A global prognostic physiologically based model of the carbon budget in terrestrial ecosystems, the Frankfurt Biosphere Model (FBM), is applied to simulate the interannual variation of carbon exchange fluxes between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere. The data on climatic forcing are based on Cramer and Leemans climate maps; the interannual variation is introduced according to records of temperature anomalies and precipitation anomalies for the period 1980 to 1993. The calculated net exchange flux between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere is compared to the biospheric signal deduced from 13C measurements. Some intermediate results are presented as well: the contributions of the most important global ecosystems to the biospheric signal, the contributions of different latitudinal belts to the biospheric signal, and the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh). From the simulation results it can be inferred that the complex temperature and precipitation responses of NPP and Rh in different latitudes and different ecosystem types add up to a global CO2 signal contributing substantially to the atmospheric CO2 anomaly on the interannual timescale. The temperature response of NPP was found to be the most important factor determining this signal.