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Published February 7, 2023 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

New constraints of terrestrial and oceanic global gross primary productions from the triple oxygen isotopic composition of atmospheric CO₂ and O₂


Representations of the changing global carbon cycle under climatic and environmental perturbations require highly detailed accounting of all atmosphere and biosphere exchange. These fluxes remain unsatisfactory, as a consequence of only having data with limited spatiotemporal coverage and precision, which restrict accurate assessments. Through the nature of intimate coupling of global carbon and oxygen cycles via O₂ and CO₂ and their unique triple oxygen isotope compositions in the biosphere and atmosphere, greater insight is available. We report analysis of their isotopic compositions with the widest geographical and temporal coverage (123 new measurements for CO₂) and constrain, on an annual basis, the global CO₂ recycling time (1.5 ± 0.2 year) and gross primary productivities of terrestrial (~ 170–200 PgC/year) and oceanic (~ 90–120 PgC/year) biospheres. Observed inter-annual variations in CO₂ triple oxygen isotopic compositions were observed at a magnitude close to the largest contrast set by the terrestrial and oceanic biospheres. The seasonal cycles between the east and west Pacific Ocean were found to be drastically different. This intra-annual variability implies that the entire atmospheric CO₂ turnover time is not much longer than the tropospheric mixing time (less than ~ 5 months), verifying the derived recycling time. The new measurements, analyses, and incorporation of other global data sets allow development of an independent approach, providing a strong constraint to biogeochemical models.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Supports from Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan (108-2111-M-001-011-MY3) to Academia Sinica and Academia Sinica (Investigator Award AS-IA-109-M03) are acknowledged. M.C.L. analyzed the data and wrote the paper. A.H.L., E.B., and S.N. collected samples and performed analyses. All authors discussed the results before and during manuscript preparation. Author contributions. M.C.L., S.N., and M.H.T. analyzed the data and wrote the paper. A.H.L., E.B., S.N., and R.R. collected samples and performed analyses. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. Data availability. All data generated or analyzed during this study are either included in this paper [and its Supplementary Information files] or available in other published articles referred in Table Table11. The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplemental Material - 41598_2023_29389_MOESM1_ESM.docx

Supplemental Material - 41598_2023_29389_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx


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Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 20, 2023