Publications

Export 14 results:
Sort by: Author Title Type [ Year  (Desc)]
2018
Rodenbeck, C, Zaehle S, Keeling R, Heimann M.  2018.  History of El Nino impacts on the global carbon cycle 1957-2017: a quantification from atmospheric CO2 data. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 373   10.1098/rstb.2017.0303   AbstractWebsite

Interannual variations in the large-scale net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere were estimated for 1957-2017 from sustained measurements of atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios. As the observations are sparse in the early decades, available records were combined into a 'quasi-homogeneous' dataset based on similarity in their signals, to minimize spurious variations from beginning or ending data records. During El Nino events, CO2 is anomalously released from the tropical band, and a few months later also in the northern extratropical band. This behaviour can approximately be represented by a linear relationship of the NEE anomalies and local air temperature anomalies, with sensitivity coefficients depending on geographical location and season. The apparent climate sensitivity of global total NEE against variations in pan-tropically averaged annual air temperature slowly changed over time during the 1957-2017 period, first increasing (though less strongly than in previous studies) but then decreasing again. However, only part of this change can be attributed to actual changes in local physiological or ecosystem processes, the rest probably arising from shifts in the geographical area of dominating temperature variations. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The impact of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications'.

Rodenbeck, C, Zaehle S, Keeling R, Heimann M.  2018.  How does the terrestrial carbon exchange respond to inter-annual climatic variations? A quantification based on atmospheric CO2 data Biogeosciences. 15:2481-2498.   10.5194/bg-15-2481-2018   AbstractWebsite

The response of the terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 to climate variations and trends may crucially determine the future climate trajectory. Here we directly quantify this response on inter-annual timescales by building a linear regression of inter-annual NEE anomalies against observed air temperature anomalies into an atmospheric inverse calculation based on long-term atmospheric CO2 observations. This allows us to estimate the sensitivity of NEE to inter-annual variations in temperature (seen as a climate proxy) resolved in space and with season. As this sensitivity comprises both direct temperature effects and the effects of other climate variables co-varying with temperature, we interpret it as "inter-annual climate sensitivity". We find distinct seasonal patterns of this sensitivity in the northern extratropics that are consistent with the expected seasonal responses of photosynthesis, respiration, and fire. Within uncertainties, these sensitivity patterns are consistent with independent inferences from eddy covariance data. On large spatial scales, northern extratropical and tropical interannual NEE variations inferred from the NEE-T regression are very similar to the estimates of an atmospheric inversion with explicit inter-annual degrees of freedom. The results of this study offer a way to benchmark ecosystem process models in more detail than existing effective global climate sensitivities. The results can also be used to gap-fill or extrapolate observational records or to separate inter-annual variations from longer-term trends.

2017
Keeling, RF, Graven HD, Welp LR, Resplandy L, Bi J, Piper SC, Sun Y, Bollenbacher A, Meijer HAJ.  2017.  Atmospheric evidence for a global secular increase in carbon isotopic discrimination of land photosynthesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114:10361-10366.   10.1073/pnas.1619240114   AbstractWebsite

A decrease in the C-13/C-12 ratio of atmospheric CO2 has been documented by direct observations since 1978 and from ice core measurements since the industrial revolution. This decrease, known as the C-13-Suess effect, is driven primarily by the input of fossil fuel-derived CO2 but is also sensitive to land and ocean carbon cycling and uptake. Using updated records, we show that no plausible combination of sources and sinks of CO2 from fossil fuel, land, and oceans can explain the observed C-13-Suess effect unless an increase has occurred in the C-13/C-12 isotopic discrimination of land photosynthesis. A trend toward greater discrimination under higher CO2 levels is broadly consistent with tree ring studies over the past century, with field and chamber experiments, and with geological records of C-3 plants at times of altered atmospheric CO2, but increasing discrimination has not previously been included in studies of long-term atmospheric 13C/12C measurements. We further show that the inferred discrimination increase of 0.014 +/- 0.007% ppm(-1) is largely explained by photorespiratory and mesophyll effects. This result implies that, at the global scale, land plants have regulated their stomatal conductance so as to allow the CO2 partial pressure within stomatal cavities and their intrinsic water use efficiency to increase in nearly constant proportion to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

