Raivonen, M., Leppänen, A., Berchet, A., Thompson, R., Lindqvist, H., and Aalto, T.: High-Resolution Inversion Modeling of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions in Europe: Assessing Accuracy and  Dynamics, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13094,, 2024.

EGU24-13246 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Recent methane surges reveal heightened emissions from tropical inundated areas 

Xin Lin, Shushi Peng, Philippe Ciais, Didier Hauglustaine, Xin Lan, Gang Liu, Michel Ramonet, Yi Xi, Yi Yin, and Zhen Zhang and the Coauthors

Record breaking atmospheric methane growth rates were observed in 2020 and 2021 (15.2±0.4 and 17.6±0.5 ppb yr-1), reaching their highest level since the commencement of ground-based observations in the early 1980s. Here we use an ensemble of atmospheric inversions informed by surface or satellite methane concentration observations to infer emission changes during these two years relative to 2019. We found a global increase of methane emissions of 20.3±9.9 Tg CH4 in 2020 and 24.8±3.1 Tg CH4 in 2021. The emission rise was dominated by tropical and boreal regions with inundated areas, as a result of elevated groundwater table. Strong, synchronous, and persistent emission increases occurred in regions such as the Niger River basin, the Congo basin, the Sudd swamp, the Ganges floodplains and Southeast Asian deltas and the Hudson Bay lowlands. These regions alone contributed about 70% and 60% of the net global increases in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Comparing our top-down estimates with simulation of wetland emissions by biogeochemical models, we find that the bottom-up models significantly underestimate the intra- and inter-annual variability of methane sources from tropical inundated areas. This discrepancy likely arises from the models’ limitations in accurately representing the dynamics of tropical wetland extents and the response of methane emissions to environmental changes. Our findings demonstrate the critical role of tropical inundated areas in the recent surge of methane emissions and highlight the value of integrating multiple data streams and modeling tools to better constrain tropical wetland emissions.

How to cite: Lin, X., Peng, S., Ciais, P., Hauglustaine, D., Lan, X., Liu, G., Ramonet, M., Xi, Y., Yin, Y., and Zhang, Z. and the Coauthors: Recent methane surges reveal heightened emissions from tropical inundated areas, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13246,, 2024.

EGU24-13846 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Reduced Southern Ocean CO2 uptake due to the positive SAM trend 

Laurie Menviel, Paul Spence, Andrew Kiss, Matthew Chamberlain, Hakase Hayashida, Matthew England, and Darryn Waugh

While the Southern Ocean (SO) provides the largest oceanic sink of carbon, some observational studies have suggested that the SO total CO2 (tCO2) uptake exhibited large (~0.3 GtC/yr) decadal-scale variability over the last 30 years, with a similar SO tCO2 uptake in 2016 as in the early 1990s. Here, using an eddy-rich ocean, sea-ice, carbon cycle model, with a nominal resolution of 0.1°, we explore the changes in total, natural and anthropogenic SO CO2 fluxes over the period 1980-2021 and the processes leading to the CO2 flux variability.

The simulated tCO2 flux exhibits decadal-scale variability with an amplitude of ~0.1 GtC/yr globally in phase with observations. Notably, two stagnation in tCO2 uptake are simulated between 1982 and 2000 as well as since 2012, while a re-invigoration is simulated between 2000 and 2012. This decadal-scale variability is primarily due to changes in natural CO2  (nCO2) fluxes south of the polar front associated with variability in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Positive phases of the SAM lead to enhanced SO nCO2 outgassing due to higher surface natural dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) brought about by a combination of Ekman-driven vertical advection and DIC diffusion at the base of the mixed layer. The pattern of the CO2 flux anomalies indicate a dominant control of the interaction between the mean flow south of the polar front and the main topographic features. While positive phases of the SAM also lead to enhanced anthropogenic CO2 (aCO2) uptake south of the polar front, the amplitude of the changes in aCO2 fluxes is only 25% of the changes in nCO2 fluxes. Due to the larger nCO2 outgassing compared to aCO2 uptake as the SH westerlies strengthen and shift poleward, the SO tCO2 uptake capability thus reduced since 1980 in response to the shift towards positive phases of the SAM.


How to cite: Menviel, L., Spence, P., Kiss, A., Chamberlain, M., Hayashida, H., England, M., and Waugh, D.: Reduced Southern Ocean CO2 uptake due to the positive SAM trend, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13846,, 2024.

EGU24-14038 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3

Sea surface pCO2 variability on different time scales in the East China Sea based on high-frequency time-series observations 

Yaohua Luo, Zhirong Zhang, Jinshun Chen, Yi Xu, Fuqing Cao, Tao Huang, Xianghui Guo, and Minhan Dai

We examined the sub-seasonal to interannual variability and multi-year trend of sea surface CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) and air-sea CO2 flux at a coastal site of the East China Sea (31⁰N, 122.8⁰E) based on high-frequency time-series data collected by a buoy since 2013. Seasonal average sea surface pCO2 was highest in autumn, but the lowest value can appear in winter or spring, depending on the biological productivity in spring. The seasonal amplitude of pCO2 was up to 123 μatm. Based on property-property relationships and a simple mass budget model, we found that temperature change, biological activity, water mixing and air-sea CO2 exchange all made significant contributions to the seasonal variation of pCO2. From winter to summer, seasonal warming and atmospheric CO2 uptake elevated the pCO2, while net biological production, weakened vertical mixing and the retreat of the Yellow Sea Coastal Water (YSCW) lowered the pCO2. Conversely, from summer to winter, seasonal cooling and CO2 emission lowered the pCO2, while respiration, enhanced vertical mixing and the YSCW intrusion raised them up. Over short-term timescale, biological production and respiration frequently drew down or elevated the pCO2 by 150-400 μatm within 5-10 days during warm months. When biological activity was suppressed during cold months, such short-term variations were dominated by water mixing with a smaller pCO2 amplitude of 5-60 μatm within 2-6 days. This site was a sink of atmospheric CO2 in winter and spring, but a CO2 source in summer and autumn. Annually, it was a moderate CO2 source in 2014 (air-sea CO2 flux was 2.88 ± 11.02 mmol m2 d1), a weak CO2 sink in 2016 (-0.21 ± 12.23 mmol m2 d1), and a weak CO2 source in the combined year of the first half of 2017 and the second half of 2018 (0.40 ± 9.11 mmol m2 d1). The relatively high CO2 source in 2014 was likely due to the weaker biological production in spring and more typhoon passage in autumn. From 2013 to 2019, the wintertime sea surface pCO2 didn’t follow the increasing trend of the atmospheric pCO2, leading to an enhancing carbon sink in winter.

How to cite: Luo, Y., Zhang, Z., Chen, J., Xu, Y., Cao, F., Huang, T., Guo, X., and Dai, M.: Sea surface pCO2 variability on different time scales in the East China Sea based on high-frequency time-series observations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14038,, 2024.

EGU24-14545 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Soil CH4 and N2O fluxes from drained and undrained peatland forests in the Baltic region. 

Muhammad Kamil Sardar Ali, Thomas Schindler, Hanna Vahter, Ain Kull, Ülo Mander, Andis Lazdiņš, Ieva Līcīte, Arta Bārdule, Aldis Butlers, Dovilė Čiuldienė, Egidijus Vigricas, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Raija Laiho, and Kaido Soosaar

Peatland ecosystem degradation and changes made in hydrology by artificial drainage may affect the biogeochemistry of peatlands and, together with projected global warming, may lead to significant changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. Drainage of peatlands increases organic matter's aerobic decomposition, changes native vegetation, and may decrease the storage of C. The vegetative characteristics of forest ecosystem types may change a net GHG sink peatland to a source in drained organic soils.

However, soil CH4 and N2O fluxes in peatlands are spatially and temporally (interannual, seasonal) variable, and detailed data from drained nutrient-rich organic soils in the hemiboreal zone is lacking. We conducted a study spanned over two years comprising drained (n=18) and undrained (n=7) peatland forests with dominant tree species of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies), birch (Betula sp.), and black alder (Alnus glutinosa) spread across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Instantaneous fluxes of CH4 and N2O were measured monthly for the whole year using the manual static chamber method. Environmental parameters in soil, such as soil water level (WTL), moisture, and temperatures at depths (0-40 cm), were monitored continuously, and detailed soil chemical analyses were conducted. To constrain the factors regulating temporal fluxes of various environmental conditions and differentiate annual emissions between land use in the Baltic region.

The results show that all drained forest soils were annual CH4 sinks (−37.0 ± 4.5 μg C m−‍2 h−‍1), while undrained forests were emitters on average 388.5 ± 142. Mean annual CH4 uptake is significantly higher in deep-drained soils −45.5 ± 3.6 μg C m−‍2 h−‍1 (WTL > −50cm) than in poorly drained soils (p<0.05), regardless of dominant tree species. The in situ and annual CH4 fluxes statistically correlated with soil water level and temperature. Most of the drained sites emitted N2O (49.4 ± 17.8 μg N m−‍2 h−‍1); drained wet forest sites were higher emitters (84.7 ± 32.4) than drier sites (23.67 ± 15.6) in comparison to tree species. The instantaneous N2O fluxes were directly controlled by soil surface temperature and oxygen concentration of soil water, whereas variability in annual N2O emissions was associated with soil water content. Moreover, soil nutrient status regulated by specific ground vegetation functional groups has significantly impacted the emissions of nutrient-rich organic soils.

This research was supported by the LIFE programme project "Demonstration of climate change mitigation potential of nutrients-rich organic soils in the Baltic States and Finland" (2019-2023, LIFE OrgBalt, LIFE18 274CCM/LV/001158).

How to cite: Sardar Ali, M. K., Schindler, T., Vahter, H., Kull, A., Mander, Ü., Lazdiņš, A., Līcīte, I., Bārdule, A., Butlers, A., Čiuldienė, D., Vigricas, E., Jauhiainen, J., Laiho, R., and Soosaar, K.: Soil CH4 and N2O fluxes from drained and undrained peatland forests in the Baltic region., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14545,, 2024.

EGU24-14672 | Orals | BG1.3

Multiple approaches for quantifying fuels, combustion dynamics, and regional fire emissions in the Amazon and Cerrado 

Matthias Forkel, Christine Wessollek, Niels Andela, Jos de Laat, Vincent Huijnen, Daniel Kinalczyk, Christopher Marrs, Dave van Wees, Ana Bastos, Philippe Ciais, Dominic Fawcett, Johannes W. Kaiser, Erico Kutchartt, Carine Klauberg, Rodrigo Vieira Leite, Wei Li, Carlos Silva, Stephen Sitch, Jefferson Goncalves De Souza, and Stephen Plummer

Fires in the Amazon are of great concern because they threaten the integrity of the tropical forest biome, the carbon cycle, and air quality. Fire emissions depend on the burning behaviour of vegetation biomass, woody debris, and litter. However, the effects of fuels on the combustion process and on the composition of fire emissions are simplified in current fire emission inventories and models. Several new fire emission approaches have recently been developed to better quantify fire emissions by either making use the improved spatial resolution of modern satellite observations or by developing new modelling approaches. 

Here we compare several current and novel approaches to quantify fuel consumption and fire emissions for the Amazon and Cerrado for the fire season in 2020. The approaches include the widely used GFAS, a top-down approach based on Sentinel-5p observations (KNMI.S5p), a bottom-up approach based on active fire observations from VIIRS (GFA.S4F), two bottom-up approaches based on MODIS burned area data (500-m version of GFED, REFIT.AC), a data-model fusion approach with dynamic emission factors that integrates several Earth observation products (TUD.S4F), and three dynamic global vegetation models in diagnostic mode with prescribed burned area. The different approaches to estimate fire emission show that forest and deforestation fires dominate the regional total fire emissions. However, large differences exist in the very high emissions of individual fires that mainly contribute to the regional total fire emissions. We found a higher agreement in estimated CO and NOx emissions between approaches for savannah fires (normalised RMSE < 20%) than for forest and deforestation fires (nRMSE 30%). We estimate that only 10% of all fire events contribute between 85% and 97% of the regional total fire emissions. By using the TUD.S4F data-model fusion approach with dynamic emission factors, we show that most fire CO emissions originate from the burning of woody debris, which burns with low combustion efficiency and hence has higher emission factors for CO. Comparisons with regional field-based investigations show, however, large differences in estimates of surface fuel loads and fuel consumption. Our results demonstrate the advantage of exploring several complementary fire emission approaches to better understand the underlying processes and to account for regional to global fire emissions and their uncertainties.

How to cite: Forkel, M., Wessollek, C., Andela, N., de Laat, J., Huijnen, V., Kinalczyk, D., Marrs, C., van Wees, D., Bastos, A., Ciais, P., Fawcett, D., Kaiser, J. W., Kutchartt, E., Klauberg, C., Leite, R. V., Li, W., Silva, C., Sitch, S., Goncalves De Souza, J., and Plummer, S.: Multiple approaches for quantifying fuels, combustion dynamics, and regional fire emissions in the Amazon and Cerrado, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14672,, 2024.

EGU24-14775 | ECS | Orals | BG1.3

Global coastal ocean CO2 trends over the 1982–2020 period 

Alizee Roobaert, Pierre Regnier, Peter Landschützer, and Goulven G. Laruelle

The development of high-quality controlled databases of sea surface partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) combined with robust machine learning-based mapping methods that fill pCO2 gaps in time and space, enable us to quantify the oceanic air-sea CO2 exchange and its spatiotemporal variability only based on in-situ observations (pCO2-products). However, most existing pCO2-products do not explicitly include the coastal ocean or have a spatial resolution that is too coarse (e.g., 1°) to capture the highly heterogeneous spatiotemporal dynamics of pCO2 in these regions thus limiting our ability to resolve long-term trends and the interannual variability of the coastal air-sea CO2 exchange (FCO2).

To address this limitation, we updated the global coastal pCO2-product of Laruelle et al. (2017) using a 2-step machine learning interpolation technique (relying on Self Organizing Maps and a Feed Forward neural Network) combined with the most extensive monthly time series for coastal waters from the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT), spanning from 1982 to 2020 to reconstruct monthly high spatial resolution (0.25°) continuous coastal pCO2 maps. This updated coastal pCO2-product is then used to reconstruct the temporal evolution of the global coastal FCO2 based on observations.

