A global model for the uptake of atmospheric hydrogen by soils

C. Morfopoulos*, P. N. Foster, P. Friedlingstein, P. Bousquet, I. C. Prentice

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


A simple process-based model for the consumption of atmospheric hydrogen (H2) has been developed. The model includes a description of diffusion and biological processes which together control H2 flux into the soil. The model was incorporated into the LPJ-WHyMe Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, and used to simulate H2 fluxes over the 1988-2006 period. The model results have been confronted with field and laboratory measurements. The model reproduces observed seasonal cycles of H2 uptake at different sites and shows a realistic sensitivity to changes in soil temperature and soil water content in comparisons with field and laboratory measurements. A recent study, based on 3D atmospheric model inversion, found an increase of the global H2 sink from soils, with a trend of -0.77 Tg a-2 for the 1992-2004 period (fluxes are negative as soils act as a sink for atmospheric H2). For the same period, however, our process-based model calculates a trend of only -0.04 Tg a-2. Even when forced with drastic changes in soil water content, soil temperature and snow cover depth, our model is unable to reproduce the trend found in the inversion-based study, questioning the realism of such a large trend.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberGB3013
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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