Upscaling Wetland Methane Emissions From the FLUXNET-CH4 Eddy Covariance Network (UpCH4 v1.0): Model Development, Network Assessment, and Budget Comparison

Gavin McNicol, Etienne Fluet-Chouinard, Zutao Ouyang, Sara Knox, Zhen Zhang, Tuula Aalto, Sheel Bansal, Kuang Yu Chang, Min Chen, Kyle Delwiche, Sarah Feron, Mathias Goeckede, Jinxun Liu, Avni Malhotra, Joe R. Melton, William Riley, Rodrigo Vargas, Kunxiaojia Yuan, Qing Ying, Qing ZhuPavel Alekseychik, Mika Aurela, David P. Billesbach, David I. Campbell, Jiquan Chen, Housen Chu, Ankur R. Desai, Eugenie Euskirchen, Jordan Goodrich, Timothy Griffis, Manuel Helbig, Takashi Hirano, Hiroki Iwata, Gerald Jurasinski, John King, Franziska Koebsch, Randall Kolka, Ken Krauss, Annalea Lohila, Ivan Mammarella, Mats Nilson, Asko Noormets, Walter Oechel, Matthias Peichl, Torsten Sachs, Ayaka Sakabe, Christopher Schulze, Oliver Sonnentag, Ryan C. Sullivan, Eeva Stiina Tuittila, Masahito Ueyama, Timo Vesala, Eric Ward, Christian Wille, Guan Xhuan Wong, Donatella Zona, Lisamarie Windham-Myers, Benjamin Poulter, Robert B. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wetlands are responsible for 20%–31% of global methane (CH4) emissions and account for a large source of uncertainty in the global CH4 budget. Data-driven upscaling of CH4 fluxes from eddy covariance measurements can provide new and independent bottom-up estimates of wetland CH4 emissions. Here, we develop a six-predictor random forest upscaling model (UpCH4), trained on 119 site-years of eddy covariance CH4 flux data from 43 freshwater wetland sites in the FLUXNET-CH4 Community Product. Network patterns in site-level annual means and mean seasonal cycles of CH4 fluxes were reproduced accurately in tundra, boreal, and temperate regions (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency ∼0.52–0.63 and 0.53). UpCH4 estimated annual global wetland CH4 emissions of 146 ± 43 TgCH4 y−1 for 2001–2018 which agrees closely with current bottom-up land surface models (102–181 TgCH4 y−1) and overlaps with top-down atmospheric inversion models (155–200 TgCH4 y−1). However, UpCH4 diverged from both types of models in the spatial pattern and seasonal dynamics of tropical wetland emissions. We conclude that upscaling of eddy covariance CH4 fluxes has the potential to produce realistic extra-tropical wetland CH4 emissions estimates which will improve with more flux data. To reduce uncertainty in upscaled estimates, researchers could prioritize new wetland flux sites along humid-to-arid tropical climate gradients, from major rainforest basins (Congo, Amazon, and SE Asia), into monsoon (Bangladesh and India) and savannah regions (African Sahel) and be paired with improved knowledge of wetland extent seasonal dynamics in these regions. The monthly wetland methane products gridded at 0.25° from UpCH4 are available via ORNL DAAC (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023AV000956
JournalAGU Advances
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023. The Authors.


  • eddy covariance
  • flux
  • global
  • methane
  • random forest
  • wetland


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