Our results show that since 1982, the extended coastal ocean, covering an area of 77 million km² in this study, has been acting as an atmospheric CO2 sink, removing -0.4 Pg C yr-1 (-0.2 Pg C yr-1 with a narrower coastal domain roughly equivalent to continental shelves) from the atmosphere. Moreover, the intensity of this CO2 sink has been increasing over time at a rate of 0.1 Pg C yr-1 per decade (0.03 Pg C yr-1 decade-1 in the narrower domain). The long-term change in the air-sea CO2 flux is largely driven by the air-sea pCO2 gradient, dominated by the sea surface pCO2, however wind speed and sea-ice coverage play significant roles, regionally. This new coastal pCO2-product provides a valuable constraint for understanding the strengthening of the global coastal ocean CO2 sink, fill the coastal gap in synthesis studies such as the Global Carbon Budget and serves as a benchmark for evaluating emerging results of ocean biogeochemical models.

How to cite: Roobaert, A., Regnier, P., Landschützer, P., and Laruelle, G. G.: Global coastal ocean CO2 trends over the 1982–2020 period, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14775,, 2024.

EGU24-15244 | Orals | BG1.3

A consistent budgeting of terrestrial carbon fluxes  

Julia Pongratz, Lea Dorgeist, Clemens Schwingshackl, and Selma Bultan

As the remaining carbon budget to limit global warming in line with the Paris Agreement is rapidly shrinking, accurate estimates of the emissions from land-use and land cover change (ELUC) and the terrestrial natural CO2 sinks (SLAND) are crucial. In current carbon budgeting approaches, the ELUC and SLAND estimates are conceptually not consistent, since they stem from two different model families that differ in how CO2 fluxes are attributed to environmental or land-use changes. Consequently, anthropogenic and natural budget terms are not fully distinguished. ELUC is estimated by bookkeeping models, which typically use time-invariant carbon densities representing contemporary environmental conditions. They thus assume a steady environmental state and neglect changes in environmental conditions preceding or succeeding a land-use change event, e.g., denser growing forests in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which emit more when cleared for agricultural land. SLAND is estimated by dynamic global vegetation models, which account for environmental changes but assume that the land cover distribution remained at its pre-industrial state. They thus include carbon sinks in forests that in reality were cleared decades ago. Here we suggest an approach for consistent budgeting of ELUC and SLAND by integrating the response of vegetation and soil carbon to environmental changes, derived from dynamic global vegetation models, into a spatially explicit bookkeeping model (BLUE). A set of dedicated simulations allows us to disentangle and re-attribute environmental and land-use components of the land-atmosphere CO2 exchange. Our results show that land is a cumulative net source of CO2 since 1850, which contrasts current global carbon budgets indicating a net sink. The underlying reason is both a higher estimate of ELUC than previously suggested as well as a smaller land sink: The implementation of environmental changes increases global ELUC over time (14% compared to current estimates for 2012-2021) mainly due to increased emissions from deforestation and wood harvest, which are only partly offset by increased sinks through reforestation/afforestation and other regrowing vegetation. Our SLAND estimate calculated under actual land cover amounts to 3.0 GtC yr-1 for 2012-2021, which is substantially lower both globally and regionally compared to estimates assuming pre-industrial land cover: we find a SLAND is smaller by 0.7 GtC yr-1 in 2012-2021, i.e., 19% lower as compared to the conventional approach using pre-industrial land cover. The overestimate of SLAND under pre-industrial land cover is particularly pronounced in regions with strong ecosystem degradation, such as Southeast Asia, Brazil, and Equatorial Africa. The consistent estimation of terrestrial carbon fluxes is thus essential not only to provide a tangible estimate to monitor the progress of net-zero emission commitments and the remaining carbon budget, but also to highlight the need to protect remaining natural ecosystems for climate regulation. Our approach provides greater consistency with atmospheric inversions and provides a finer split of anthropogenic and natural fluxes useful for a direct comparison of global carbon cycle models to national greenhouse gas inventories.

How to cite: Pongratz, J., Dorgeist, L., Schwingshackl, C., and Bultan, S.: A consistent budgeting of terrestrial carbon fluxes , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15244,, 2024.

EGU24-16495 | Orals | BG1.3

Mean, Seasonal Cycle, Trends, and Storage of the Southern Ocean carbon cycle in the RECCAP2 assessment (1985-2018) 

Lavinia Patara, Judith Hauck, Luke Gregor, Cara Nissen, Mark Hague, Precious Mongwe, Seth Bushinsky, Scott C. Doney, Nicolas Gruber, Corinne Le Quéré, Manfredi Manizza, Matthew Mazloff, and Pedro M. S. Monteiro

The Southern Ocean has long been known to be an important region for ocean CO2 uptake, and one which is especially sensitive to changes in the overlying climate. Here we assess the Southern Ocean CO2 uptake (1985–2018) using data sets gathered in the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes Project Phase 2 (RECCAP2). These include global ocean biogeochemical models (GOBMs), surface ocean pCO2-products, data-assimilated models, and interior ocean biogeochemical observations. Over this period the Southern Ocean acted as a sink for CO2, with magnitudes which are roughly half of those reported by RECCAP1 for the same region and timeframe. Close agreement is found between GOBMs and pCO2-products, partly due to some compensation of seasonal and regional differences. Seasonal analyses revealed agreement in driving processes in winter (with uncertainty in the magnitude of outgassing), whereas discrepancies are more fundamental in summer, when GOBMs exhibit difficulties in simulating the balance of non-thermal processes of biology and mixing/circulation. The data sets emphasize strong latitudinal variations in the mean and seasonality of the CO2 flux and asymmetries in the mean and amplitude of the CO2 flux between Atlantic, Pacific and Indian sectors. The present-day net uptake is to first order a response to rising atmospheric CO2. This drives large amounts of anthropogenic CO2 (Cant) into the ocean, thereby overcompensating the loss of natural CO2 to the atmosphere driven by the changing climate. The GOBMs show, however, a 20% spread and an overall underestimate of Cant storage in the ocean interior. An apparent knowledge gap is the increase of the sink since 2000, with pCO2-products suggesting a growth that is more than twice as strong and uncertain as that of GOBMs. This is despite nearly identical pCO2 trends in GOBMs and pCO2-products when both products are compared only at the locations where pCO2 was measured.

How to cite: Patara, L., Hauck, J., Gregor, L., Nissen, C., Hague, M., Mongwe, P., Bushinsky, S., Doney, S. C., Gruber, N., Le Quéré, C., Manizza, M., Mazloff, M., and Monteiro, P. M. S.: Mean, Seasonal Cycle, Trends, and Storage of the Southern Ocean carbon cycle in the RECCAP2 assessment (1985-2018), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16495,, 2024.

EGU24-16630 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.3

Methane emissions from Dutch peatlands measured by a national eddy covariance network 

Alexander Buzacott, Bart Kruijt, Laurent Bataille, Hanne Berghuis, Jan Biermann, Quint van Giersbergen, Christian Fritz, Reinder Nouta, Merit van den Berg, Ype van der Velde, and Jacobus van Huissteden

Drained peatlands need to be rewetted to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by microbial peat oxidation and to limit soil subsidence. Raising groundwater levels will subsequently increase the chance of methane (CH4) emissions, a much more potent greenhouse gas (GHG) gas than CO2. While intact peatlands are long-term carbon sinks and have a net cooling effect, despite the CH4 emissions, how disturbed peatlands will respond to rewetting is less certain. There are several rewetting strategies outside of returning the land to unproductive uses, such as paludiculture (agriculture on inundated soils) and installing water infiltration systems (WIS) in pastures.

In the Netherlands, more than 85% of the peatlands are used for agriculture and have been extensively drained. Rewetting these peatlands is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions, however the effect this will have on CH4 emissions needs to be understood such that optimal rewetting strategies can be chosen to minimise GHG emissions. In this presentation, we report our efforts into monitoring CH4 emissions across Dutch peatlands with a network of eddy covariance (EC) systems since 2020 for the Netherlands Research Programme on Greenhouse Gas Dynamics in Peatlands and Organic Soils (NOBV) project. Fluxes of CO2 and CH4 have been observed across 20 field sites that cover the current Dutch peatland extent using a combination of permanent and mobile (alternating between two paired sites) EC towers that measured the land uses of paludiculture, semi-natural, pastures with WIS, pastures with high and low groundwater levels, and a lake. We focus on the main drivers of CH4 emissions in Dutch peatlands, evaluate the impact of land use on annual CH4 emissions, and emission upscaling.

How to cite: Buzacott, A., Kruijt, B., Bataille, L., Berghuis, H., Biermann, J., van Giersbergen, Q., Fritz, C., Nouta, R., van den Berg, M., van der Velde, Y., and van Huissteden, J.: Methane emissions from Dutch peatlands measured by a national eddy covariance network, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16630,, 2024.

EGU24-18116 | Orals | BG1.3

Reviewing differences and uncertainties in land-use CO2 flux estimates 

Wolfgang Obermeier, Clemens Schwingshackl, Raphael Ganzenmüller, Ana Bastos, Philippe Ciais, Giacomo Grassi, Ingrid Luijkx, Stephen Sitch, and Julia Pongratz

CO2 fluxes from land use and land-use change (FLUC) are a major source of carbon to the atmosphere. They are composed of gross emissions, mainly from deforestation, peat burning, and peat drainage, and gross removals, mainly from re- and afforestation. The importance of FLUC for climate change mitigation strategies is increasing due to the potential of storing large carbon amounts via re- and afforestation, harvested wood products, and other vegetation-based carbon dioxide removal methods, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Yet, FLUC estimates remain largely uncertain and show substantial discrepancies between different quantification methods, which makes it challenging to provide reliable projections of their potential future evolution.


Here, we review the main characteristics, uncertainties, and discrepancies of individual methods used to estimate FLUC, and we highlight promising steps to reduce FLUC uncertainties and to harmonize the various FLUC estimates. Differences between the approaches are mainly due to differing definitions and assumptions, such as the definition of anthropogenic fluxes and managed land (leading to a gap in FLUC of ~1.8 GtC/yr in 2000-2020 between FLUC estimates by bookkeeping models used in the Global Carbon Project and inventory-based estimates reported by countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the inclusion of environmental effects on carbon stocks (leading to a gap of ~0.4 GtC/yr in 2000-2020 between FLUC estimates from dynamic global vegetation models and bookkeeping models). Furthermore, the individual estimation methods have large uncertainties, mainly arising from the usage of differing land-use forcing data, missing observational constraints, differences in how models implement individual processes, and the degree of implementation of land use practices in models.


To improve the confidence in the individual FLUC estimates, we argue for a systematic model evaluation and an improved parametrization of models, in particular regarding land-use forcing data, carbon densities of vegetation and soils, and the represented processes. Alongside, remaining framework inconsistencies, such as a precise and consistent definition of FLUC and the consideration of transient C densities need to be resolved. This undertaking requires developments in several directions. Earth observations may provide data on carbon densities in vegetation and soil at high spatial resolution, improved estimates of forest regrowth rates as well as impacts of forest management. Models need to be further improved to consider all relevant land-use processes and provide more fine-granular output to guarantee that the different estimates are comparable and/or translatable into each other.


Providing harmonized and more accurate FLUC estimates is essential to improve the stocktake of countries' land use-related CO2 emissions, to provide an accurate budget of the global carbon cycle, and to effectively plan and monitor land-based carbon dioxide removal methods.

How to cite: Obermeier, W., Schwingshackl, C., Ganzenmüller, R., Bastos, A., Ciais, P., Grassi, G., Luijkx, I., Sitch, S., and Pongratz, J.: Reviewing differences and uncertainties in land-use CO2 flux estimates, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18116,, 2024.

EGU24-19922 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Ocean biogeochemical reconstructions to estimate historical ocean CO2 uptake 

Raffaele Bernardello, Valentina Sicardi, Vladimir Lapin, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Etienne Tourigny, and Eric Ferrer

Given the role of the ocean in mitigating climate change through CO2 absorption, it is important to improve our abil ity to quantify the historical ocean CO2 uptake, including its natural variability, for carbon budgeting purposes. In this study we present an exhaustive intercomparison between two ocean modelling practices that can be used to reconstruct the historical ocean CO2 uptake. By comparing the simulations to a wide array of ocean physical and biogeochemical observational datasets, we show how constraining the ocean physics towards observed temperature and salinity results in a better representation of global biogeochemistry. We identify the main driver of this improvement to be a more realistic representation of large scale meridional overturning circulation together with improvements in mixed layer depth and sea surface temperature. Nevertheless, surface chlorophyll was rather insensitive to these changes, and, in some regions, its representation worsened. We identified the causes of this response to be a combination of a lack of robust parameter optimization and limited changes in environmental conditions for phytoplankton. We conclude that although the direct validation of CO2 fluxes is challenging, the pervasive improvement observed in most aspects of biogeochemistry when applying data assimilation of observed temperature and salinity is encouraging; therefore, data assimilation should be included in multi-method international efforts aimed at reconstructing the ocean CO2 uptake.

How to cite: Bernardello, R., Sicardi, V., Lapin, V., Ortega, P., Ruprich-Robert, Y., Tourigny, E., and Ferrer, E.: Ocean biogeochemical reconstructions to estimate historical ocean CO2 uptake, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19922,, 2024.

EGU24-20295 | Orals | BG1.3

A water mass transformation method applied to diagnosing ocean carbon uptake 

Neill Mackay, Jan Zika, Taimoor Sohail, Tobias Ehmen, and Andrew Watson

The ocean is a strong sink for anthropogenic CO2, absorbing around a quarter of emissions since the industrial era. Quantifying the ocean carbon sink is necessary for constraining the global carbon budget; however, discrepancies remain between estimates of the ocean carbon sink over the last 30 years from observation-based data products and those from numerical models. Moreover, larger regional uncertainties highlight the need for a better understanding of the drivers of ocean carbon sink variability, to help improve models and to better constrain future climate projections. A comprehensive understanding of the sink must include knowledge of (1) the air-sea flux of CO2, (2) the accumulation of carbon in the ocean interior, and (3) how it is redistributed within the ocean by changes in the physical circulation. This characterisation is typically achieved using numerical models, which are constrained by resolution and the need to parameterise processes including physical mixing at the sub-grid scale.

We present a novel method for characterising the ocean carbon sink from a combination of oceanographic datasets, and for reconciling our knowledge of the ocean’s uptake of CO2 with that of interior carbon storage rates. Our Optimal Transformation Method (OTM) uses a water mass framework to diagnose the transport and mixing of tracers such as heat, salt, and carbon consistent with observed interior changes and estimates of boundary forcings. The water mass framework has the advantage that the transport and mixing of conservative tracers are diagnosed exactly, with no need for parameterisation. We validate OTM using outputs from a data-assimilating biogeochemical ocean model and demonstrate its ability to recover the model’s ‘true’ air-sea CO2 fluxes when initialised with biased priors. OTM reduces root-mean-squared errors between diagnosed air-sea CO2 fluxes and the model truth from prior to solution by up to 71%, while simultaneously estimating inter-basin transports of heat, freshwater, and carbon consistent with the model. Following successful validation, we apply OTM to a combination of observational data products to diagnose estimates of the ocean’s uptake and redistribution of carbon since 1990, utilising reanalyses of air-sea heat and freshwater fluxes, interior temperature and salinity, air-sea CO2 fluxes, and machine-learning reconstructions of interior ocean carbon.

