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Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> for historical simulations in CMIP6

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Graven Heather, Allison Colin E., Etheridge David M., Hammer Samuel, Keeling Ralph F., Levin Ingeborg, Meijer Harro A. J., Rubino Mauro, Tans Pieter P., Trudinger Cathy M., Vaughn Bruce H., White James W. C.,
Project Beitrag an den Unterhalt und Betrieb der Hochalpinen Forschungsstationen Jungfraujoch und Gornergrat, 2015-2017
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Geoscientific Model Development
Volume (Issue) 10(12)
Page(s) 4405 - 4417
Title of proceedings Geoscientific Model Development
DOI 10.5194/gmd-10-4405-2017

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The isotopic composition of carbon (Δ 14 C and δ 13 C) in atmospheric CO 2 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 14 C and 13 C in the ocean and terrestrial components of Earth system models (ESMs) present opportunities for model evaluation and for investigation of carbon cycling, including anthropogenic CO 2 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 Δ 14 C and δ 13 C in atmospheric CO 2 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 the ocean or terrestrial biosphere. The data may also be useful for other carbon cycle modelling activities.