Regional 14CO2 Offsets in the Troposphere: Magnitude, Mechanisms, and Consequences

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Science  21 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5551, pp. 2529-2532
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066114

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Radiocarbon dating methods typically assume that there are no significant tropospheric 14CO2 gradients within the low- to mid-latitude zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Comparison of tree ring 14C data from southern Germany and Anatolia supports this assumption in general but also documents episodes of significant short-term regional14CO2 offsets. We suggest that the offset is caused by an enhanced seasonal 14CO2 cycle, with seasonally peaked flux of stratospheric 14C into the troposphere during periods of low solar magnetic activity, coinciding with substantial atmospheric cooling. Short-term episodes of regional14CO2 offsets are important to palaeoclimate studies and to high-resolution archaeological dating.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bernd.kromer{at}

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