How to cite: Mackay, N., Zika, J., Sohail, T., Ehmen, T., and Watson, A.: A water mass transformation method applied to diagnosing ocean carbon uptake, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20295,, 2024.

EGU24-20413 | Posters on site | BG1.3

Quantifying unaccounted greenhouse gas emissions due to the war in Ukraine – driver analysis, emission estimation, and implications to emission reporting 

Rostyslav Bun, Gregg Marland, Tomohiro Oda, Linda See, Enrique Puliafito, Zbigniew Nahorski, Matthias Jonas, Vasyl Kovalyshyn, Iolanda Ialongo, Orysia Yashchun, and Zoriana Romanchuk

Quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a critical task for climate monitoring and mitigation actions.  Under the Paris Agreement, for example, accounting and reporting of GHG emissions are mandatory for Parties.  Reported emissions are often calculated using activity data approaches.  The robustness of the activity data collection is a key for obtaining accurate emission estimates; however, in a period of open conflict or war, the systems for data collection can be desperately damaged and destroyed and thus the ability of achieving robust GHG estimates and transparent reporting can be significantly hampered.  Also, military emissions, which are thought to be often poorly quantified, should increase significantly than peace times. 

We attempted to quantify GHG emissions during the first 18 months of the 2022/2023 full-scale war in Ukraine.  We first identified major, war-related, emission drivers and processes from the territory of Ukraine.  We analyzed publicly available data and used expert judgment to estimate emissions from (1) the use of bombs, missiles, barrel artillery, and mines; (2) the consumption of oil products for military operations; (3) fires at petroleum storage depots and refineries; (4) fires in buildings and infrastructure facilities; (5) fires on forest and agricultural lands; and (6) the decomposition of war-related garbage/waste.  Those sources are often not covered by current GHG inventory guidelines, and thus are not likely to be included in national inventory reports. 

Our estimate of the war-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) for the first 18 months of the war in Ukraine is 77 MtCO2-eq. with a relative uncertainty of ±22 % (95 % confidence interval).  It is important to note that these emissions are considered to be emissions from Ukraine in reporting because the emissions occurred within the territory of Ukraine.  The current emission accounting system (e.g. UNFCCC) is not designed to account war/conflict time emissions adequately.  The uncertainties due to the unaccounted emissions are also aliasing to our global and regional carbon budget calculations.

How to cite: Bun, R., Marland, G., Oda, T., See, L., Puliafito, E., Nahorski, Z., Jonas, M., Kovalyshyn, V., Ialongo, I., Yashchun, O., and Romanchuk, Z.: Quantifying unaccounted greenhouse gas emissions due to the war in Ukraine – driver analysis, emission estimation, and implications to emission reporting, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20413,, 2024.

EGU24-20466 | Orals | BG1.3 | Highlight

Fire-precipitation interactions control biomass carbon and net biome production across the world’s largest savanna 

Mathew Williams, David Milodowski, Smallman Luke, Iain McNicol, Kyle Dexter, Casey Ryan, Mike O'Sullivan, Aude Valade, Gabi Hegerl, and Stephen Sitch

Miombo woodlands are the world’s largest savanna, covering 2-3 M km2, and are the dominant land cover in the dry tropics of southern Africa. Here we quantify the dynamics of the miombo region carbon cycle, diagnosing stocks and fluxes and their interactions with climate and disturbance, and evaluate their representation in Trendy land surface models (LSMs). We produce a constrained multi-year analysis (2006-2017) using earth observation time series of total wood C (Cwood) and leaf area index to calibrate an intermediate complexity ecosystem model forced with observed climate, deforestation and burned area. Statistical analyses determine the relationships between carbon cycling, environmental and disturbance variables, and evaluate LSMs. The analysis suggests that the regional net biome production is neutral, 0.0 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (95% Confidence Interval -1.7 - 1.6), with fire emissions contributing ~1.0 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (95% CI 0.4-2.5). Spatial variation in biogenic fluxes and C pools is strongly correlated with mean annual precipitation. Burned area is also positively correlated with these pools and fluxes. Areas that are more frequently burned tend to have greater precipitation, and shorter residence time of Cwood. Fire-related mortality from Cwood to dead organic matter likely exceeds fire-related emissions from Cwood to atmosphere, and likely exceeds natural rates of Cwood mortality. LSMs match the biogenic fluxes of the analysis, but diverge on C stocks, timings of heterotrophic respiration and magnitude of fire emissions. The analysis suggests that climate, through precipitation, drives spatial variability in Cwood and GPP across the region. Fire disturbance is the major driver of losses from Cwood. Larger annual precipitation is correlated with both greater GPP and greater fire disturbance. These factors have opposing but unbalanced impacts on Cwood, but the precipitation-GPP effect dominates. Patterns of C cycling across the region are a complex outcome of climate controls on production, and vegetation-fire interactions.

How to cite: Williams, M., Milodowski, D., Luke, S., McNicol, I., Dexter, K., Ryan, C., O'Sullivan, M., Valade, A., Hegerl, G., and Sitch, S.: Fire-precipitation interactions control biomass carbon and net biome production across the world’s largest savanna, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20466,, 2024.

It has been advocated that nitrogen (N) availability plays an essential role in mediating plant and microbial growth in cold environment, and could thus regulate the direction and magnitude of permafrost carbon (C)-climate feedback. However, compared to widely concerned N, little is known about soil phosphorous (P) availability and its biological acquisition strategies in permafrost environment. Here we explored soil microbial P acquisition strategies using shotgun metagenomics across the Tibetan permafrost area, encompassing a large scale survey spanning 1,000 km. In contrast to the traditional opinion that microorganisms in cold area usually obtain P mainly through mineralization process, our results revealed that the P cycling genes responsible for solubilization, mineralization and transportation were widespread, illustrating multiple microbial strategies for acquiring P in permafrost regions. Moreover, the higher gene abundance related to solubilization and mineralization as well as an increased ration of MAGs carrying these genes were detected in the active layer, while the greater abundance of low affinity transporter gene (pit) and proportions of MAGs harbouring pit gene were observed in permafrost deposits, reflecting a stronger potential for P activation in active layer but an enhanced P transportation potential in permafrost deposits. Taken together, these results highlight that besides microbial P mineralization, multiple P-related acquisition strategies and their differences among various soil layers should be considered simultaneously to improve model prediction for the responses of biogeochemical cycles in permafrost ecosystems to climate change.

How to cite: Wang, L. and Yang, Y.: Divergent microbial phosphorous acquisition strategies between active layer and permafrost deposits, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2973,, 2024.

EGU24-3208 | ECS | Orals | BG1.4 | Highlight

Seagrasses' role as a reverse sedimentary phosphate pump 

Neta Soto, Gilad Antler, and Avner Gross

Seagrasses are marine-flowing plants that form an important coastal ecosystem. Although occupying less than 0.2% of the ocean’s surface, seagrasses store over 15% of the accumulated global carbon storage in the ocean’s sediments. Thus, Seagrass meadows play a pivotal role in mitigating climate change by carbon sequestration. Seagrasses are widely distributed in oligotrophic tropical waters despite the low nutrient levels in the water column due to their ability to absorb nutrients from the sediment porewater. Moreover, seagrasses can actively mobilize unavailable nutrients e.g., iron and phosphorus in the rhizosphere via multiple biogeochemical interactions. This provides them with an important advantage over pelagic photoautotrophs, which are limited by the availability of nutrients in the water column. Despite their ability to transport nutrients from sinks e.g., sediments to the water column where they can be recycled trough grazing or decomposition, the potential role of seagrass as a revers sedimentary phosphate pump remains unclear. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of seagrass disappearance on phosphate flux in marine coastal environments. In a series of incubation experiments, the change in the phosphate release was examined in different tissues of seagrass Halophila stipulacea. The results showed that the while the highest decomposition rate of the rhizomes was the fastest, the highest phosphate release rate was measured in the leaves, despite having similar phosphate content. Since the leaves mostly decompose in the water column, the released phosphate is made available to planktonic photoautotrophs and further enhances more carbon fixation. Overall, we suggest that in oligotrophic environments seagrasses act as a reverse phosphate pump by accessing phosphate in the sediment and later translocating it to the aboveground parts and releasing in the water column, thus fertilizing planktonic photoautotrophs and enhancing further carbon sequestration.

How to cite: Soto, N., Antler, G., and Gross, A.: Seagrasses' role as a reverse sedimentary phosphate pump, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3208,, 2024.

EGU24-3472 | Orals | BG1.4

Elevated atmospheric CO2 increased soil plant available and soil organic phosphorus in a mature temperate oak (Quercus robur L.) forest 

Amin Soltangheisi, Adam Pinder, Keegan Blazey, Robert T. Grzesik, Miles Marshall, Angeliki Kourmouli, Carolina Mayoral, Kris M. Hart, Sami Ullah, Iain P. Hartley, A. Robert MacKenzie, and Andy R. Smith

Enhanced productivity of forest ecosystems in response to rising levels of anthropogenically generated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has the potential to mitigate against climate change by sequestering carbon in woody biomass and soils. However, the physiological response of trees to elevated atmospheric CO2 may be constrained by the availability of soil nutrients, predominantly nitrogen and phosphorus (P). Here, we assess the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on P cycling in a temperate 180-year-old oak (Quercus robur L.) forest exposed to free-air CO2 enrichment (ambient + 150 ppm) for six years. Soil cores were collected to a depth of 1 m in July 2023 and separated into three horizons and three layers (O, A, B, 30-50, 50-70, 70-100 cm) before analysis using the Hedley1 sequential P fractionation and the DeLuca2biological based P extraction techniques. Plant available P in soil pore water and total organic P from the O horizon increased by 84 and 128%, respectively, whilst organic P extracted with phosphatase increased by 62% under elevated CO2. Total organic P in soil horizons beyond the B horizon (> 15 cm) decreased under elevated CO2 in comparison with ambient CO2. As soil organic P is derived from the turnover of both vegetation and microbial biomass, increased soil organic P in the O horizon may be due to the faster turnover of organic matter or an increase in the net primary productivity of the forest. Soil P cycling in this forest ecosystem appears to be predominantly influenced by biological rather than chemical processes, since elevated CO2 only affected the organic P and not inorganic P fractions. Forest productivity may be constrained by P limitation in future elevated CO2 environments, if there is faster organic matter turnover which is probably the case in our study.

1Hedley, M. J., Stewart, J. W. B., & Chauhan, B. (1982). Changes in inorganic and organic soil phosphorus fractions induced by cultivation practices and by laboratory incubations. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 46(5), 970-976.

2DeLuca, T. H., Glanville, H. C., Harris, M., Emmett, B. A., Pingree, M. R., de Sosa, L. L., Cerdá-Moreno, C. & Jones, D. L. (2015). A novel biologically-based approach to evaluating soil phosphorus availability across complex landscapes. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 88, 110-119.

How to cite: Soltangheisi, A., Pinder, A., Blazey, K., Grzesik, R. T., Marshall, M., Kourmouli, A., Mayoral, C., Hart, K. M., Ullah, S., Hartley, I. P., MacKenzie, A. R., and Smith, A. R.: Elevated atmospheric CO2 increased soil plant available and soil organic phosphorus in a mature temperate oak (Quercus robur L.) forest, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3472,, 2024.

EGU24-4491 | Posters on site | BG1.4

Silicone availability and NaCl water type enhances the phosphorus release from sediments in coastal forest catchments in Akita, Japan 

Atsushi Hayakawa, Yuka Kuroe, Ayumi Kawata, Kazuya Nishina, Yuichi Ishikawa, and Tadashi Takahashi

[Background] Phosphorus (P) availability in soils and sediments is a critical parameter influencing primary production in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, controlled by both P chemical fractions in solid phase and solution composition. A recent study using Arctic soils reported that the addition of Si to the soil released P bound to Fe(II) compounds, but reports on other soils and sediments are limited. In our previous study, we detected higher P concentrations in stream water and iron-bound P content in river sediments in the marine sedimentary rock catchments of the Akita coastal area compared to catchments in the adjacent igneous rock area. Furthermore, high-P stream waters were NaCl water type with relatively lower Ca2+ and higher SiO2 concentrations. In this study, we evaluated the effects of different solution compositions and amorphous Si addition on P solubilization in sediments using river sediments from marine sedimentary and igneous rock regions. [Method] We tested each five river sediments (<2 mm) in the headwaters of western Akita Prefecture, Japan, where the surface geology is composed of marine sedimentary rocks and igneous rocks. Available Si (easily water-soluble Si) was measured by a long-term flooded incubation in distilled water at 30°C for 30 days. In the P dissolution incubation, four types of treatment solutions (distilled water, 1 mM NaCl and NaHCO3 solutions, and 0.5 mM CaCl2 solution) were added to 0.5 g sediment and in the Si addition treatment, amorphous Si (hydrophilic fumed silica, AEROSIL300) was also added. SRP, DOC and pH in the solution were measured after shaking for 48 hours. A statistical analysis was performed using a linear mixed model (LMM) with SRP, DOC and pH in the liquid phase as objective variables. The surface geology, four types of solutions, and the Si addition as explanatory variables. Additionally, each five sediment was treated as a random effect. [Results and discussion] Easily water-soluble Si content in sediments was significantly higher in marine sedimentary rock areas (p < 0.001), indicating that the easily soluble Si causes higher SiO2 concentration in stream water. The incubation results showed Si addition significantly increased P concentration in the liquid phase (p < 0.001), and combined Si addition with NaHCO3 treatment further increased P concentration. Conversely, CaCl2 treatment significantly decreased the liquid-phase P concentration. The influence of surface geology on extracted P concentration was not significant. Si addition did not affect pH (p = 0.58) and DOC (p = 0.90), while the effects of solution composition on pH and DOC were also significant; NaHCO3 solution increased pH and DOC while CaCl2 solution decreased pH and DOC. In conclusion, in marine sedimentary rock areas in coastal Akita with NaCl water type where Ca2+ concentration is relatively low and sediments have higher easily soluble Si, P release from sediments easily occurs and a high P concentration keeps in the liquid phase.

