Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Ice core record of the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries

Abstract

The release of carbon into the atmosphere due to the activities of humans has caused an increase in concentration as well as a change in the isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide. CO2 derived from fossil fuel combustion and from biomass destruction have δ13C values of −25‰ (compared to the atmospheric value of −7‰) and are thus depleted in 13C. We have measured δ13C of CO2 separated from air trapped in bubbles in ice samples from an ice core taken at Siple Station in Antarctica, in which it has been possible to demonstrate the atmospheric increase of CO2 (ref. 1) and methane2 with high time resolution. The isotopic results, together with the CO2 record from the same ice core, yield information on the sources of excess carbon dioxide and provide a data base for testing the consistency of global carbon cycle models.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Neftel, A., Moor, E., Oeschger, H. & Stauffer, B. Nature 315, 45–47 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Stauffer, B., Fischer, G., Neftel, A. & Oeschger, H. Science 229, 1386–1388 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Schwander, J. & Stauffer, B. Nature 311, 45–47 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Schwander, J. thesis, Univ. Bern (1984).

  5. Moor, E. & Stauffer, B. J. Glacial. 30, 358 (1984).

  6. Friedli, H., Moor, E., Oeschger, H., Siegenthaler, U. & Stauffer, B. Geophys. Res. Lett. 11, 1145–1148 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Mook, W. G. & van der Hoek, S. Isotopic Geosci. 1, 237–242 (1983).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Keeling, C. D., Mook, W. G. & Tans, P. P. Nature 277, 121–123 (1979).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Mook, W. G., Koopmans, M., Carter, A. F. & Keeling, C. D. J. geophys. Res. 88, 10915–10933 (1983).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Heimann, M., Keeling, C. D. & Mook, W. G. Tellus (in the press).

  11. Francey, R. J. Nature 290, 232–235 (1981).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Freyer, H. D. & Belacy, N. J. geophys. Res. 88, 6844–6852 (1983).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Stuiver, M., Burk, R. L. & Quay, P. D. J. geophys. Res. 88, 11731–11748 (1984).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Tans, P. P. & Mook, W. G. Tellus 32, 268–283 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Siegenthaler, U., Heimann, M. & Oeschger, H. in Carbon Dioxide, Climate and Society (ed. Williams, J.) 79–87 (Pergamon, Oxford, 1981).

  16. Peng, T. H., Broecker, W. S., Freyer, H. D. & Trumbore, S. J. geophys. Res. 88, 3609–3620 (1983).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Siegenthaler, U. & Oeschger, H. Tellus 39B (in the press).

  18. Craig, H. Geochim. cosmochim. Acta 3, 53–92 (1953).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Friedli, H., Lötscher, H., Oeschger, H. et al. Ice core record of the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries. Nature 324, 237–238 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1038/324237a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/324237a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing