Characterizing Performance of Freshwater Wetland Methane Models Across Time Scales at FLUXNET-CH4 Sites Using Wavelet Analyses

Zhen Zhang, Sheel Bansal, Kuang Yu Chang, Etienne Fluet-Chouinard, Kyle Delwiche, Mathias Goeckede, Adrian Gustafson, Sara Knox, Antti Leppänen, Licheng Liu, Jinxun Liu, Avni Malhotra, Tiina Markkanen, Gavin McNicol, Joe R. Melton, Paul A. Miller, Changhui Peng, Maarit Raivonen, William J. Riley, Oliver SonnentagTuula Aalto, Rodrigo Vargas, Wenxin Zhang, Qing Zhu, Qiuan Zhu, Qianlai Zhuang, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Robert B. Jackson, Benjamin Poulter

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Process-based land surface models are important tools for estimating global wetland methane (CH4) emissions and projecting their behavior across space and time. So far there are no performance assessments of model responses to drivers at multiple time scales. In this study, we apply wavelet analysis to identify the dominant time scales contributing to model uncertainty in the frequency domain. We evaluate seven wetland models at 23 eddy covariance tower sites. Our study first characterizes site-level patterns of freshwater wetland CH4 fluxes (FCH4) at different time scales. A Monte Carlo approach was developed to incorporate flux observation error to avoid misidentification of the time scales that dominate model error. Our results suggest that (a) significant model-observation disagreements are mainly at multi-day time scales (<15 days); (b) most of the models can capture the CH4 variability at monthly and seasonal time scales (>32 days) for the boreal and Arctic tundra wetland sites but have significant bias in variability at seasonal time scales for temperate and tropical/subtropical sites; (c) model errors exhibit increasing power spectrum as time scale increases, indicating that biases at time scales <5 days could contribute to persistent systematic biases on longer time scales; and (d) differences in error pattern are related to model structure (e.g., proxy of CH4 production). Our evaluation suggests the need to accurately replicate FCH4 variability, especially at short time scales, in future wetland CH4 model developments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JG007259
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

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