How to cite: Hayakawa, A., Kuroe, Y., Kawata, A., Nishina, K., Ishikawa, Y., and Takahashi, T.: Silicone availability and NaCl water type enhances the phosphorus release from sediments in coastal forest catchments in Akita, Japan, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4491,, 2024.

EGU24-6352 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.4

Phosphorous in the seabed sediments of the Gulf of Riga, Baltic Sea: Fe-Mn concretions as main carriers of mobile phosphorous  

Markus Ausmeel, Martin Liira, Päärn Paiste, Aivo Lepland, and Sten Suuroja

Baltic Sea is a geologically young semi-enclosed brakish-water body which water exchange with the ocean has been gradually declining. Approximately 85 million people live in the Baltic Sea's catchment area, resulting in significant human impact on the basin's ecosystem. Eutrophication due to anthropogenic discharge of nutrients is considered to be the most serious environmental problem which leads to a greater growth of phytoplankton and algae, deterioration of water quality, and lack of oxygen in near-bottom water masses. As a result of recent large-scale input of nutrients, phosphorus has accumulated in the seabed sediments from where it can be remobilized and released into the water column under favorable conditions (hypoxic or anoxic). Marine sediments contain phosphorus in various components i.e. fractions, but not all of them are affected by remobilization. Therefore, knowing how phosphorus fractions are distributed in seabed sediments is important.

One part of the Baltic Sea that has received little attention, but will significantly affect the entire Baltic Sea in the future, is the Gulf of Riga. The Gulf of Riga accounts for less than 5% of the total area of the Baltic Sea and less than 2% of the total water volume. Due to its shallowness and limited connection with the open Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Riga is strongly influenced by riverine input. Intense agriculture, rapid development of industry, and urbanization have resulted in high loads of nutrients into the Gulf of Riga already since the 1960s.

Phosphorus fractions and their vertical distribution were studied from the sea-bottom sediments from the Gulf of Riga and other coastal areas of western Estonia. The amount of potentially mobile phosphorus stored in the surface sediments of the Gulf of Riga is several times higher than in other accumulation areas of the Baltic Sea, with concentrations as high as 980 mg/kg(dw). A strong correlation between Mn and mobile phosphorus concentration suggests that Fe-Mn concretions control the amount of phosphorus in the sediments of the Gulf of Riga. Although the bottom waters of the Gulf of Riga are currently predominantly oxic, a decreasing trend of deep-layer oxygen concentrations and more frequent hypoxia in the Gulf of Riga during previous decades have been documented. Considering the large amount of potentially mobile phosphorus in the sediments of the Gulf of Riga, surpassing the annual total phosphorus input to the Baltic Sea, a substantial release of phosphorus could be inevitable, possibly impacting the entire Baltic Sea ecosystem.

How to cite: Ausmeel, M., Liira, M., Paiste, P., Lepland, A., and Suuroja, S.: Phosphorous in the seabed sediments of the Gulf of Riga, Baltic Sea: Fe-Mn concretions as main carriers of mobile phosphorous , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6352,, 2024.

EGU24-7212 | ECS | Orals | BG1.4

Vivianite verified in early Cambrian strata in northwestern China: Implications for phosphorus recycling in ancient anoxic oceans 

Xuyang Cao, Pengcheng Ju, Yigui Han, Lihui Lu, and Dong Shao

In modern low sulfate and anoxic (euxinic) waters, the precipitation of mineral vivianite (an easily oxidized hydrated ferrous-iron phosphate) has played a crucial role in restraining the limiting nutrient element phosphorus (P) recycling back to the water column and consequently decreasing primary productivity. Although such low sulfate and anoxic conditions were widespread in ancient coastal oceans, vivianite has not been directly discovered in the paleo-sediments, which hampers the understanding of P cycling in ancient anoxic environments. Here, we combined techniques of scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, focused ion beam-transmission electron microscopy and P K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy to analyze samples of P-bearing siliceous rocks and shales from the early Cambrian Yurtus Formation in the Tarim Craton, northwest China. Our results have demonstrated that micron- to nano-scale vivianite crystals are well preserved in the rocks and the vivianite dominates the P phase in some samples. The cherty matrix of the rocks most likely increased the chances of preservation of the oxidation-sensitive vivianite. In light of recent advances, we suggest that vivianite was a crucial P phase in ancient continental margin sediments, spanning most time from the Neoarchean to the early Cambrian. During this interval, the precipitation of vivianite was likely aided by the prevalent dynamic ocean euxinic conditions linked with the seawater sulfate reservoir and the flux of organic matter settling. We propose a negative feedback mechanism in which vivianite precipitation from ancient euxinic waters restricted P availability for biota, reduced marine primary productivity, and possibly abated the rate of Earth's oxygenation and associated evolution of life. This work was financially supported by NSFC projects (grants 42072264, 41730213) and Hong Kong RGC GRF (17307918).

How to cite: Cao, X., Ju, P., Han, Y., Lu, L., and Shao, D.: Vivianite verified in early Cambrian strata in northwestern China: Implications for phosphorus recycling in ancient anoxic oceans, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7212,, 2024.

EGU24-9578 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.4

Lithology-constrained phosphorus (P) releasement 

Shenghui Ouyang

Phosphorus (P), as an indispensable nutrient element in Earth’s biological system, exerts a pivotal role on the burial of organic carbon over million-year time scales. By producing oxygen and consuming carbon dioxide, organic carbon burial may have paved the path for multicellular organisms by reforming the anoxic atmosphere to an oxic one. Organic carbon burial, on long time scales, is ultimately limited by continental P influx released by chemical weathering of P-bearing minerals. As crystalline rocks characterized by prominent discrepancy in P-bearing mineral composition undergoing various dominant weathering forces on surficial environment, P availability for organic carbon burial could be controlled by lithology. To decipher the conundrum of P releasement, a catchment scale case study was conducted, encompassing a series of lithologies following the crystalline rock order. Preliminary data suggests that the P release efficiency is lithology-constrained, indicating an enhanced P releasement in felsic catchment. The result gives us a hint that felsic crust would export more P to the ocean and promote the organic carbon burial, the lithology-constrained P releasement also enlightens us a new perspective to understand the coevolution among crust, atmosphere and life.

How to cite: Ouyang, S.: Lithology-constrained phosphorus (P) releasement, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9578,, 2024.

EGU24-9674 | ECS | Orals | BG1.4

Linking phosphorus research to impact: advances and challenges in mapping soil phosphorus pools 

Julian Helfenstein, Bruno Ringeval, Federica Tamburini, Daniel S. Goll, Xianjin He, Vera Mulder, Yingping Wang, Edwin Alblas, and Emmanuel Frossard

Improved management of phosphorus (P) is essential for achieving a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including maintaining food security, preserving water quality, and mitigating climate change. This requires an integration of comprehensive mechanistic understanding with accurate spatial data. In this interdisciplinary review, we combine insights from empirical P research, digital soil mapping, biogeochemical modeling, and environmental law to critically examine the current state, pinpoint challenges and propose novel pathways for desperately needed P maps. We first elucidate the relevance of spatial data on P for different SDGs. Subsequently, we summarize the current efforts in mapping P pools at regional to global scales, and discuss the challenges of mapping “available P” due to substantial local scale variability and poor correlation with predictors relative to other soil properties. The practical applicability of these recently published maps is tested by evaluating them with independent measurement data. Finally, we outline ways forward to enhance the accuracy and reliability of P maps, as a basis for science-informed management of P resources.

How to cite: Helfenstein, J., Ringeval, B., Tamburini, F., Goll, D. S., He, X., Mulder, V., Wang, Y., Alblas, E., and Frossard, E.: Linking phosphorus research to impact: advances and challenges in mapping soil phosphorus pools, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9674,, 2024.

EGU24-14368 | Orals | BG1.4

Phosphorus Cycling and Transport in Phosphorus Saturated Soils of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, USA 

Gurpal Toor, Jesse Radolinski, Emileigh Lucas, Charles Burgis, Bradley Kennedy, Fajun Sun, and Patricia Steinhilber

Long-term application of organic products (manure, biosolids, other wastes) and inorganic phosphatic fertilizers have created hot spots of phosphorus (P) saturated soils in intensive animal production regions worldwide. In such regions, P losses from P-saturated (i.e., legacy P) soils continue to plague efforts to improve water quality. Understanding the P cycling and fluxes from these P-saturated soils is critical to advancing our knowledge and developing strategies to manage P in soils and curb P losses. This presentation will discuss P cycling and transport in agricultural catchments (with Maize-Soybean rotation) from the lenses of P chemistry in soils and hydrologic responses from soils to further advancements in managing the P cycle in the soil-plant-water continuum for agricultural sustainability and environmental protection.

How to cite: Toor, G., Radolinski, J., Lucas, E., Burgis, C., Kennedy, B., Sun, F., and Steinhilber, P.: Phosphorus Cycling and Transport in Phosphorus Saturated Soils of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, USA, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14368,, 2024.

EGU24-14436 | ECS | Orals | BG1.4

Balancing crop production, water quality and the use of finite P reserves by using the soil P sorption capacity in revised fertilizer recommendations 

Maarten van Doorn, Debby van Rotterdam-Los, Gerard H. Ros, and Wim de Vries

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth and is applied to agricultural soils in the form of organic manure or inorganic fertilizer. To guide farmers in achieving optimal crop yields, P fertilizer recommendations are in place with the rationale to bring soils to a “target soil P status” following the classic build-up and maintenance approach. The target soil P status where crop yield is not limited by P deficiencies is generally operationalized as the soil P status at which 90-99% of the potential crop yield is found in long-term fertilization field experiments. Though these fertilizer recommendations allow for an economic optimization of crop yield versus P inputs, environmental objectives are barely considered. In our research, we revised the classic build-up and maintenance approach to balance crop production, water quality and the use of finite P reserves. This revision requires insights into the P sorption capacity of soils (PSC) and its saturation with P. We identify the oxalate extraction method as a key component of this approach since it quantifies the PSC from the combined measurement of amorphous iron- and aluminium-(hydr)oxides and the total pool of reversibly bound P. For the Netherlands, we show the implications of the approach for P fertilizer use. We quantified soil amorphous iron- and aluminium(hydr)oxides contents at a 25m resolution across the soil depth profile using a Digital Soil Mapping approach and used these predictions to translate agronomic soil P data to new insights to optimize P fertilizer use. We finally argue that agronomic P target levels should be lowered in soils with a low PSC to decrease the risk of P leaching and in soils with a high PSC to ensure judicious use of finite P reserves.

How to cite: van Doorn, M., van Rotterdam-Los, D., Ros, G. H., and de Vries, W.: Balancing crop production, water quality and the use of finite P reserves by using the soil P sorption capacity in revised fertilizer recommendations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-14436,, 2024.

EGU24-16417 | ECS | Orals | BG1.4

31P NMR Reveals Predominance of Small Molecules in Organic Phosphorus within NaOH-EDTA Soil Extracts 

Lenny Haddad, Andrea Vincent, Reiner Giesler, and Jürgen Schleucher

Organic phosphorus (P) plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and productivity of soils. Understanding the composition of organic phosphorus in soils is thus relevant to a range of disciplines, spanning from agricultural sciences to ecology. Over the past few decades, efforts have been directed towards characterizing and quantifying various soil organic P compounds and determining their turnover rates. Despite these efforts, the precise nature of soil organic P remains unclear, particularly that of orthophosphate monoesters, which dominate 31P NMR spectra of NaOH-EDTA extracts globally.

Typically, the monoester region of 1D 31P NMR spectra appears as a series of sharp signals "sitting" on a broad background where the broad background can account for a substantial part of the monoester region. This is prompting questions about how to integrate and identify these signals and to what extent this fraction may be ecologically important. To investigate this monoester background, we employed 1D 31P NMR and 2D 1H-31P NMR1, along with 31P transverse relaxation (T2)2 measurements to calculate intrinsic linewidths. We related this linewidth to molecular weight to unveil the nature of the observed background. Analysing seven soils from different ecosystems, we observed linewidths ranging from 0.5 to 3 Hz for both resolved monoester signals and the background. This suggests that the background comprises numerous, possibly exceeding 100, sharp signals associated with small (<1.5 kDa) organic P molecules.

Organic P in the form of nucleic acids, phospholipids, P-containing metabolites, and phosphorylated proteins dominate the P content of live leaves, leaf litter and microbial tissues. Furthermore, P-containing metabolites are exuded by roots and are present in a vast array of organisms. Evidence that the background potentially can contain a large number of small metabolites is thus not surprising and may account for an important part of the organic P pool given that the background accounts for about 55% of the monoester region. Our findings warrant further research specifically addressing to what extent this pool may play for plant and microbial P nutrition.

We provide recommendations for treating 31P NMR spectra to accurately quantify phosphomonoester species, representing a crucial step in linking observed P speciation to its bioavailability. Our findings align with previous 31P NMR studies detecting background signals in soil-free samples and new evidence suggesting that alkali-soluble soil organic matter consists of self-assemblies of small organic compounds mimicking large molecules.

1Vestergren, J.; Vincent, A. G.; Jansson, M.; Persson, P.; Ilstedt, U.; Gröbner, G.; Giesler, R.; Schleucher, J. High-Resolution Characterization of Organic Phosphorus in Soil Extracts Using 2D 1H–31P NMR Correlation Spectroscopy. Environmental Science & Technology 2012, 46 (7), 3950–3956.

2Vincent, A. G.; Schleucher, J.; Gröbner, G.; Vestergren, J.; Persson, P.; Jansson, M.; Giesler, R. Changes in Organic Phosphorus Composition in Boreal Forest Humus Soils: The Role of Iron and Aluminium. Biogeochemistry 2012, 108 (1), 485–499.

How to cite: Haddad, L., Vincent, A., Giesler, R., and Schleucher, J.: 31P NMR Reveals Predominance of Small Molecules in Organic Phosphorus within NaOH-EDTA Soil Extracts, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16417,, 2024.

EGU24-16549 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.4

A meta-analysis of global soybean plant growth and yield improvement in response to phosphorus addition 

Hannah Walling, Mariana Rufino, Jose Rotundo, Lucas Borras, Shane Rothwell, John Quinton, and Phil Haygarth

Application of phosphorus (P) fertiliser to soybean accounts for a large proportion of the global consumption of P as an agricultural fertiliser. Despite this key a knowledge gap exists surrounding the mechanisms of P fertiliser uptake and how it interacts with nitrogen fixation processes and yield improvements.