2016
Le Quere, C, Andrew RM, Canadell JG, Sitch S, Korsbakken JI, Peters GP, Manning AC, Boden TA, Tans PP, Houghton RA, Keeling RF, Alin S, Andrews OD, Anthoni P, Barbero L, Bopp L, Chevallier F, Chini LP, Ciais P, Currie K, Delire C, Doney SC, Friedlingstein P, Gkritzalis T, Harris I, Hauck J, Haverd V, Hoppema M, Goldewijk KK, Jain AK, Kato E, Kortzinger A, Landschutzer P, Lefevre N, Lenton A, Lienert S, Lombardozzi D, Melton JR, Metzl N, Millero F, Monteiro PMS, Munro DR, Nabel J, Nakaoka S, O'Brien K, Olsen A, Omar AM, Ono T, Pierrot D, Poulter B, Rodenbeck C, Salisbury J, Schuster U, Schwinger J, Seferian R, Skjelvan I, Stocker BD, Sutton AJ, Takahashi T, Tian HQ, Tilbrook B, van der Laan-Luijkx IT, van der Werf GR, Viovy N, Walker AP, Wiltshire AJ, Zaehle S.  2016.  Global Carbon Budget 2016. Earth System Science Data. 8:605-649.   10.5194/essd-8-605-2016   AbstractWebsite

Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere - the "global carbon budget" - is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates and consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (E-FF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from land-use change (E-LUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (G(ATM)) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (S-OCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in S-OCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (S-LAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models. We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as +/- 1 sigma, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2006-2015), E-FF was 9.3 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), E-LUC 1.0 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) 4.5 +/- 0.1 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN 2.6 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND 3.1 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). For year 2015 alone, the growth in E-FF was approximately zero and emissions remained at 9.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), showing a slowdown in growth of these emissions compared to the average growth of 1.8% yr(-1) that took place during 2006-2015. Also, for 2015, E-LUC was 1.3 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) was 6.3 +/- 0.2 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 3.0 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND was 1.9 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). G(ATM) was higher in 2015 compared to the past decade (2006-2015), reflecting a smaller S-LAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 399.4 +/- 0.1 ppm averaged over 2015. For 2016, preliminary data indicate the continuation of low growth in E-FF with +0.2% (range of -1.0 to +1.8 %) based on national emissions projections for China and USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. In spite of the low growth of E-FF in 2016, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to be relatively high because of the persistence of the smaller residual terrestrial sink (S-LAND) in response to El Nino conditions of 2015-2016. From this projection of E-FF and assumed constant E-LUC for 2016, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach 565 +/- 55 GtC (2075 +/- 205 GtCO(2)) for 1870-2016, about 75% from E-FF and 25% from E-LUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quere et al., 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi: 10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2016).

2015
Le Quere, C, Moriarty R, Andrew RM, Peters GP, Ciais P, Friedlingstein P, Jones SD, Sitch S, Tans P, Arneth A, Boden TA, Bopp L, Bozec Y, Canadell JG, Chini LP, Chevallier F, Cosca CE, Harris I, Hoppema M, Houghton RA, House JI, Jain AK, Johannessen T, Kato E, Keeling RF, Kitidis V, Goldewijk KK, Koven C, Landa CS, Landschutzer P, Lenton A, Lima ID, Marland G, Mathis JT, Metzl N, Nojiri Y, Olsen A, Ono T, Peng S, Peters W, Pfeil B, Poulter B, Raupach MR, Regnier P, Rodenbeck C, Saito S, Salisbury JE, Schuster U, Schwinger J, Seferian R, Segschneider J, Steinhoff T, Stocker BD, Sutton AJ, Takahashi T, Tilbrook B, van der Werf GR, Viovy N, Wang YP, Wanninkhof R, Wiltshire A, Zeng N.  2015.  Global carbon budget 2014. Earth System Science Data. 7:47-85.   10.5194/essd-7-47-2015   AbstractWebsite

Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and a methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates, consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production (E-FF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from land-use change (E-LUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover-change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (G(ATM)) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (S-OCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in S-OCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (S-LAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models forced by observed climate, CO2, and land-cover-change (some including nitrogen-carbon interactions). We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as +/- 1 sigma, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2004-2013), E-FF was 8.9 +/- 0.4 GtC yr(-1), E-LUC 0.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) 4.3 +/- 0.1 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN 2.6 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND 2.9 +/- 0.8 GtC yr(-1). For year 2013 alone, E-FF grew to 9.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), 2.3% above 2012, continuing the growth trend in these emissions, E-LUC was 0.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), G(ATM) was 5.4 +/- 0.2 GtC yr(-1), S-OCEAN was 2.9 +/- 0.5 GtC yr(-1), and S-LAND was 2.5 +/- 0.9 GtC yr(-1). G(ATM) was high in 2013, reflecting a steady increase in E-FF and smaller and opposite changes between S-OCEAN and S-LAND compared to the past decade (2004-2013). The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 395.31 +/- 0.10 ppm averaged over 2013. We estimate that E-FF will increase by 2.5% (1.3-3.5 %) to 10.1 +/- 0.6 GtC in 2014 (37.0 +/- 2.2 GtCO(2) yr(-1)), 65% above emissions in 1990, based on projections of world gross domestic product and recent changes in the carbon intensity of the global economy. From this projection of E-FF and assumed constant E-LUC for 2014, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 545 +/- 55 GtC (2000 +/- 200 GtCO(2)) for 1870-2014, about 75% from E-FF and 25% from E-LUC. This paper documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this living data set (Le Quere et al., 2013, 2014). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2014).

2013
Rodenbeck, C, Keeling RF, Bakker DCE, Metz N, Olsen A, Sabine C, Heimann M.  2013.  Global surface-ocean p(CO2) and sea-air CO2 flux variability from an observation-driven ocean mixed-layer scheme. Ocean Science. 9:193-216.   10.5194/os-9-193-2013   AbstractWebsite

A temporally and spatially resolved estimate of the global surface-ocean CO2 partial pressure field and the sea air CO2 flux is presented, obtained by fitting a simple data-driven diagnostic model of ocean mixed-layer biogeochemistry to surface-ocean CO2 partial pressure data from the SOCAT v1.5 database. Results include seasonal, interannual, and short-term (daily) variations. In most regions, estimated seasonality is well constrained from the data, and compares well to the widely used monthly climatology by Takahashi et al. (2009). Comparison to independent data tentatively supports the slightly higher seasonal variations in our estimates in some areas. We also fitted the diagnostic model to atmospheric CO2 data. The results of this are less robust, but in those areas where atmospheric signals are not strongly influenced by land flux variability, their seasonality is nevertheless consistent with the results based on surface-ocean data. From a comparison with an independent seasonal climatology of surface-ocean nutrient concentration, the diagnostic model is shown to capture relevant surface-ocean biogeochemical processes reasonably well. Estimated interannual variations will be presented and discussed in a companion paper.

2011
Keeling, RF, Manning AC, Dubey MK.  2011.  The atmospheric signature of carbon capture and storage. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society a-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences. 369:2113-2132.   10.1098/rsta.2011.0016   AbstractWebsite

Compared with other industrial processes, carbon capture and storage (CCS) will have an unusual impact on atmospheric composition by reducing the CO(2) released from fossil-fuel combustion plants, but not reducing the associated O(2) loss. CO(2) that leaks into the air from below-ground CCS sites will also be unusual in lacking the O(2) deficit normally associated with typical land CO(2) sources, such as from combustion or ecosystem exchanges. CCS may also produce distinct isotopic changes in atmospheric CO(2). Using simple models and calculations, we estimate the impact of CCS or leakage on regional atmospheric composition. We also estimate the possible impact on global atmospheric composition, assuming that the technology is widely adopted. Because of its unique signature, CCS may be especially amenable to monitoring, both regionally and globally, using atmospheric observing systems. Measurements of the O(2)/N(2) ratio and the CO(2) concentration in the proximity of a CCS site may allow detection of point leaks of the order of 1000 ton CO(2) yr(-1) from a CCS reservoir up to 1km from the source. Measurements of O(2)/N(2) and CO(2) in background air from a global network may allow quantification of global and hemispheric capture rates from CCS to the order of +/- 0.4 PgCyr(-1).

