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Estimation of past atmospheric carbon dioxide levels using tree-ring cellulose Delta 13 C

Bose, T and Chakraborty, S and Borgaonkar, HP and Sengupta, S and Ramesh, R (2014) Estimation of past atmospheric carbon dioxide levels using tree-ring cellulose Delta 13 C. Current Science, 107. pp. 971-982.

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We study the applicability of the Farquhar model for carbon isotopic discrimination (change in carbon isotopic composition from air CO2 to tree-ring cellulose) in C3 plants to trees growing in the field. Two new carbon isotope datasets from Himalayan conifers with published data from another eight sites across the world show disparate trends in the plot of carbon isotope discrimination versus atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, in contrast to the model prediction of absence of any trend. This is because the model assumes that the tree adjusts its stomatal conductance for water-use efficiency to maintain a constant ratio of carbon dioxide concentrations inside and outside the leaf and treats the diffusive and biochemical fractionation factors as constants. By introducing a simple linear dependence of these fractionation factors with ambient temperature and humidity, we have enhanced the applicability of the model to naturally growing trees. Further, despite the disparate trends exhibited by the 10 trees, we show using the inverse modelling that it is possible to derive a unique record of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations using tree cellulose 13C data. The reconstructions also replicate the summer pCO2 gradient from tropics to mid-latitudes. We also discuss the merits and demerits of the model, and compare the model-derived pCO2 with that of the ice core-based records from Law Dome.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Atmospheric carbon dioxide, carbon isotope, cellulose, climate change, tree ring.
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 10:55
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015 10:55

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