This paper aims to improve the understanding of P cycling in global cropping systems and will present a global meta-analysis of published data quantifying the effect of P fertiliser application on soybean above- and below-ground plant response variables. 790 paired observations (P fertiliser treatment and control treatment) were synthesised from 81 peer-reviewed articles that reported soybean response, including seed yield and nodulation, to P addition under a range of different environmental conditions.

We tested the hypothesise that:

  • soybean productivity will increase following P addition, with this response being driven by below-ground processes;
  • environmental conditions, particularly soil chemical properties would explain the variance in the observed response.

Analysis of these observations showed an overarching increase in soybean plant response following P addition. We found that several environmental and experimental conditions, particularly soil phosphorus status and phosphorus fertiliser rate influence the response of soybean to phosphorus addition, highlighting the complexities of sustaining P use across such a globally cultivated crop.

We recommend further experimental work needs to be conducted, which controls for such factors and allows for the improved mechanistic understanding of below-ground processes, to inform better use of finite P resources.

How to cite: Walling, H., Rufino, M., Rotundo, J., Borras, L., Rothwell, S., Quinton, J., and Haygarth, P.: A meta-analysis of global soybean plant growth and yield improvement in response to phosphorus addition, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16549,, 2024.

EGU24-17700 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.4

Vivianite as a phosphorus sink in estuarine systems: The case study of the Brillantes mudflat, Loire, France 

Mohammed Barhdadi, Aurélia Mouret, Christine Barras, Guillaume Morin, Grégoire Maillet, Matthieu Durand, Meryem Mojtahid, Eric Bénéteau, Nicolas Dubosq, and Edouard Metzger

Phosphorus (P) is a key nutrient controlling primary production in aquatic systems. In coastal systems, the P cycle involves dynamic interactions between terrestrial, aquatic and sedimentary compartments. Over the last century, human activities such as deforestation, intensive agricultural practices and the disposal of municipal and industrial wastes have increased P inputs to coastal ecosystems. As a result, this increase in P inputs has led to an increase in the occurrence of algal blooms and higher oxygen demand in estuaries. In the Loire estuary, dissolved oxygen deficits have been a recurrent and worrying issue for several decades despite the improvement of water quality over the last 30 years due to reduced wastewater discharge and better effluent treatment. In this context, the burial of bioavailable P may influence the recovery of waters from eutrophication. The major P burial phases are apatite, organic P and iron-bound P. The results of sequential chemical extraction and pore water analysis carried out over a 5m-long sediment core from the intertidal Brillantes mudflat in the Loire estuary indicated a greater abundance of the iron-bound P compared to other phases. Iron-bound P occurs in two different forms: phosphorus bound to iron oxides and in the iron phosphate mineral known as vivianite. Vivianite is a ferrous iron phosphate mineral formed under reducing and low sulphate conditions in sediments where organic matter serve as electron donor for ferric iron reduction. Results of sequential chemical extraction of freeze-dried sediment samples combined with pore water data and scanning electron microscope–energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDXS) on resin-embedded sediment samples indicated that vivianite-type minerals may act as an important sink for P at the studied site. Authigenic vivianite crystals were found below the shallow sulphate/methane transition zone (SMTZ) at 94 cm depth and contain significant amounts of manganese, as observed in freshwater sediments. We therefore hypothesise that anthropogenic over-fertilization of coastal regions in the last century may have increased the importance of vivianite authigenesis in surface sediments. Consequently, vivianite is likely to be an important sink for P in estuarine systems worldwide.

This study is part of a PhD financed by the European Project Life REVERS’EAU.

How to cite: Barhdadi, M., Mouret, A., Barras, C., Morin, G., Maillet, G., Durand, M., Mojtahid, M., Bénéteau, E., Dubosq, N., and Metzger, E.: Vivianite as a phosphorus sink in estuarine systems: The case study of the Brillantes mudflat, Loire, France, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17700,, 2024.

EGU24-19011 | Orals | BG1.4

Microbial phosphorus limitiation with soil age along a chronosequence on the Galapagos Islands 

Katharina Maria Keiblinger, Sebastian Socianu, Maria Rechberger, Martin Gerzabek, and Franz Zehetner

The Galápagos archipelago, a volcanic island chain, is comprised of a series of progressively older islands with increasingly weathered soils away from the volcanic hotspot. Volcanic soils are known for their high phosphate sorption capacity. In this study, we explore differences in soil microbial abundance and activity across a soil age gradient (1.5 to 1070 ka) to understand how soil microorganisms are affected by soil development, shifting soil characteristics and P sorption over extensive periods.

Basal respiration, substrate-induced respiration and microbial biomass P decreased with soil development, suggesting increasing nutrient limitation for soil microbes. Also, soil enzymatic stoichiometry revealed a limitation driven mainly by P and not by N or C. C- and N-acquiring exoenzyme activities peaked at 26 ka with lower activities in younger and older soils. Phosphatase activity increased with soil age, indicating microbial P limitation in the older soils. This is only partly in line with  P sorption-desorption characteristics along the studied weathering sequence. Phosphate sorption capacity was high in the 4.3 ka soils likely due to amorphous soil constituents. A change towards 2:1-type crystalline clays after 26 ka of soil weathering led to weaker P sorption and stronger desorption, and acidification and increased P occlusion in Al and Fe (hydr)oxides became an important factor for microbial P limitation in the older soils.

Our results reveal striking differences in soil properties on the Galápagos Islands, suggesting relatively little nutrient constraints for soil microbes, despite strong P sorption, in the younger volcanic soils but growing P limitation in the older, highly weathered soils. These observations have important bearings on nutrient cycling and may therefore also affect the evolution of plant and animal species on this unique archipelago.

How to cite: Keiblinger, K. M., Socianu, S., Rechberger, M., Gerzabek, M., and Zehetner, F.: Microbial phosphorus limitiation with soil age along a chronosequence on the Galapagos Islands, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19011,, 2024.

EGU24-20517 | Posters on site | BG1.4

A spatial perspective on internal phosphorus cycling in morphologically complex eutrophic lakes: the importance of stratification 

Tom Jilbert, Siqi Zhao, Jussi Vesterinen, and Juha Niemistö

Many eutrophic lakes suffer from long term accumulation of legacy phosphorus (P) in sediments. Repeated cycling of P between sediments and water column leads to delayed recovery from eutrophication even after abatement of external loading. Moreover, in complex multi-basin lake systems, legacy P can be internally redistributed over time, leading to spatial heterogeneity in regeneration and burial of P and consequent impacts on water quality. Few studies have attempted to map such internal variability in individual lakes in the context of understanding long term recovery from eutrophication. Here we use a combination of sediment trap deployments through one full stratification cycle (May-October 2021), sediment core biogeochemical analyses, and mass balance calculations, to quantify P cycling in Lake Hiidenvesi, a dimictic lake with 5 sub-basins in southern Finland. We show that exchange of P between sediments and water column is more intense in shallow (approximately 0-10 m depth) non-stratified sub-basins, due to both sediment resuspension and diffusive fluxes across the sediment-water interface. In contrast, deeper stratified sub-basins serve as P sinks by promoting sedimentation in relatively quiescent conditions. Due to lateral exchange of water and suspended materials between sub-basins, P is shuttled towards long term burial in deeper, downstream sub-basins. Budget calculations show that net sediment P burial exceeds external loading on the whole-lake scale, indicating a long-term trend towards recovery from eutrophication. However, temporary retention and repeated recycling of legacy P in the shallower upstream sub-basins continues to impact negatively on water quality, despite external loading reductions. The results have implications for understanding the timescales of recovery and for targeting restoration actions aimed at modifying internal P cycling to improve water quality.

How to cite: Jilbert, T., Zhao, S., Vesterinen, J., and Niemistö, J.: A spatial perspective on internal phosphorus cycling in morphologically complex eutrophic lakes: the importance of stratification, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20517,, 2024.

EGU24-21673 | Posters on site | BG1.4

Beyond “Redfield ratio”: Oxygen exchange between water and phosphate can provide insights into carbon dynamics in soils 

Federica Tamburini, Maja Siegenthaler, and Chiara Pistocchi

Phosphorus (P) is essential for cellular metabolism. Many metabolic pathways and processes depend on it, including energy production through ATP, DNA and RNA synthesis, and protein phosphorylation during post-translational signaling adaptation.

In marine sediments and oceanic water, the stoichiometric ratio between carbon and phosphorus has been found to vary with latitude, but in algae and phytoplankton, which are responsible for primary production and CO2 uptake from the atmosphere, this ratio is relatively constant. This constant ratio is known as the Redfield ratio and  it is often used as a constraint in modeling.

In soils, where microorganisms control nutrient cycling and consequent carbon sequestration, the C:P is more variable both in soil and microbial biomass. First, microorganisms exhibit a wide range of metabolic adaptations to environmental pressure, and the physical and mineralogical properties of the soil play a significant role in nutrient control, e.g. through sorption/desorption reactions. Due to these complexities, using nutrient ratios for modeling soil organic carbon dynamics and predicting the impact of anthropogenic influences on global changes is challenging. Is it possible to find a connection between carbon and phosphate that encompasses the "Redfield" ratio and reflects their tight link in cellular metabolism?

By examining the oxygen isotope composition in inorganic phosphate (δ18O-Pi), we can determine the extent of oxygen exchange between water and phosphate, which is controlled by biological processes. Intracellularly, this exchange occurs through phosphoryl transfer, a fundamental process in cellular phosphate cycling. 

During the last 10 years, we conducted a series of incubation experiments where we measured CO2 respiration and δ18O in resin and microbial cytosolic phosphate in soils from different environments. These incubations were performed with waters of varying 18O isotopic composition. By analyzing δ18O in microbial cytosolic phosphate at the beginning and end of the incubation, we could measure the level of oxygen exchange between water and phosphate.

Comparing the results from these incubations, we observed a significant correlation between the percentage of oxygen exchange and the cumulative CO2 respired during the incubation. This correlation was consistent  through different soil ages, mineralogy, phosphate levels, and incubation length. When normalizing the percentage of oxygen exchange to moles of oxygen exchanged per moles of carbon respired, it appears that for every mole of oxygen exchanged due to phosphoryl transfer, there is a nearly fixed amount of carbon respired. This suggests that the moles of oxygen exchanged through phosphoryl transfer recorded in soil microbial phosphate can provide information about metabolic carbon expenditure.

This finding would provide new insights on the link between P and C in soil microbial biomass. The controlled nature of the incubation experiments may not fully reflect the biological activity in soil environments, so it would be necessary to perform field-based incubation experiments to confirm the link between carbon respiration and phosphorus microbial cycle. This information could potentially improve our understanding of carbon dynamics and be used for further modeling purposes.

How to cite: Tamburini, F., Siegenthaler, M., and Pistocchi, C.: Beyond “Redfield ratio”: Oxygen exchange between water and phosphate can provide insights into carbon dynamics in soils, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21673,, 2024.

EGU24-21972 | Posters on site | BG1.4

Exploring spatial distribution and characterization of inorganic and organic phosphorus in temperate soils using NanoSIMS  

Kaiyu Lei, Franziska Barbara Bucka, Carmen Höschen, Yahan Hu, and Ingrid Kögel-Knabner

For a comprehensive understanding of the phosphorus (P) storage and cycling in temperate soils, it is necessary to explore further the bonding pathways of organic P (Po) and inorganic P (Pi) to mineral surfaces and soil organic matter (SOM), and their interconnections with organic carbon (OC) at a micro-scale other than conventional bulk analysis. In the past decade, nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) has been increasingly recognized as a promising imaging technique to understand soil biogeochemical processes, particularly in exploring organo-mineral associations in soils at the microscale (Mueller et al., 2023). However, its application in studying P, and the identification and distinction of Po and Pi remains challenging, hindering a comprehensive understanding of the P cycling in soils.

In our study, four temperate soil types, including Cambisol, Luvisol, Phaeozem and Fluvisol, were taken from Bavarian Forest in South-East Germany. The pH of these soils ranges from 5.4 to 6.3, with poor to medium P stocks but distinct Po stocks in fine fractions (<20 μm). Previous bulk studies have hinted at different pathways in P bonding to mineral surfaces and SOM. NanoSIMS was employed to further explore and visualize these bonding pathways. Recent advancements in NanoSIMS technology, particularly improved O- sources for cation detection and the capability for 31P- and 31P16O2- detection enable us to identify and distinguish Po and Pi at a microscale by 31P16O2-/31P- ratio, in which a lower ratio in specific areas corresponds to a more dominant presence of Po, and vice versa.

From NanoSIMS images, preliminary results reveal that a proportion of Po associates with either clay minerals or Fe (hydr)oxdies without assimilating into SOM. This Po fraction is suspected to originate from highly decomposed SOM, where N has either been assimilated by microorganisms or leached away, and Po is stabilized to mineral surfaces due to strong bonding strength. In contrast, the Po assimilated into SOM is associated with various cations, including Ca, Al and Fe, which may suggest the origin from particulate organic matter. Interestingly, the fine plant residue is depleted in Po in the fine fraction.

In conclusion, our study provides valuable insights into distinguishing different bonding pathways of these P forms within clay minerals, Fe (hydro)oxides, and SOM by using advanced NanoSIMS data, and emphasizes the interconnection with OC and Po and Pi in the fine fraction.

Reference: Mueller, C. W., Hoeschen, C., Koegel-Knabner, I., 2023. Understanding of soil processes at the microscale—Use of NanoSIMS in soil science. Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment (Second Edition). Elsevier. 10.1016/B978-0-12-822974-3.00045-8

How to cite: Lei, K., Bucka, F. B., Höschen, C., Hu, Y., and Kögel-Knabner, I.: Exploring spatial distribution and characterization of inorganic and organic phosphorus in temperate soils using NanoSIMS , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21972,, 2024.

