Land-use changes until the beginning of the 20th century made the terrestrial biosphere a net source of atmospheric carbon. Later, burning of fossil fuel surpassed land use changes as the major anthropogenic source of carbon. The terrestrial biosphere is at present suggested to be a carbon sink, but the distribution of excess anthropogenic carbon to the ocean and biosphere sinks is highly uncertain. Our modeling suggest that land-use changes can be tracked quite well by the carbon isotopes until mid-20th century, whereas burning of fossil fuel dominates the present-day observed changes in the isotope signature. The modeling indicates that the global carbon isotope fractionation has not changed significantly during the last 150 years. Furthermore, increased uptake of carbon by the ocean and increasing temperatures does not yet appear to have resulted in increasing the global gross ocean-to-atmosphere carbon fluxes. This may however change in the future when the excess carbon will emerge in the ocean upwelling zones, possibly reducing the net-uptake of carbon compared to the present-day ocean.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International