Climate variability as reflected in a regional atmospheric CO2 record


Corresponding author.


This paper analyses a 15-year long atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio record measured at a mid-continental, low-elevation station (Hegyhátsál, Hungary) to reveal the effect of regional climate variability. While the long-term trend and the temporal fluctuation of the growth rate of CO2 mixing ratio follow the global tendencies to a large extent, the shorter-term variations show special features. We present the distorted seasonal cycle caused by the seasonality in the atmospheric vertical mixing and the tendentious change in its shape, which can be attributed to the gradual warming and to the resulted prolongation of the growing season. The decreasing summer diurnal amplitude and the decreasing seasonal amplitude in the mixing ratio, furthermore the higher than average summer CO2 mixing ratio growth rate in the first period of the measurements (1994–2003) with generally rising temperature and decreasing precipitation are explained as the consequence of the reduced activity of the biosphere in the influence area of the station and that of the reduced biomass under environmental conditions getting increasingly unfavourable. The explanation is supported by the co-located tall tower surface–atmosphere CO2 exchange measurements and by the crop yield statistics of the dominantly agricultural region around the station.