EGU24-22214 | Orals | BG1.4

Heterogeneous Dissolved Organic Phosphorus Composition and Bioavailability in Marine Systems 

Sonya Dyhrman, Kathleen Ruttenberg, Danielle Hull, and Sherril Leon Soon

The critical role of Dissolved Organic Phosphorus (DOP) in supporting primary production has spurred efforts to characterize DOP composition so that insight may be gained into its bioavailability and cycling in aquatic systems. The degree to which DOP is bioavailable to primary producers will determine, in part, the extent of carbon uptake and sequestration.  Ascertaining DOP composition has proven to be an analytically challenging endeavor.  As a consequence, the DOP pool remains poorly characterized, and our predictive power relative to DOP-bioavailability, and coupled carbon cycling, remains limited. Analytical impediments to characterizing DOP composition in natural waters include its low concentration, requiring pre-concentration before compositional features can be probed via spectroscopy, and the fact that organic phosphorus compounds are not easily amenable to standard organic geochemical approaches, such as chromatographic or mass spectrophotometric methods, particularly in salt water. While 31-Phosphorus Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (31P-NMR) spectroscopy has provided intriguing information on the distribution of the 2 major DOP compound types (phosphoesters, phosphonates), the crucial question of DOP bioavailability cannot be addressed by this method. We present novel DOP molecular weight distribution and bioavailability data, generated using a coupled sequential ultrafiltration-bioavailability approach from a marine water column depth profile and locations across a gradient in phosphate concentration in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  There is substantial compositional variability in the marine DOP pool, both in the pattern of DOP molecular weight distribution at different sites, as well as the distribution of bioavailable mono- and diesters of phosphate across molecular weight fractions.  In some cases, a substantial fraction of DOP in different molecular weight size classes is non-reactive to the two enzymes used to assay potential bioavailability, raising the interesting possibility of non-bioavailable DOP. The significance of recognizing that the oceanic DOP pool is compositionally heterogeneous, and variably bioavailable, lies in that fact that such information is a prerequisite to building ecosystem models that capture the influence of P biogeochemistry on primary production and carbon cycling in aquatic systems.

How to cite: Dyhrman, S., Ruttenberg, K., Hull, D., and Leon Soon, S.: Heterogeneous Dissolved Organic Phosphorus Composition and Bioavailability in Marine Systems, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-22214,, 2024.

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are carbon compounds released by plants through secondary metabolism. In the global background of nitrogen (N) deposition, plants respond to environmental changes by altering BVOCs and photosynthetic strategies. However, there is very little research on the release and photosynthetic characteristics of BVOCs in bamboo in response to N deposition. Therefore, we took Pleioblast amarus as a research object and conducted pot experiments to set up four different nitrogen deposition levels (referred to as "N deposition") (0 kg N hm-2-a-1(N0), 30 kg N hm-2 a-1(N1), 60 kg N hm-2 a-1(N2), and 90 kg N hm-2 a-1(N3)) to explore the effects of different N deposition levels on the release and photosynthetic characteristics of BVOCs in leaves, and analyzed the correlation between the indicators. The results showed that: (1) the percentage of isoprene emission from Pleioblast amarus bamboo leaves increased with the increase of N deposition level (significantly positively correlated), but the N deposition level did not significantly affect the total number of BVOCs; (2) the increase of N deposition level significantly increased the net photosynthetic rate and isoprene (ISO) emission rate of leaves, with the highest ISO emission rate under N3 treatment, which was 80. 39%, 75.07%, and 50.84% higher than N0, N1, and N2, respectively; (3) ISO emission rate and total BVOCs emission of Sanming bitter bamboo were significantly positively correlated with net photosynthetic rate and photosynthetic effective radiation of leaves, but ISO emission rate and total BVOCs emission were significantly negatively correlated with chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll content (P≤0.05). In conclusion, the increase in nitrogen deposition led to a remarkable increase in isoprene emissions from Sanming bitter bamboo leaves. 

How to cite: Li, L. and Liu, X.: Effects of nitrogen deposition on volatile organic compounds composition, isoprene emissions and photosynthetic characteristics of Pleioblast amarus, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2236,, 2024.

EGU24-2534 | Posters on site | BG1.6

Rice cultivation under continuous flooding vs alternate wetting and drying: implications for biomass, nitrogen cycling and greenhouse gas flux 

Sami Ullah, Megha Kaviraj, Yafei Guo, Gianni Micucci, and Fotis Sgouridis

Rice uses 34-43% of the global irrigation water and is responsible for the usage of 24-30% of the world's total freshwater. More than 75% of rice produced in India is cultivated using the traditional continuous flooding (CF) irrigation method, which is a labour-intensive, time, water and energy-consuming process and a key source of global methane emissions. Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) is a popular water-saving approach trailed in Asia including India to reduce water use and methane emissions, whilst sustaining rice production. AWD is a method of periodic soil saturation followed by drying compared to CF. The objective of this research was to evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and internal and external nitrogen cycling processes as influenced by AWD and CF management regimes. A mesocosm experiment was set up in the laboratory using imported Indian paddy soil where Jasmine rice (var KDML 105) was grown. Our results depicted that plant biomass (52.57%), root biomass (28.57%), height (24.77%), effective tiller number (45.15%), stem sheath diameter (53.38%) and stomatal conductance (66.49%) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in CF compared to AWD treatment. A similar trend was observed in rice leaf chlorophyll (Chl a, b and total chl) contents. Interestingly, the chlorophyll a and b ratio observed was higher (1.63) in AWD compared to CF (1.03) conditions. This was likely during the process of chlorophyll b degradation and conversion to Chl a, thus resulting in the increase of a to b ratio to cope with the stress by maintaining the leaf photosynthetic efficacy. Soil enzyme activity revealed that β-glucosidase (BG), β-N-acetyl-glucosaminidase (NAG), and acid phosphatase (AP) were higher in AWD, whereas leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) activity was significantly higher in CF. Higher LAP activity might be a response to limited nutrient availability, as LAP helps to release amino acids that serves as a source for N mineralization and N supply. The 15N isotope tracing study revealed that denitrified N2O flux was significantly (p<0.05) higher in CF compared to AWD where source partitioning (% N2O denitrified) was 99.32% in CF and 27.01% in AWD. Higher gross mineralization was observed under AWD (3.92 ± 0.31µg-1 g-1 d-1) due to the promotion of aerobic microbial activity compared to CF (1.31 ± 0.31µg-1 g-1 d-1). A similar trend was observed for the consumption and immobilization of NH4+ and gross nitrification rates. GHG emissions rate viz., CH4-C, CO2-C, and N2O-N emissions were significantly higher under CF by 61, 3 and 72.%, respectively. Moreover, the global warming potential projected was higher under CF averaging at 10.92 mg kg-1 soil compared to 2.19 mg COkg-1 soil under AWD. Reduced GHG emissions under AWD provides for a significant negative feedback to global warming potential and future initiatives should keep emphasizing the optimization of this practice for its significant contribution to both climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture.

How to cite: Ullah, S., Kaviraj, M., Guo, Y., Micucci, G., and Sgouridis, F.: Rice cultivation under continuous flooding vs alternate wetting and drying: implications for biomass, nitrogen cycling and greenhouse gas flux, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2534,, 2024.

EGU24-2749 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.6

Molecular transformation of organic nitrogen in Antarctic penguin guano-affected soil 

Libin Wu, Ming Sheng, Xiaodong Liu, and Pingqing Fu

Organic nitrogen (ON) is an important participant in the Earth’s N cycle. Previous studies have shown that penguin feces add an abundance of nutrients including N to the soil, significantly changing the eco-environment in ice-free areas in Antarctica. To explore the molecular transformation of ON in penguin guano-affected soil, we collected guano-free weathered soil, modern guano-affected soil from penguin colonies, ancient guano-affected soil from abandoned penguin colonies, and penguin feces from the Ross Sea region, Antarctica, and Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) was used to investigate the chemical composition of water-extractable ON. By comparing the molecular compositions of ON among different samples, we found that the number of ON compounds (>4,000) in weathered soil is minimal, while carboxylic-rich alicyclic-like molecules (CRAM-like) are dominant. Penguin feces adds ON into the soil with > 10,000 CHON, CHONS and CHN compounds, including CRAM-like, lipid-like, aliphatic/ peptide-like molecules and amines in the guano-affected soil. After the input of penguin feces, macromolecules continue to degrade, and other ON compounds tend to be oxidized into relatively stable CRAM-like molecules, this is an important transformation process of ON in guano-affected soils. We conclude the roles of various forms of ON in the N cycle are complex and diverse. Combined with previous studies, ON eventually turns into inorganic N and is lost from the soil. The lost N ultimately returns to the ocean and the food web, thus completing the N cycle. Our study preliminarily reveals the molecular transformation of ON in penguin guano-affected soil and is important for understanding the N cycle in Antarctica.

How to cite: Wu, L., Sheng, M., Liu, X., and Fu, P.: Molecular transformation of organic nitrogen in Antarctic penguin guano-affected soil, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2749,, 2024.

EGU24-3699 | Posters on site | BG1.6 | Highlight

Nitrite stimulates HONO and NOx but not N2O emissions in Chinese agricultural soils during nitrification 

Dianming Wu, Yaqi Song, Yuanchun Yu, and Peter Dörsch

The long-lived greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) and short-lived reactive nitrogen (Nr) gases such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous acid (HONO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are produced and emitted from fertilized soils and play a critical role for climate warming and air quality. However, only few studies have quantified the production and emission potentials for long- and short-lived gaseous nitrogen (N) species simultaneously in agricultural soils. To link the gaseous N species to intermediate N compounds [ammonium (NH4+), hydroxylamine (NH2OH), and nitrite (NO2)] and estimate their temperature change potential, ex-situ dry-out experiments were conducted with three Chinese agricultural soils. We found that HONO and NOx (NO + NO2) emissions mainly depend on NO2, while NH3 and N2O emissions are stimulated by NH4+ and NH2OH, respectively. Addition of 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) and acetylene significantly reduced HONO and NOx emissions, while NH3 emissions were significantly enhanced in an alkaline Fluvo-aquic soil. These results suggest that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (comammox Nitrospira) dominate HONO and NOx emissions in the alkaline Fluvo-aquic soil, while ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are the main source in the acidic Mollisol. DMPP effectively mitigated the warming effect in the Fluvo-aquic soil and the Ultisol. In conclusion, our findings highlight the important role of NO2 in stimulating HONO and NOx emissions from dryland agricultural soils. In addition, subtle differences of soil NH3, N2O, HONO, and NOx emissions indicated different N turnover processes, and should be considered in biogeochemical and atmospheric chemistry models.

How to cite: Wu, D., Song, Y., Yu, Y., and Dörsch, P.: Nitrite stimulates HONO and NOx but not N2O emissions in Chinese agricultural soils during nitrification, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3699,, 2024.

EGU24-4369 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

Constraining the denitrification process in conventional and regenerative agriculture 

Gianni Micucci, Fotis Sgouridis, Stefan Krause, Iseult Lynch, Niall P. McNamara, Felicity Roos, Leake Jonathan, and Sami Ullah

In this study, we aimed to constrain and characterize the dynamics of denitrification in three different fields: one conventional arable and two types of pasture (“leys”). During a one-year field campaign, denitrification was measured using our newly developed method combining the application of 15N tracer and artificial atmosphere for the incubation of soil cores under field conditions (Micucci, 2022), while total N2O emissions were measured using static flux chambers during parallel incubations. Our objectives were to determine the best way to upscale soil core denitrification measurements and trace the fate of applied synthetic nitrogen fertilizer via denitrification in conventional agriculture in comparison to pastures under regenerative agriculture practices.

We determined that the best way to derive field-scale fluxes of denitrification was to use the core method to calculate the source partitioning coefficient (SPC) and product ratio (PR) and use these metrics in combination with static chamber data. The SPC is defined as the proportion of total N2O emissions that originates from denitrification while the product ratio measures the proportion of denitrification product emitted as N2O rather than N2.

During the field campaign, we estimated that 22 kgN ha-1 were lost via denitrification in the arable field, amongst which 15.17 were attributed to fertilizer application, representing around 8% of the 200 kgN ha-1 applied. Furthermore, 9 % of the denitrified fertilizer was emitted as N2O rather than N2. On the other hand, the unfertilized ley emitted only 2.6 kgN ha-1 via denitrification annually. Overall, the total N2O emissions in the fertilizer arable field were responsible for around 2 t eqCO2 ha-1 year-1 compared to 0.15 in the unfertilized ley, highlighting the importance of land management in strategies of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

How to cite: Micucci, G., Sgouridis, F., Krause, S., Lynch, I., McNamara, N. P., Roos, F., Jonathan, L., and Ullah, S.: Constraining the denitrification process in conventional and regenerative agriculture, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4369,, 2024.

EGU24-4706 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

How does nitrogen control soil organic matter composition? – A theory and model 

Chun Chung Yeung, Harald Bugmann, Frank Hagedorn, and Olalla Díaz-Yáñez

Current soil biogeochemical models have difficulties matching the observed composition of soil organic matter (i.e., the relative proportions of deadwood, raw litter, organic horizon, particulate organic carbon, and mineral-associated organic carbon). In reality, nitrogen (N) controls microbial decomposition and physiological processes, whereas in most models it is merely considered a plant nutrient. In addition, many N fertilization studies have shown that N exerts different effects on different C pools via changing exoenzyme activities, microbial growth, and necromass production via microbial turnover. These divergent effects control SOM composition and have C-cycle consequences.

We expanded the CENTURY model by incorporating multiple hypothesized microbial responses to nitrogen availability, including 1) decomposition reduction of recalcitrant substrates when N is in excess; 2) decomposition stimulation of high C:N substrates when N limitation is alleviated; 3) microbial adaptation of turnover rate; 4) microbial adaptation of CUE; and 5) secondary feedback to decomposition via changes in microbial biomass in response to N. We systematically tested multiple model variants using two sets of simulations, one along a natural N gradient in Swiss forests, and another one with artificially increased N input (i.e., simulating an N-fertilization experiment). We evaluated the simulated outputs using data on soil organic matter fraction stocks, their relative proportions, and temporal responses under N addition.

From the simulation results, we identified the necessary processes to explain the temporal response pattern of different C pools to N addition, in accordance with findings from meta-analyses. In addition, we identified patterns of SOM composition over a natural gradient of N supply (no artificial N addition), which can again be explained by the N-driven processes we implemented. We conclude that considering the direct effects of nitrogen as a key additional constraint on microbial processes is essential to improve the realism and accuracy of soil biogeochemistry models.

How to cite: Yeung, C. C., Bugmann, H., Hagedorn, F., and Díaz-Yáñez, O.: How does nitrogen control soil organic matter composition? – A theory and model, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4706,, 2024.

