Interannual, summer, and diel variability of CH $_\textrm4$ and CO $_\textrm2$ effluxes from Toolik Lake, Alaska, during the ice-free periods 2010–2015

Printer-friendly version
TitleInterannual, summer, and diel variability of CH $_\textrm4$ and CO $_\textrm2$ effluxes from Toolik Lake, Alaska, during the ice-free periods 2010–2015
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEugster, W, DelSontro, T, Shaver, GR, Kling, GW
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes & Impacts
ISSN2050-7887, 2050-7895

CH 4 and CO 2 fluxes from Toolik Lake obtained for the first time with eddy covariance during ice-free periods 2010–2015. , Accelerated warming in the Arctic has led to concern regarding the amount of carbon emission potential from Arctic water bodies. Yet, aquatic carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ) flux measurements remain scarce, particularly at high resolution and over long periods of time. Effluxes of methane (CH 4 ) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) from Toolik Lake, a deep glacial lake in northern Alaska, were measured for the first time with the direct eddy covariance (EC) flux technique during six ice-free lake periods (2010–2015). CO 2 flux estimates from the lake (daily average efflux of 16.7 ± 5.3 mmol m −2 d −1 ) were in good agreement with earlier estimates from 1975–1989 using different methods. CH 4 effluxes in 2010–2015 (averaging 0.13 ± 0.06 mmol m −2 d −1 ) showed an interannual variation that was 4.1 times greater than median diel variations, but mean fluxes were almost one order of magnitude lower than earlier estimates obtained from single water samples in 1990 and 2011–2012. The overall global warming potential (GWP) of Toolik Lake is thus governed mostly by CO 2 effluxes, contributing 86–93% of the ice-free period GWP of 26–90 g CO 2,eq m −2 . Diel variation in fluxes was also important, with up to a 2-fold (CH 4 ) to 4-fold (CO 2 ) difference between the highest nighttime and lowest daytime effluxes. Within the summer ice-free period, on average, CH 4 fluxes increased 2-fold during the first half of the summer, then remained almost constant, whereas CO 2 effluxes remained almost constant over the entire summer, ending with a linear increase during the last 1–2 weeks of measurements. Due to the cold bottom temperatures of this 26 m deep lake, and the absence of ebullition and episodic flux events, Toolik Lake and other deep glacial lakes are likely not hot spots for greenhouse gas emissions, but they still contribute to the overall GWP of the Arctic.