Arctic soil methane sink increases with drier conditions and higher ecosystem respiration

Carolina Voigt, Anna Maria Virkkala, Gabriel Hould Gosselin, Kathryn A. Bennett, T. Andrew Black, Matteo Detto, Charles Chevrier-Dion, Georg Guggenberger, Wasi Hashmi, Lukas Kohl, Dan Kou, Charlotte Marquis, Philip Marsh, Maija E. Marushchak, Zoran Nesic, Hannu Nykänen, Taija Saarela, Leopold Sauheitl, Branden Walker, Niels WeissEvan J. Wilcox, Oliver Sonnentag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Arctic wetlands are known methane (CH4) emitters but recent studies suggest that the Arctic CH4 sink strength may be underestimated. Here we explore the capacity of well-drained Arctic soils to consume atmospheric CH4 using >40,000 hourly flux observations and spatially distributed flux measurements from 4 sites and 14 surface types. While consumption of atmospheric CH4 occurred at all sites at rates of 0.092 ± 0.011 mgCH4 m−2 h−1 (mean ± s.e.), CH4 uptake displayed distinct diel and seasonal patterns reflecting ecosystem respiration. Combining in situ flux data with laboratory investigations and a machine learning approach, we find biotic drivers to be highly important. Soil moisture outweighed temperature as an abiotic control and higher CH4 uptake was linked to increased availability of labile carbon. Our findings imply that soil drying and enhanced nutrient supply will promote CH4 uptake by Arctic soils, providing a negative feedback to global climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1104
Number of pages10
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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