EGU24-5161 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

On the Contribution of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to Nitrogen Burden in an Eutrophic Lake in Eastern China 

Weikun Li, Xia Wang, Zhongyi Zhang, Xiaodong Liu, and Lei Geng

Atmospheric deposition of natural and anthropogenic sourced reactive nitrogen (Nr, mainly including NH3, NH4+, NOx, NO3- and etc.) has substantial influence on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, driving global nutrient imbalances and increasing risks to human health. Although it has been demonstrated that atmospheric Nr deposition has a substantial impact on nitrogen pools in remote and/or sensitive lakes, there is a scarcity of systematic evaluations regarding atmospheric Nr deposition's impact on the nitrogen burden in eutrophic lakes with riverine input as the primary source. Utilizing a regional chemical transport model, combined with observations of riverine nitrogen input, we investigate the contribution of atmospheric Nr deposition to a eutrophic Lake Chaohu in eastern China. The results indicate that riverine total nitrogen (TN) input to the lake was 11553.3 t N yr-1 and atmospheric TN deposition was 2326.0 t N yr-1 in the year of 2022. For Nr species which are directly available for the biosphere supporting algae and plant growth, riverine NH4+ input was 1856.1 t N yr-1 and atmospheric NHx (NH3 and NH4+) deposition was 824.5 t N yr-1. The latter accounts for ~ 1/3 of total NHx input to the lake. For NOy (HNO3 and NO3-) species, atmospheric deposition was estimated to also contributes a similar amount to the NHx species. The results suggest that even in regions with dense human activities with primary riverine N input, atmospheric deposition of Nr could also contribute significantly to the bio-available nitrogen in lake systems, and addressing eutrophication in Lake Chaohu and other eutrophic lakes will also need to consider the reduction of NH3 and NOx (i.e., NO + NO2, the precursor of NOy) emissions, in addition to the mitigation of riverine N input.

How to cite: Li, W., Wang, X., Zhang, Z., Liu, X., and Geng, L.: On the Contribution of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to Nitrogen Burden in an Eutrophic Lake in Eastern China, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5161,, 2024.

EGU24-5244 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.6

Surges in global N2O fluxes from saltmarshes are driven by increasing porewater nitrate and ammonium concentrations 

Devon Collier-Woods, Sami Ullah, and Sophie Comer-Warner

Saltmarshes have the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon, however, the value of stored carbon may be partially offset by emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Increased nutrients [NO3- and NH4+] have been shown to increase N2O emissions from saltmarshes, however, a global-scale analysis of this relationship has not been performed. Here, we present a global meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between N2O fluxes and porewater nitrogen and determine the relative importance of porewater NO3- and NH4+ as key drivers of enhanced saltmarsh N2O fluxes. Both porewater NO3- and NH4+ were significantly, positively correlated with N2O fluxes (p < 0.01), explaining 25 and 18% of the variation in fluxes, respectively. We estimate a global saltmarsh N2O flux of 0.012 Tg N2O yr-1, which is six times higher than the current estimate (0.0021 Tg N2O yr-1), representing an offset of 19% of the estimated global saltmarsh carbon burial. Using predicted future increases in riverine DIN export, our meta-analysis suggests that 17-31% of the estimated global saltmarsh carbon burial could be offset by a surge in N2O emissions under chronic mineral N pollution. This meta-analysis indicates the importance of reducing nutrient inputs into saltmarshes to reduce N2O fluxes and maximise their negative radiative forcing.

How to cite: Collier-Woods, D., Ullah, S., and Comer-Warner, S.: Surges in global N2O fluxes from saltmarshes are driven by increasing porewater nitrate and ammonium concentrations, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5244,, 2024.

EGU24-5701 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

Regionalized nitrogen balances of Switzerland 

Anina Gilgen, Simon Baumgartner, Ernst Spiess, and Frank Liebisch

For the agri-environmental monitoring of Switzerland, nitrogen balances on farm level for all Swiss farms were calculated and aggregated in order to obtain regionalized nitrogen balances. This monitoring attempts to incorporate as much existing data as possible to minimize multiple data collections from farmers. Data from the agricultural policy information system of Switzerland was used as basis for the calculation. This database contains information on livestock numbers, the crops grown, and the direct payments received for each farm. This information was supported with different data sources from federal offices, cantons, agricultural associations, and research institutions. Balances were calculated as a soil-surface balance according to the OECD method, which includes N input via organic and mineral fertilizers, biological N-fixation, atmospheric N-deposition, and seedlings as well as N outputs via plant yields.

The regional balances showed a high variability, resulting in an average N surplus of around 105 kg N per hectare of utilized agricultural area in cantons with highly intensive livestock farming and around 16 kg N in cantons with more extensive farming practices, i.e. in mountain regions. On national scale, highest N input occurred via organic fertilizers, whereas mineral fertilizers and biological N-fixation account for around 15% of the total input each.

Our approach of calculating N balances on farm level for the whole Swiss farming system has some limitations, which are mainly due to missing or incomplete data sources.  As an example, the use of mineral fertilizers had to be estimated by application data of a rather small sample of farms (~300 farms). Nevertheless, the obtained results show that this methodology is a promising tool to gain a regional overview of the environmental status of Swiss farms. Over the years, this approach will be refined and new data (e.g. additional administrative data, satellite data) can be incorporated in order to better estimate the N balances of Swiss farms.

How to cite: Gilgen, A., Baumgartner, S., Spiess, E., and Liebisch, F.: Regionalized nitrogen balances of Switzerland, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5701,, 2024.

EGU24-5728 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

Advances in measuring low N2O fluxes by a portable gas analyser and manual chambers 

Nathalie Ylenia Triches, Maija Marushchak, Anna Virkkala, Timo Vesala, Martin Heimann, and Mathias Göckede

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the most important greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of about 298 times stronger than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a period of 100 years. From 1800 to 2023, the atmospheric concentration of N2O has increased from 273 to 336 ppbv, whereby more than half of this rise is due to the addition of fertilisers and manure on agricultural soils. Whilst these managed, nutrient-rich soils have been relatively well studied, little is known about N2O fluxes in nutrient-poor ecosystems (e.g., the Arctic).

Since many Arctic soils contain very low amounts of available nitrogen, in the past it has been generally assumed that Arctic soils are not a significant source of N2O. Only recently, several studies have reported significant N2O emissions from organic-rich Arctic soils; however, due to methodological challenges, extensive investigations on N2O fluxes in Arctic soils have been limited. As a result, the importance of N2O fluxes from this region to the global budget remains highly uncertain. 

With the recent advances in portable GHG analyser technology, extensive manual chamber measurements based on in-situ N2O concentration measurements can provide novel information to close this knowledge gap. However, guidelines on measuring techniques (e.g., chamber closure time) and data quality (e.g., no flux vs. low flux) are still lacking. In this study, we provide new insights on N2O fluxes in a nutrient-poor ecosystem and give general practical guidelines for measuring low N2O fluxes with a portable gas analyser and manual chambers. In May, July, and September 2023, we used a portable N2O/CO2 analyser to measure N2O fluxes in a thawing sub-Arctic permafrost peatland in northern Sweden. Recommendations on practical use in the field are given to support future N2O research with portable gas analysers. 

How to cite: Triches, N. Y., Marushchak, M., Virkkala, A., Vesala, T., Heimann, M., and Göckede, M.: Advances in measuring low N2O fluxes by a portable gas analyser and manual chambers, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5728,, 2024.

EGU24-5816 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6


Meng Yao and Ronghua Kang

It has been recognized recently that trees can assimilate NO2 directly through leaf stomata. Both laboratory and field studies have measured the foliar NO2 deposition velocity, which could be determined by some environmental factors, e.g. light irradiation intensity, ambient NO2 concentration, and leaf characteristics. However, the NO2 uptake capacity and allocation of foliar uptake NO2 under these environmental factors remain unclear. To clearly understand the foliar NO2 uptake process and refine the forest NO2 uptake models, we conducted a dynamic 15NO2 fumigation experiment.

We selected Fraxinus mandshurica (F. mandshurica), Pinus koraiensis (P. konraiensis), Quercus mongolica (Q. mongolica), and Larix gmenilii (L. gmenilii) saplings, four dominant tree species in temperate forests of northeastern China, as our experimental materials. Meanwhile, we chose a pair of broad-leaved and coniferous tree species (F. mandshurica and P. konraiensis) to perform fumigation experiment under dark/light irradiation and another pair (Q. mongolica and L. gmenilii) to perform fumigation experiment with soil N addition. All saplings were dynamically fumigated with 50 ppb 15NO2 for 8 h and destructively sampled immediately after fumigation. We rinsed the samples surface with purified water, dried and grinded all samples, then measured the 15N abundance in leaves, twigs, stems and roots with EA-IRMS.

The results showed that tree saplings can absorb NO2 under both dark and light irradiation treatments. The total 15N recovery ranged between 30 to 80% under the light condition in all species. Under the dark condition, the total 15N recovery were (29.8±9.16) % and (1.1±0.47) % for F. mandshurica and P. konraiensis, which were significantly lower than under the light condition, (59.6±5.2) % and (8.8±2.5) %, respectively. With the soil N addition, the total 15N recovery in Q. mongolica ((56.2±8.8) %) were significantly larger than non-N addition ((27.6± 4.8) %), while L. gmenilii showed the opposite result that the total 15N recovery ((31.7±7.8) %) significantly decreased, compared to that without N addition ((73.6±4.3) %). These results are likely attributed to different amount of N demand for different tree species, more N needed for Q. mongolica than L. gmenilii. Moreover, coniferous species could assimilate more N through foliar uptake than broad-leaved species, probably due to bigger leaf surface areas of coniferous trees. After 8 h fumigation, the largest proportion of 15NO2 was recovered in leaves in all species and treatments, accounting for 60-97%, which indicates that NO2 stays in leaves in a short-term period after foliar assimilation. However, further studies are needed to explore the transformation of foliar incorporated NO2 to other organs in a long-term scale.

This study quantified the foliar NO2 uptake capacity of different tree species and figured out the effects of light irradiation and soil nitrogen availability on foliar NO2 uptake. Our results would provide references for the model estimation of canopy NO2 uptake magnitude at a regional scale.

How to cite: Yao, M. and Kang, R.: 2152, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5816,, 2024.

EGU24-6942 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

Improving Agricultural Nitrogen Use Efficiency to Reduce Air Pollution in China 

Biao Luo and Amos P. K. Tai

Chinese agriculture has long been characterized by low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) associated with substantial ammonia (NH3) loss, which contributes significantly to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. However, the knowledge gaps in the spatiotemporal patterns of NH3 emissions and the states of nitrogen management of agricultural systems render it challenging to evaluate the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies and policies. Here we explored the NH3 mitigation potential of various strategies and its subsequent effects on PM2.5 pollution, and their effectiveness in improving NUE of Chinese agricultural systems. We developed and used a nitrogen flow model for evaluating NUE of different crop and livestock types at a provincial scale in China. We then used the bottom-up NH3 estimates to drive an air quality model (GEOS-Chem High Performance, GCHP) to provide an integrated assessment of four improved nitrogen management scenarios: improving NUE of crop systems (NUE-C), increasing organic fertilizer use (OUR), improving NUE of livestock systems (NUE-L) and combined measures (COMB). The total agricultural NH3 emission of China was estimated to be 11.2 Tg NH3 in 2017, of which 46.24% and 53.76% are attributable to fertilizer use and livestock animal waste, respectively, and emission hotspots can be identified in the North China Plain. Our results show that grain crops have higher NUE than fruits and vegetables, while high livestock NUE can be found in pork and poultry, and NUE for the entire crop and livestock systems are both better in Northeast China than the rest of China. We also found that agricultural NH3 emissions can be reduced from 11.2 Tg to 9.1 Tg, 9.3 Tg, 9.9 Tg and 6.8 Tg, and consequently annual population-weighted PM2.5 reductions are estimated to be 1.8 µg m–3, 1.6 µg m–3, 1.3 µg m–3 and 4.1 µg m–3 under NUE-C, OUR, NUE-L and COMB scenarios, respectively. Our results are expected to provide decision support policy making concerning agricultural NH3 emissions.

How to cite: Luo, B. and Tai, A. P. K.: Improving Agricultural Nitrogen Use Efficiency to Reduce Air Pollution in China, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6942,, 2024.

EGU24-9564 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.6

Progressive decline in topsoil nitrogen pool upon decadal warming in a permafrost ecosystem 

Bin Wei and Yuanhe Yang

Nitrogen (N) plays an important role in mediating many aspects of permafrost carbon cycle, such as plant productivity, soil organic matter decomposition and the production of greenhouse gases. In contrast to the well-recognized effects of climate warming on soil organic carbon stocks and vulnerability, the fates and pools of soil N has received little attention in permafrost ecosystems.

Here, based on a decadal warming experiment in a permafrost ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau, we assessed changes in soil N stocks over a 10-year time-scale, and in situ measured the majority of N-cycling processes involving biological N fixation and soil N transformation, and the preferential plant uptake of different N forms, and above- and belowground litter decomposition and N release, and N leaching losses as well as high-resolution nitrous oxide (N2O) flux during the growing season.

Our results showed that experimental warming progressively reduced topsoil N stocks but had no effect in the deeper soils on a 10-year time-scale. The observed decline in topsoil N pools could be due to the fact that decadal warming enhanced plant N uptake and intensified N leaching and gaseous losses. Specifically, warming treatment had a negligible effect on ecosystem biological N fixation rate, but increased the above- and belowground plant N pools. Meanwhile, simulated warming accelerated belowground litter N release and soil N transformation rate, and enhanced plant uptake of organic N. However, warming intensified the topsoil inorganic N leaching losses and N2O flux during the growing season.

These findings highlight that progressive N limitation could occur in permafrost ecosystems under continuous climate warming due to the re-allocation of N pool from soils to plants and the losses of N through leaching and gases flux, which would make the future trajectory of permafrost carbon cycle and its feedback to climate warming more complex than previously thought.

How to cite: Wei, B. and Yang, Y.: Progressive decline in topsoil nitrogen pool upon decadal warming in a permafrost ecosystem, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9564,, 2024.

EGU24-10360 | ECS | Posters on site | BG1.6

Mitigation measures of crop cultivation to reduce climate-impacting emissions from denitrification 

Jaqueline Stenfert Kroese, Caroline Buchen-Tschiskale, Johannes Cordes, Rene Dechow, Klaus Dittert, Bryan Dix, Kathrin Fuchs, Andreas Gattinger, Jörg-Michael Greef, Balazs Grosz, Michael Hauschild, Jarrah Mahboube, Johannes Kühne, Henrike Mielenz, Thade Potthoff, Clemens Scheer, Franz Schulz, Conor Simpson, Benjamin Wolf, and Reinhard Well

The joint project 'Measures to reduce direct and indirect climate-impacting emissions caused by denitrification in agricultural soils - MinDen' addresses the topics of reducing nitrous oxide emissions and improving nitrogen efficiency through modeling, the evaluation of possible mitigation measures and the evaluation of denitrification on spatial scale. Gaseous emissions from denitrification cause N losses relevant to crop cultivation and cause direct N2O emissions from crop cultivation. Climate protection measures in crop production in the areas of fertilization, soil cultivation and crop rotation have hardly been researched with regard to the role of denitrification. Crop management that optimizes N efficiency and minimizes N emissions at the same time has therefore not yet been reliably defined. The overall objective of the present project is to identify practicable crop management measures to minimize N2 and N2O emissions from denitrification for arable cropping systems in Germany by improving the knowledge on denitrification-related N losses through field and laboratory studies and using it for parameterization, validation and application of simulation models. Our objectives are as follows:

  • Regionalization of N losses due to denitrification in Germany based on existing models
  • Determination of the effect of crop protection measures on N2 and N2O losses on field scale
  • Testing of mitigation options on the model, laboratory and field scale, taking into account the topsoil and subsoil for different soils
  • Further development of denitrification models to improve the mapping of mitigation measures using existing and new field data
  • Testing of mitigation options for Germany using the improved models, taking into account yield, economic efficiency, technology requirements, N2O emissions, N efficiency, fertilizer requirements, NH3 emissions and nitrate leaching.

