A1 Journal article (refereed)
Warming climate forcing impact from a sub-arctic peatland as a result of late Holocene permafrost aggradation and initiation of bare peat surfaces (2021)

Väliranta, M., Marushchak, M. E., Tuovinen, J.-P., Lohila, A., Biasi, C., Voigt, C., Zhang, H., Piilo, S., Virtanen, T., Räsänen, A., Kaverin, D., Pastukhov, A., Sannel, A. B. K., Tuittila, E.-S., Korhola, A., & Martikainen, P. J. (2021). Warming climate forcing impact from a sub-arctic peatland as a result of late Holocene permafrost aggradation and initiation of bare peat surfaces. Quaternary Science Reviews, 264, Article 107022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107022

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Väliranta, Minna; Marushchak, Maija E.; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Lohila, Annalea; Biasi, Christina; Voigt, Carolina; Zhang, Hui; Piilo, Sanna; Virtanen, Tarmo; Räsänen, Aleksi; et al.

Journal or series: Quaternary Science Reviews

ISSN: 0277-3791

eISSN: 1873-457X

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 264

Article number: 107022

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107022

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Effects of permafrost aggradation on greenhouse gas (GHG) dynamics and climate forcing have not been previously quantified. Here, we reconstruct changes in GHG balances over the late Holocene for a sub-arctic peatland by applying palaeoecological data combined with measured GHG flux data, focusing on the impact of permafrost aggradation in particular. Our data suggest that permafrost initiation around 3000 years ago resulted in GHG emissions, thereby slightly weakening the general long-term peatland cooling impact. As a novel discovery, based on our chronological data of bare peat surfaces, we found that current sporadic bare peat surfaces in subarctic regions are probably remnants of more extensive bare peat areas formed by permafrost initiation. Paradoxically, our data suggest that permafrost initiation triggered by the late Holocene cooling climate generated a positive radiative forcing and a short-term climate warming feedback, mitigating the general insolation-driven late Holocene summer cooling trend. Our work with historical data demonstrates the importance of permafrost peatland dynamics for atmospheric GHG concentrations, both in the past and future. It suggests that, while thawing permafrost is likely to initially trigger a change towards wetter conditions and consequent increase in CH4 forcing, eventually the accelerated C uptake capacity under warmer climate may overcome the thaw effect when a new hydrological balance becomes established.

Keywords: climate changes; permafrost; peatlands; greenhouse gases; Holocene; palaeoclimatology

Free keywords: permafrost peatland; permafrost initiation; bare peat formations; greenhouse gas forcing

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 17:54