Radiocarbon and Climate Change

pp 83-137


Radiocarbon in the Atmosphere

  • J. C. TurnbullAffiliated withNational Isotope Centre, GNS ScienceCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado
  • , H. GravenAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
  • , N. Y. KrakauerAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York

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This chapter examines the controls on radiocarbon (14C) content of CO2 in the atmosphere over time. It discusses atmospheric observations and their interpretation using models of atmospheric transport, which describe the physical mixing of the atmosphere. This spans the simplest conceptual model of addition of a gas into a single well-mixed box of air, to multi-box models with three-dimensional global or regional atmospheric transport models. This format is applied to atmospheric history for five different time periods when different factors dominated atmospheric 14C.