We provide an overview of the approach and the current status of the joint project, which started at the beginning of 2023.

How to cite: Stenfert Kroese, J., Buchen-Tschiskale, C., Cordes, J., Dechow, R., Dittert, K., Dix, B., Fuchs, K., Gattinger, A., Greef, J.-M., Grosz, B., Hauschild, M., Mahboube, J., Kühne, J., Mielenz, H., Potthoff, T., Scheer, C., Schulz, F., Simpson, C., Wolf, B., and Well, R.: Mitigation measures of crop cultivation to reduce climate-impacting emissions from denitrification, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10360,, 2024.

Title: Drought and eCO2 Effects on Oak Seedlings Growth, Soil Fertility, and Greenhouse Gases Fluxes


Authors: Rehab Al Mutairi, Nicholas Kettridge and Sami Ullah



This study explores the impact of water stress legacy and elevated CO2 on oak seedlings' growth, stomatal conductance, soil nutrient availability, and greenhouse gas (GHGs) fluxes. The research aims to unravel the intricate interplay of these factors under controlled glasshouse conditions.



The experiment, conducted from mid-May to August 2023 at the University of Birmingham campus, involved oak seedlings grown under ambient CO2 and elevated CO2 chambers, subjected to two soil volumetric moisture levels (10% for drought, 30% for non-drought). Various parameters, including oak growth, stomatal conductance, soil nutrient availability, and GHGs flux, were measured and recorded throughout the three-month period. Additional analyses, including biomass, soil extracellular enzyme activities, microbial biomass of N and C, and net N mineralization, were conducted at the experiment's conclusion.


Key Findings/Results:

The study revealed compelling insights into the response of oak seedlings to drought stress and elevated CO2 conditions. Under drought scenarios, both under ambient and elevated CO2  environments, oak biomass and growth were notably diminished. Particularly, the roots exhibited a substantial increase in biomass, suggesting a coping strategy in search of water and nutrient resources of the seedlings. Stomatal conductance exhibited a decline under elevated carbon dioxide (eCO2), indicating a water-saving mechanism employed by plants. Additionally, extracellular enzyme activities were impacted by environmental conditions: a reduction was observed under drought stress. This reduction in enzyme functions aligns with a concurrent decrease in nutrient availability, highlighting a correlation between nutrient levels and enzyme activity reduction during drought conditions.



The findings underscore the vulnerability of oak seedlings to drought stress, highlighting the importance of soil moisture management for their optimal growth. Additionally, the differential response between ambient and elevated CO2  levels emphasizes the need for nuanced considerations in future climate change scenarios. These insights contribute to our understanding of ecosystem responses to concurrent drought and elevated CO2 conditions.



Oak seedlings, Drought stress, Elevated CO2, Soil fertility, Greenhouse gas fluxes, Stomatal conductance, Biomass, Microbial biomass, Net N mineralization.






How to cite: Almutairi, R.: Drought and eCO2 Effects on Oak Seedlings Growth, Soil Fertility, and Greenhouse Gases Fluxes, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11614,, 2024.

EGU24-12116 | Orals | BG1.6

Examining the natural nitrogen biogeochemical cycling and impacts across South African ecosystems 

Rebecca M. Garland, Mogesh Naidoo, Katye Altieri, Phesheya Dlamini, Gregor Feig, Kerneels Jaars, Lerato Sekhohola, Pieter van Zyl, Nomsa Muthelo, Jabulile Leroko, Pelenomi Sakwe, Tamryn Hamilton, Tiaan van Niekerk, Pedro Bixirao Neto Marinho, and Kathleen Smart

The biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle in South Africa is influenced by, and in turn influences a number of crucially important global change processes. However, the natural N cycling in South Africa is not well-understood. The “Emissions, deposition, impacts - Interdisciplinary study of N biogeochemical cycling (EDI-SA)” project is working to improve our baseline understanding of the natural biogeochemical cycling of N in non-industrialized ecosystems across South Africa. This includes quantifying N fluxes from emissions through to deposition, identifying linkages between N cycling and related species such as sulphur (S) and ozone, and evaluating ecosystem impacts. Previous work has focused on the impact of atmospheric deposition of N and S species on ecosystems at sites almost exclusively on the industrialized Highveld. This has left large gaps of knowledge in the biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem impacts, particularly within the diverse natural ecosystems found across South Africa. In order to address this gap, EDI-SA is applying a more holistic approach using measurements (from two South African Research Infrastructures; EFTEON and BIOGRIP) and modelling to investigate multiple linkages within the biogeochemical cycling of N with a focus on improving the understanding of the natural cycling. The project is applying a variable resolution sampling approach to investigate processes which occur at multiple spatial scales, and applying multiple measurement techniques including atmospheric measurements, stable isotope analysis of aerosol particles, rainwater and soil, and analysis of soil chemistry and biology. This contribution will detail the approach of this interdisciplinary project, highlight results from the first soil and air sampling campaigns, as well as the atmospheric composition modelling that assesses the relative importance and impacts of N emissions from soil across South Africa. This baseline understanding will allow future research to assess the potential changes to N biogeochemical cycling into the future in a changing climate.  

How to cite: Garland, R. M., Naidoo, M., Altieri, K., Dlamini, P., Feig, G., Jaars, K., Sekhohola, L., van Zyl, P., Muthelo, N., Leroko, J., Sakwe, P., Hamilton, T., van Niekerk, T., Bixirao Neto Marinho, P., and Smart, K.: Examining the natural nitrogen biogeochemical cycling and impacts across South African ecosystems, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12116,, 2024.

Nitrogen is a fundamental plant nutrient and the most important fertilizer in modern agriculture. At the same time nitrate based nitrogen loss from agroecosystems becomes an increasing environmental problem in ground- and surface waters. The lysimeter station Brandis in Saxony, Germany, provides detailed observations of water and solute fluxes under representative agricultural landuse since 1981. Despite substantial efforts and success in regulation and assessment of fertilizer needs and the reduction of fertilization excess, the seepage water analysis reveals increasing or stagnating levels of nitrate concentration in groundwater recharge in a broad range of soil types. This apparent decoupling between input and output is evident in all soil types under investigation and raises some important questions concerning the nitrate loss in agricultural soils:

  • Which part of the soil N-cycle contributes to the seepage water nitrate export?
  • What are the main drivers of nitrate loss in agricultural soils?
  • Can residence times of mineral fertilizer nitrogen be estimated?
  • Will reduced fertilization excess lead to timely reductions in nitrate loss to the groundwater?

We investigated these questions with long-term solute balances and state-of-the-art isotope methods. Analysis of source δ 15N ratios in soil, atmospheric deposition and fertilizer in combination with a 5-year campaign of δ15N and δ18O analysis of seepage water nitrate allows a source identification with dual-isotope plots and mixing models. The results clearly show that the main source of nitrate loss with the seepage water is the soil organic matter pool in all investigated soils. Analysis of the long-term nitrogen balances and the soil samples show furthermore a substantial accumulation of fertilization excess within the upper meter of agricultural soils and indicate that the residence time of nitrogen in the lysimeters might be substantially longer than water residence times. Isotope analysis in combination with mixing model analysis suggest that the nitrate loss is mainly driven by nitrification of this nitrogen legacy in the post-harvest period. Thus, the results hold an explanation why the current regulation efforts have not yet led to the desired reductions in nitrogen loadings of seepage water fluxes. Furthermore, the apparent decoupling between nitrogen input in agricultural soils and the seepage water output makes a timely reduction of nitrate concentrations, by reductions in fertilization excess alone, in groundwater recharge unlikely.

How to cite: Werisch, S., Alexandra, T., and Diana, B.: Insights into nitrogen dynamics and nitrate loss from agricultural soils based on long-term lysimeter observations and a 5-year isotope measurement campaign, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12647,, 2024.

EGU24-13239 | ECS | Orals | BG1.6

Resolving nitrogen gaseous pathways in the atmosphere-plant-microbial-soil continuum in the NOAA/GFDL Earth System Modeling Framework 

Maureen Beaudor, Elena Shevliakova, Sergey Malyshev, and Minjin Lee

Representing plant-microbe-soil organic matter interactions and their coupling with land surface processes are critical to understanding of ecosystem responses to climate change. More specifically, microbes play an important role in the nitrogen (N) cycle by providing acquisition pathways for plants and overcoming N limitation through mycorrhizal symbiosis and bacterial fixation. Even though biological nitrogen fixation acts as a primary N source for the organisms, ecosystem N availability is still strongly affected by N losses, including atmospheric volatilization.

One of the major challenges to accurately representing N availability in Earth System Models (ESM) is the representation of the atmospheric losses that are not necessarily controlled by the organisms. For instance, the conversion of soil ammonium into gaseous ammonia (i.e., volatilization) is driven by ambient environmental conditions and not directly controlled by the biological demand of plants and soil microbes. Thus, rapid losses of N via volatilization (e.g., after precipitation events) could induce feedback on soil microbial activity and plant growth by impeding biological assimilation.

Even though the representation of ammonia emissions is progressively integrated into ESMs, the focus has been mainly on parameterizing losses from agricultural or managed ecosystems. However, ammonia volatilization from natural soils occurs worldwide and can reach 9 TgN/yr, a non-negligible source, especially in alkaline drylands. Up to now, no proper representation of emissions of ammonia, applicable to unmanaged lands, has been included in ESMs and challenged by observations. In the future, these emissions are likely to follow the rising trends of nitrogen deposition and increasing precipitation due to climate change.

Here we describe a mechanistic parameterization of ammonia emissions in natural ecosystems with explicit treatment of microbes and vegetation dynamics in the fully integrated terrestrial component of the GFDL ESM, LM4.2-GIMICS-N. We apply observational constraints, including measurements of soil 15N isotope and estimates of nitrogen fluxes (BNF, nitrification, mineralization, and ammonia exchange) at different sites to reduce uncertainty in the model simulations. Finally, we examine the main drivers of ammonia volatilization across various ecosystems by considering aridity, soil pH, and nitrogen deposition as well as the key environmental conditions such as precipitation, temperature, and soil moisture.

How to cite: Beaudor, M., Shevliakova, E., Malyshev, S., and Lee, M.: Resolving nitrogen gaseous pathways in the atmosphere-plant-microbial-soil continuum in the NOAA/GFDL Earth System Modeling Framework, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13239,, 2024.

EGU24-15243 | Posters on site | BG1.6

A Sphagnum incubation study using 15N-labelled atmospheric N2 reveals contrasting potential for biological N2 fixation at three medium-polluted Central European peat bogs 

Marketa Stepanova, Martin Novak, Bohuslava Cejkova, Frantisek Buzek, Ivana Jackova, Eva Prechova, Frantisek Veselovsky, and Jan Curik

Microbial N2-fixation helps to sustain carbon accumulation in pristine peatlands and to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Recent work has provided evidence that this energetically costly process is not completely downregulated at sites with higher availability of reactive nitrogen (Nr). We studied nitrogen (N) cycling at three high-elevation, mainly rain-fed, Sphagnum-dominated peat bogs in the northern Czech Republic receiving medium to high amounts of reactive nitrogen (Nr) via atmospheric deposition. 15N/14N isotope ratios were determined in Nr deposition, along vertical peat profiles, and in a laboratory incubation study using fresh Sphagnum and 15N-enriched atmospheric N2. Our objective was to assess the potential for biological N2-fixation at the selected study sites in light of various biogeochemical parameters. Historically, all the peat bogs experienced similar changes in atmospheric Nr (mainly NO3--N and NH4-N) inputs. Nr depositions at all three sites peaked between 1980 and 1990. During that time period, the highest annual depositions were close to 10 kg ha-1 yr-1 at the slightly more polluted site Uhlirska (UHL) than at Male mechove jezirko (MMJ) and Brumiste (BRU). Since ca. 1990, atmospheric deposition of Nr has been steadily decreasing. Living Sphagnum had variable N concentrations with similar means for all three sites (1.1, 1.0 and 0.9 wt. % at MMJ, BRU and UHL, respectively). Downcore, peat density remained nearly constant at MMJ but increased at BRU and UHL. Ash contents were below 10 wt. % at least to the depth of 20 cm. With an increasing peat depth, both N concentration and δ15N values generally increased, while C/N ratios tended to decrease. At depths > 10 cm, N/P ratio was lower at UHL than at the other two sites and remained nearly constant downcore. N/P ratio at MMJ increased from ~10 to ~20 with an increasing depth, whereas the N/P ratio exhibited a zigzag vertical pattern at BRU, reaching a value of 40 in deeper segments. The potential for biological N2-fixation was investigated using a replicated laboratory incubation of fresh Sphagnum in a closed system following an application of 98 % enriched atmospheric N2. The experiment lasted for 7 days. The control Sphagnum samples had δ15N values of -4.0 ‰ (BRU and UHL) and -3.7 ‰ (MMJ). At the end of the incubation, the δ15N significantly increased only in MMJ moss reaching + 70 ‰, while it remained unchanged in BRU and UHL moss. Biological N2 fixation was thus recorded at only at MMJ, a site with the lowest N/P ratio in the topmost 2-cm thick sections. Potential N2 fixation rates at MMJ were similar to values previously reported for Finland (Leppänen et al. 2015) but ~7 times lower than at sites located in Patagonia, Chile (Knorr et al. 2016).


Leppänen et al., 2015. Plant and Soil, 389, 185-196.

Knorr et al., 2016, Global Change Biology 21, 2357–2365.

How to cite: Stepanova, M., Novak, M., Cejkova, B., Buzek, F., Jackova, I., Prechova, E., Veselovsky, F., and Curik, J.: A Sphagnum incubation study using 15N-labelled atmospheric N2 reveals contrasting potential for biological N2 fixation at three medium-polluted Central European peat bogs, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15243,, 2024.