Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model experiment description paper
18 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2 for historical simulations in CMIP6
Heather Graven1, Colin E. Allison2, David M. Etheridge2, Samuel Hammer3, Ralph F. Keeling4, Ingeborg Levin3, Harro A. J. Meijer6, Mauro Rubino5, Pieter P. Tans7, Cathy M. Trudinger2, Bruce H. Vaughn8, and James W. C. White8 1Department of Physics, Imperial College London, UK
2CSIRO Climate Science Centre, Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, Australia
3Institut für Umweltphysik, Heidelberg University, Germany
4Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA
5Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Caserta, Italy
6Center for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
7National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, USA
8Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Abstract. The isotopic composition of carbon (Δ14C and δ13C) in atmospheric CO2 and in oceanic and terrestrial carbon reservoirs is influenced by anthropogenic emissions and by natural carbon exchanges, which can respond to and drive changes in climate. Simulations of 14C and 13C in the ocean and terrestrial components of Earth System Models (ESMs) present opportunities for model evaluation and for investigation of carbon cycling, including anthropogenic CO2 emissions and uptake. The use of carbon isotopes in novel evaluation of the ESMs' component ocean and terrestrial biosphere models and in new analyses of historical changes may improve predictions of future changes in the carbon cycle and climate system. We compile existing data to produce records of Δ14C and δ13C in atmospheric CO2 for the historical period 1850–2015. The primary motivation for this compilation is to provide the atmospheric boundary condition for historical simulations in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) for models simulating carbon isotopes in their ocean or terrestrial biosphere models. The data may also be useful for other carbon cycle modelling activities.

Citation: Graven, H., Allison, C. E., Etheridge, D. M., Hammer, S., Keeling, R. F., Levin, I., Meijer, H. A. J., Rubino, M., Tans, P. P., Trudinger, C. M., Vaughn, B. H., and White, J. W. C.: Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2 for historical simulations in CMIP6, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Heather Graven et al.
Heather Graven et al.

Data sets

Historical Carbon Isotopes in Atmospheric CO2
H. Graven, C. E. Allison, D. M. Etheridge, S. Hammer, R. F. Keeling, I. Levin, H. A. J. Meijer, M. Rubino, P. P. Tans, C. M. Trudinger, B. H. Vaughn, and J. W. C. White
Heather Graven et al.


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Short summary
Modelling of carbon isotopes 13C and 14C in land and ocean components of Earth System Models provides opportunities for new insights and improved understanding of global carbon cycling, and for model evaluation. We compiled existing historical datasets to define the annual mean carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric CO2 for 1850–2015 that can be used in CMIP6 and other modelling activities.
Modelling of carbon isotopes 13C and 14C in land and ocean components of Earth System Models...