Carbon isotope measurements of atmospheric CO2 at a coastal station in Antarctica

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Levin, Ingeborg ; Kromer, Bernd ; Wagenbach, Dietmar t ; Münnich, Karl Otto (2011)

A 3-years series of weekly 3-days integrated CO2 samples analysed for 13C/12C isotopic ratio is presented, as well as a 2-years continuous sample series of 1-2 weeks integration time, analysed for C14 activity. The samples have been collected at the German Georg von Neumayer research station situated at the Antarctic coast at 70°s. 8°W. The 13C measurements show a slightly decreasing trend in δ13C of -0.038 * 0.009‰,/year as is to be expected due to the global fossil fuel CO2 release. A significant seasonal variation is not detectable in the 13C record. The ∆14C activity of the atmospheric C02 samples is constantly lower by -11 ± 2‰, if compared to the northern hemisphere clean air level. The opposite effect should be expected from an observed C02 concentration difference of about 3-4 ppm between the two hemispheres if due to 14C free fossil fuel CO2. A total (supposedly regional) ∆14C depletion of about -20‰, to -25‰, compared to low latitudes in the southern hemisphere, can be attributed to exchange of atmospheric C02 with low 14C surface water (∆14C = - 100‰,) due to upwelling in the circum polar region between 50°s and 70°s. This effect can qualitatively be reproduced by a simple one-dimensional atmospheric model.DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.1987.tb00273.x
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