Global Change and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

Volume 124 of the series Ecological Studies pp 381-401

Climate Change in Northern Latitudes: Alterations in Ecosystem Structure and Function and Effects on Carbon Sequestration

  • Walter C. Oechel
  • , George L. Vourlitis

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The concentration of radiatively active gases such as CO2 and CH4 have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Atmospheric CO2 has increased from the preindustrial level of 270 ppm to the current level of 355 ppm, and is expected to double over the next 50 to 75 years (Tans et al., 1990; Watson et al., 1992). Atmospheric CH4, which is about 20 times more reactive than C02 as a greenhouse gas (Lashof and Ahuja, 1990), is increasing at a rate of 0.8% to 2.0% per year (Khalil and Rasmussen, 1987), due primarily to increased population growth and associated anthropogenic emissions. Recently, however, the trend in CH4 increase has declined, indicating either a decline in CH4 emissions or that the concentration of tropospheric OH-, the primary atmospheric sink for CH4, is increasing (Khalil and Rasmussen, 1992; Khalil et al., 1993).