Study of Methane Emission and Geological Sources in Northeast China Permafrost Area Related to Engineering Construction and Climate Disturbance Based on Ground Monitoring and AIRSZhichao Xu, Yunshan Chen, Wei Shan, Chao Deng, Min Ma, Yuexing Wu, Yu Mao, Xingyu Ding, Jing Ji
- Atmospheric Science
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
China’s largest high-latitude permafrost distribution zone is in Northeast China. With the intensification of global warming and engineering construction, the carbon stored in permafrost will gradually thaw and be released in the form of methane gas. However, research on the changes in methane concentration and emission sources in this area is still unclear. In this paper, the AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) data carried by the Aqua satellite were used to analyze the distribution and change trends in the overall methane concentration in the near-surface troposphere in Northeast China from 2003 to 2022. These data, combined with national meteorological and on-site monitoring data, were used to study the methane emission characteristics and sources in the permafrost area in Northeast China. The results show that the methane concentration in the near-surface troposphere of Northeast China is mainly concentrated in the permafrost area of the Da and Xiao Xing’an Mountains. From 2003 to 2022, the methane concentration in the near-surface troposphere of the permafrost area in Northeast China showed a rapid growth trend, with an average linear trend growth rate of 4.787 ppbv/a. In addition, the methane concentration in the near-surface troposphere of the permafrost area shows a significant bimodal seasonal variation pattern. The first peak appears in summer (June–August), with its maximum value appearing in August, and the second peak appears in winter (December–February), with its maximum value appearing in December. Combined with ground surface methane concentration monitoring, it was found that the maximum annual ground surface methane concentration in degraded permafrost areas occurred in spring, causing the maximum average growth rate in methane concentration, also in spring, in the near-surface troposphere of permafrost areas in Northeast China (with an average value of 6.05 ppbv/a). The growth rate of methane concentration in the southern permafrost degradation zone is higher than that in the northern permafrost stable zone. In addition, with the degradation of permafrost, the geological methane stored deep underground (methane hydrate, coal seam, etc., mainly derived from the accumulation of ancient microbial origin) in the frozen layer will become an important source of near-surface troposphere methane in the permafrost degradation area. Due to the influence of high-permeability channels after permafrost degradation, the release rate of methane gas in spring is faster than predicted, and the growth rate of methane concentration in the near-surface troposphere of permafrost areas can be increased by more than twice. These conclusions can provide a data supplement for the study of the carbon cycle in permafrost areas in Northeast China.