A Caltech Library Service

Signature of stratospheric air at the Tibetan Plateau

Liang, Mao-Chang and Tang, J. and Chan, Chuen-Yu and Zheng, X. D. and Yung, Yuk L. (2008) Signature of stratospheric air at the Tibetan Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (20). L20816. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2008GL035246.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Current estimates of gross carbon flux tend to ignore the downwelling flux of CO_2 from the stratosphere. Observations showed that there is a phase shift between the time series for the concentration of the standard isotopologue C^16O^16O and C^16O^18O at Waliguan, China (36°17'N, 100° 54'E, 3816 m) and several other places. Previous attempts to explain the shift have not been satisfactory. Here we show that the phase shift could be explained by the downwelling air from the stratosphere, and demonstrate that this source of CO_2 provides a useful tool for constraining the carbon cycle. Using O_3 as a proxy of stratosphere-troposphere exchange, we find excellent correlation between O_3 and C^16O^18O observed at the Waliguan Observatory. The observed variability of C^16O^18O is consistent with model predictions, thus supporting that the surface air has significant contributions from the stratosphere. Quantitative modeling may provide a powerful tool for constraining the sources and sinks of CO_2 using the isotopically enriched CO_2 from the stratosphere as a tracer.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Liang, Mao-Chang0000-0002-5294-9344
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2008 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 5 July 2008; revised 21 September 2008; accepted 23 September 2008; published 24 October 2008. This work was supported in part by NSC grant 97-2628-M-001-001 to Academia Sinica and the Natural Science Foundation of China 40875075. Special thanks are due Matthias Cuntz for sharing the biological model results and Shaw Liu for helpful discussion. The measurements of CO_2 and its isotopologues are a cooperative work between Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). YLY was supported by NSF grant ATM-9903790 to California Institute of Technology. Correspondence should be addressed to MCL (e-mail:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Council of Taiwan97-2628-M-001-001
Natural Science Foundation of China40875075
National Science FoundationATM-9903790
Issue or Number:20
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LIAgrl08
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Liang, M.-C., J. Tang, C.-Y. Chan, X. D. Zheng, and Y. L. Yung (2008), Signature of stratospheric air at the Tibetan Plateau, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20816, doi:10.1029/2008GL035246.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13525
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jul 2009 21:07
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:38

Repository Staff Only: item control page