Biosphere model simulations of interannual variability in terrestrial 13C/12C exchange.

I.R. van der Velde, J.B. Miller, K. Schaefer, K.A. Masarie, S. Denning, J.W.C. White, M.C. Krol, W. Peters, P.P. Tans

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Abstract

Previous studies suggest that a large part of the variability in the atmospheric ratio of (CO2)-C-13/(12)CO(2)originates from carbon exchange with the terrestrial biosphere rather than with the oceans. Since this variability is used to quantitatively partition the total carbon sink, we here investigate the contribution of interannual variability (IAV) in biospheric exchange to the observed atmospheric C-13 variations. We use the Simple Biosphere - Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach biogeochemical model, including a detailed isotopic fractionation scheme, separate C-12 and C-13 biogeochemical pools, and satellite-observed fire disturbances. This model of (CO2)-C-12 and (CO2)-C-13 thus also produces return fluxes of (13)CO(2)from its differently aged pools, contributing to the so-called disequilibrium flux. Our simulated terrestrial C-13 budget closely resembles previously published model results for plant discrimination and disequilibrium fluxes and similarly suggests that variations in C-3 discrimination and year-to-year variations in C(3)and C-4 productivity are the main drivers of their IAV. But the year-to-year variability in the isotopic disequilibrium flux is much lower (1 sigma=1.5PgCyr(-1)) than required (12.5PgCyr(-1)) to match atmospheric observations, under the common assumption of low variability in net ocean CO2 fluxes. This contrasts with earlier published results. It is currently unclear how to increase IAV in these drivers suggesting that SiBCASA still misses processes that enhance variability in plant discrimination and relative C-3/C(4)productivity. Alternatively, C-13 budget terms other than terrestrial disequilibrium fluxes, including possibly the atmospheric growth rate, must have significantly different IAV in order to close the atmospheric C-13 budget on a year-to-year basis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-649
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Keywords

  • carbon-isotope discrimination
  • ocean co2 sink
  • stomatal conductance
  • c-13 discrimination
  • atmospheric co2
  • cycle
  • climate
  • fires
  • photosynthesis
  • assimilation

Cite this

van der Velde, I. R., Miller, J. B., Schaefer, K., Masarie, K. A., Denning, S., White, J. W. C., ... Tans, P. P. (2013). Biosphere model simulations of interannual variability in terrestrial 13C/12C exchange. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27(3), 637-649. https://doi.org/10.1002/gbc.20048