2006
Manning, AC, Keeling RF.  2006.  Global oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks from the Scripps atmospheric oxygen flask sampling network. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology. 58:95-116.   10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00175.x   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of atmospheric O-2/N-2 ratio and CO2 concentration are presented over the period 1989-2003 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography global flask sampling network. A formal framework is described for making optimal use of these data to estimate global oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks. For the 10-yr period from 1990 to 2000, the oceanic and land biotic sinks are estimated to be 1.9 +/- 0.6 and 1.2 +/- 0.8 Pg C yr(-1), respectively, while for the 10-yr period from 1993 to 2003, the sinks are estimated to be 2.2 +/- 0.6 and 0.5 +/- 0.7 Pg C yr(-1), respectively. These estimates, which are also compared with earlier results, make allowance for oceanic O-2 and N-2 outgassing based on observed changes in ocean heat content and estimates of the relative outgassing per unit warming. For example, for the 1993-2003 period we estimate outgassing of 0.45 x 10(14) mol O-2 yr(-1) and 0.20 x 10(14) mol N-2 yr(-1), which results in a correction of 0.5 Pg C yr(-1) on the oceanic and land biotic carbon sinks. The basis for this oceanic outgassing correction is reviewed in the context of recent model estimates. The main contributions to the uncertainty in the global sinks averages are from the estimates for oceanic outgassing and the estimates for fossil fuel combustion. The oceanic sink of 2.2 Pg C yr(-1) for 1993-2003 is consistent, within the uncertainties, with the integrated accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the ocean since 1800 as recently estimated from oceanic observations, assuming the oceanic sink varied over time as predicted by a box-diffusion model.

1999
Manning, AC, Keeling RF, Severinghaus JP.  1999.  Precise atmospheric oxygen measurements with a paramagnetic oxygen analyzer. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 13:1107-1115.   10.1029/1999gb900054   AbstractWebsite

A methodology has been developed for making continuous, high-precision measurements of atmospheric oxygen concentrations by modifying a commercially available paramagnetic oxygen analyzer. Incorporating several design improvements, an effective precision of 0.2 ppm O-2 from repeated measurements over a 1-hour interval was achieved. This is sufficient to detect background changes in atmospheric O-2 to a level that constrains various aspects of the global carbon cycle. The analyzer was used to measure atmospheric O-2 in a semicontinuous fashion from air sampled from the end of Scripps Pier, La Jolla, California, and data from a 1-week period in August 1996 are shown. The data exhibit strongly anticorrelated changes in O-2 and CO2 caused by local or regional combustion of fossil fuels. During periods of steady background CO2 concentrations, however, we see additional variability in O-2 concentrations, clearly not due to local combustion and presumably due to oceanic sources or sinks of O-2. This variability suggests that in contrast to CO2, higher O-2 sampling rates, such as those provided by continuous measurement programs, may be necessary to define an atmospheric O-2 background and thus aid in validating and interpreting other O-2 data from flask sampling programs. Our results have also demonstrated that this paramagnetic analyzer and gas handling design is well suited for making continuous measurements of atmospheric O-2 and is suitable for placement at remote background air monitoring sites.

1998
Stephens, BB, Keeling RF, Heimann M, Six KD, Murnane R, Caldeira K.  1998.  Testing global ocean carbon cycle models using measurements of atmospheric O2 and CO2 concentration. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 12:213-230.   10.1029/97gb03500   AbstractWebsite

We present a method for testing the performance of global ocean carbon cycle models using measurements of atmospheric O-2 and CO2 concentration. We combine these measurements to define a tracer, atmospheric potential oxygen (APO approximate to O-2 + CO2), which is conservative with respect to terrestrial photosynthesis and respiration. We then compare observations of APO to the simulations of an atmospheric transport model which uses ocean-model air-sea fluxes and fossil fuel combustion estimates as lower boundary conditions. We present observations of the annual-average concentrations of CO2, O-2, and APO at 10 stations in a north-south transect. The observations of APO show a significant interhemispheric gradient decreasing towards the north. We use air-sea CO2, O-2, and N-2 fluxes from the Princeton ocean biogeochemistry model, the Hamburg model of the ocean carbon cycle, and the Lawrence Livermore ocean biogeochemistry model to drive the TM2 atmospheric transport model. The latitudinal variations in annual-average APO predicted by the combined models are distinctly different from the observations. All three models significantly underestimate the interhemispheric difference in APO, suggesting that they underestimate the net southward transport of the sum of O-2 and CO2 in the oceans. Uncertainties in the model-observation comparisons include uncertainties associated with the atmospheric measurements, the atmospheric transport model, and the physical and biological components of the ocean models. Potential deficiencies in the physical components of the ocean models, which have previously been suggested as causes for anomalously large heat fluxes out of the Southern Ocean, may contribute to the discrepancies with the APO observations. These deficiencies include the inadequate parameterization of subgrid-scale isopycnal eddy mixing, a lack of subgrid-scale vertical convection, too much Antarctic sea-ice formation, and an overestimation of vertical diffusivities in the main thermocline.

