Climatic Change

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 315–320 | Cite as

The pre-industrial carbon dioxide level

  • T. M. L. Wigley
Article

Abstract

Recent indirect data and direct measurements from ice cores point towards a ‘pre-industrial’ CO2 level of around 260–270 ppmv, considerably below the commonly assumed value of 290 ppmv. Early measurements from the southern hemisphere tend to favour the lower value.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baes, C. F. Jr.: 1981, ‘The Response of the Oceans to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’, Inst. for Energy Analysis Research Memorandum, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, ORAU/IEA- 81-6(M) (available from NTIS).Google Scholar
  2. Bolin, B.: 1977, ‘Changes of Land Biota and their Importance for the Carbon Cycle’,Science 196 613–615.Google Scholar
  3. Bolin, B. and Keeling, C. D.: 1963, ‘Large Scale Atmospheric Mixing as Deduced from the Seasonal and Meridional Variations of Carbon Dioxide’,J. Geophys. Res. 68, 3899–3920.Google Scholar
  4. Bray, J. R.: 1959, ‘An Analysis of the Possible Recent Change in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration’,Tellus 11, 220–230.Google Scholar
  5. Brewer, P. G.: 1978, ‘Direct Observation of the Oceanic CO2 Increase’,Geophys. Res. Letters 5, 997–1000.Google Scholar
  6. Broecker, W. S., Takahashi, T., Simpson, H. J., and Peng, T.-H.: 1979, ‘The Fate of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide and the Global Carbon Budget’,Science 206, 409–418.Google Scholar
  7. Callendar, G. S.: 1940, ‘Variations in the Amount of Carbon Dioxide in Different Air Currents’,Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 66, 395–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Callendar, G. S.: 1958, ‘On the Amount of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere’,Tellus 10, 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, C. T. and Millero, F. J.: 1979, ‘Gradual Increase of Oceanic Carbon Dioxide’,Nature 277, 205- 206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Francey, R. J. and Farquhar, G. D.: 1982, ‘An Explanation of13C/12C Variations in Tree Rings’,Nature 297, 28–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fraser, P. J., Pearman, G. I., and Hyson, P.: 1983, ‘The Global Distribution of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: 2. A Review of Provisional Background Observations, 1978–1980’,J. Geophys. Res. 88, 3591–3598.Google Scholar
  12. Gilliland, R.: 1982, ‘Solar, Volcanic, and CO2 Forcing of Recent Climatic Changes’,Climatic Change 4, 111–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hansen, J., Johnson, D., Lacis, A., Lebedeff, S., Lee, P., Rind, D., and Russell, G.: 1981, ‘Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’,Science 213, 957–966.Google Scholar
  14. Keeling, C. D.: 1978a, ‘The Influence of Mauna Loa Observatory on the Development of Atmospheric CO2 Research’, in J. Miller (ed.),Mauna Loa Observatory, a 20th Anniversary Report, U.S. Dept. of Commerce/NOAA, 36–54.Google Scholar
  15. Keeling, C. D.: 1978b, ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in the 19th Century’,Science 202, p. 1109 (comment on Stuiver (1978) with reply by Stuiver).Google Scholar
  16. Keeling, C. D., Bacastow, R. B., Bainbridge, A. E., Ekdahl, C. A., Guenther, P. R., Waterman, L. S., and Chin, J. F. S.: 1976a, ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Variations at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii’,Tellus 28, 538–551.Google Scholar
  17. Keeling, C. D., Adams, J. A., Ekdahl, C. A., and Guenther, P. R.: 1976b, ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Variations at the South Pole’,Tellus 28, 552–564.Google Scholar
  18. Müntz, A. and Aubin, E.: 1886, ‘Recherches sur la constitution chemique de l'atmosphère, d'après les expériences de M. le Dr. Hyades’,Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn 1882–1883, Tome III (2), Paris, Gauthier-Villars. (See also the authors' summary inRep. Acad. Sci. (Paris)98, 487–494 (1884)).Google Scholar
  19. Neftal, A., Oeschger, H., Schwander, J., Stauffer, B., and Zumbrunn, R.: 1981, ‘Ice Core Sample Measurements Give Atmospheric CO2 during the past 40 000 yr’,Nature 295, 220–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pearman, G. I. and Hyson, P.: 1980, ‘Activities of the Global Biosphere as Reflected in Atmospheric CO2 Records’,J. Geophys. Res. 85, 4468–4474.Google Scholar
  21. Pearman, G. I., Hyson, P., and Fraser, P. J.: 1983, ‘The Global Distribution of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: 1. Aspects of Observations and Modeling’,J. Geophys. Res. 88, 3581–3590.Google Scholar
  22. Schiller, A. M.: 1981, ‘Calculating the Oceanic CO2 Increase: A Need for Caution’,J. Geophys. Res. 86, 11083–11088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stanhill, G.: 1982, ‘The Montsouris Series of Carbon Dioxide Concentration Measurements, 1877– 1910’,Climatic Change 4, 221–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stuiver, M.: 1978, ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Reservoir Changes’,Science 199, 253–258.Google Scholar
  25. Woodwell, G. M., Whittaker, R. H., Reiners, W. A., Likens, G. E., Delwiche, C. C., and Botkin, D. B.: 1978, ‘The Biota and the World Carbon Budget’,Science 199, 141–146.Google Scholar
  26. W.M.O., (World Meteorological Organization): 1981, On the Assessment of the Role of CO2 on Climate Variations and their Impact, Report of a joint WMO/ICSU/UNEP meeting of experts, Villach, Austria, Nov. 1980, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, 29 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. M. L. Wigley
    • 1
  1. 1.Climatic Research Unit, University of East AngliaNorwichEngland

Personalised recommendations