A three-dimensional synthesis study of δ18O in atmospheric CO2: 1. Surface fluxes

Authors

  • Philippe Ciais,

  • A. Scott Denning,

  • Pieter P. Tans,

  • Joseph A. Berry,

  • David A. Randall,

  • G. James Collatz,

  • Piers J. Sellers,

  • James W. C. White,

  • Michael Trolier,

  • Harro A. J. Meijer,

  • Roger J. Francey,

  • Patrick Monfray,

  • Martin Heimann


Abstract

The isotope 18O in CO2 is of particular interest in studying the global carbon cycle because it is sensitive to the processes by which the global land biosphere absorbs and respires CO2. Carbon dioxide and water exchange isotopically both in leaves and in soils, and the 18O character of atmospheric CO2 is strongly influenced by the land biota, which should constrain the gross primary productivity and total respiration of land ecosystems. In this study we calculate the global surface fluxes of 18O for vegetation and soils using the SiB2 biosphere model coupled with the Colorado State University general circulation model. This approach makes it possible to use physiological variables that are consistently weighted by the carbon assimilation rate and integrated through the vegetation canopy. We also calculate the air-sea exchange of 18O and the isotopic character of fossil emissions and biomass burning. Global mean values of the isotopic exchange with each reservoir are used to close the global budget of 18O in CO2. Our results confirm the fact that the land biota exert a dominant control on the δ18O of the atmospheric reservoir. At the global scale, exchange with the canopy produces an isotopic enrichment of CO2, whereas exchange with soils has the opposite effect.

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