Compiled records of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2 for historical simulations in CMIP6
Abstract. The isotopic composition of carbon (Δ14C and δ13C) in atmospheric CO2 and in oceanic and terrestrial carbon reservoirs is influenced by anthropogenic emissions and by natural carbon exchanges, which can respond to and drive changes in climate. Simulations of 14C and 13C in the ocean and terrestrial components of Earth system models (ESMs) present opportunities for model evaluation and for investigation of carbon cycling, including anthropogenic CO2 emissions and uptake. The use of carbon isotopes in novel evaluation of the ESMs' component ocean and terrestrial biosphere models and in new analyses of historical changes may improve predictions of future changes in the carbon cycle and climate system. We compile existing data to produce records of Δ14C and δ13C in atmospheric CO2 for the historical period 1850–2015. The primary motivation for this compilation is to provide the atmospheric boundary condition for historical simulations in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) for models simulating carbon isotopes in the ocean or terrestrial biosphere. The data may also be useful for other carbon cycle modelling activities.