Bender, ML, Battle M, Keeling RF.  1998.  The O2 balance of the atmosphere: A tool for studying the fate of fossil-fuel CO2. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. 23:207-223.   10.1146/annurev.energy.23.1.207   AbstractWebsite

Carbon dioxide is a radiatively active gas whose atmospheric concentration increase is likely to affect Earth's climate. CO2 is added to the atmosphere by biomass burning and the combustion of fossil fuels. Some added CO2 remains in the atmosphere. However, substantial amounts are taken up by the oceans and land biosphere, attenuating the atmospheric increase. Atmospheric O-2 measurements provide one constraint for partitioning uptake rates between the ocean and the land biosphere. Here we review studies of atmospheric O-2 concentration variations and discuss their implications for CO2 uptake by the ocean and the land biosphere. We compare estimates of anthropogenic carbon fluxes from O-2 studies with estimates from other approaches and examine the contribution of natural ocean carbon fluxes to atmospheric O-2 variations.

1995
Keeling, RF, Peng TH.  1995.  Transport of heat, CO2 and O2 by the Atlantic's thermohaline circulation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences. 348:133-142.   10.1098/rstb.1995.0055   AbstractWebsite

We estimate transport of heat, CO2 and O-2 by the Atlantic's thermohaline circulation using an approach based on differences in the chemical and physical characteristics of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW), Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), and the northward return flow across the equator. The characteristics of the return-flow waters are constrained by imposing conservation of phosphate in the North Atlantic as a whole. Based on a total equatorial return flow of 13 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1), we find that the Atlantic north of the equator is a source of 7.7 +/- 1.4 x 10(14) W to the atmosphere, a sink of 0.51 +/- 0.21 x 10(14) mol of O-2, and preindustrially was a sink of 0.33 +/- 0.15 x 10(14) mol of CO2. Uptake of O-2 and CO2 by the North Atlantic is driven mainly by thermal, as opposed to biological processes.

1993
Tans, PP, Berry JA, Keeling RF.  1993.  Oceanic 13C/12C observations: A new window on ocean CO2 uptake. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 7:353-368.   10.1029/93gb00053   AbstractWebsite

Equations are developed describing the rate of change of carbon isotopic ratios in the atmosphere and oceans in terms of deltaC-13 quantities. The equations enable one to perform calculations directly with delta and epsilon quantities commonly reported in the literature. The main cause of the change occurring today is the combustion of fossil fuel carbon with lower deltaC-13 values. The course of this isotopic anomaly in atmosphere and oceans can provide new constraints on the carbon budgets of these reservoirs. Recently published deltaC-13 isotopic data of total inorganic carbon in the oceans [Quay et al., 1992] appear to lead to incompatible results with respect to the uptake of fossil fuel CO2 by the oceans if two different approaches Lo the data are taken. Consideration of the air-sea isotopic disequilibrium leads to an uptake estimate of only a few tenths of a gigaton C (Gt, for 10(15) g) per year, whereas the apparent change in the ocean deltaC-13 inventory leads to an estimate of more than 2 Gt C yr-1. Both results are very uncertain with presently available data. The isotopic ratio has the advantage that the signal-to-noise ratio for the measurement of the uptake of the isotopic signal by the oceans is better than for the uptake of total carbon. The drawback is that isotopic exchange with carbon reservoirs that are difficult to characterize introduces uncertainty into the isotopic budget. The accuracy requirements for the measurements are high, demanding careful standardization at all stages.