The Global Atmospheric CO2 Distribution 1968–1983: Interpretation of the Results of the NOAA/GMCC Measurement Program

  • Richard H. Gammon
  • Walter D. Komhyr
  • James T. Peterson


The modern period of precise atmospheric CO2 measurements began with Keeling’s pioneering determinations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole during the International Geophysical Year. The Mauna Loa record (e.g., Keeling 1983) remains the single most valuable CO2 time series for carbon cycle model verification. For very recent interpretations of atmospheric CO2 measurements and carbon cycle relationships, the reader is referred to Cleveland et al. (1983), Keeling (1983), Machta (1983), Mook et al. (1983), Pearman et al. (1983), Keeling et al. (1984), Wong et al. (1984), Bacastow et al. (1985), Komhyr et al. (1985), and Fraser et al. (this volume). In this chapter, the global atmospheric CO2 records, particularly of the NOAA/GMCC (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change) program, are summarized for the period 1968 through 1983, with emphasis on the mean properties of the global carbon cycle as viewed from the atmosphere (i.e., global mean CO2 concentration, latitude dependence of concentration and seasonal amplitude, airborne fraction, etc.).


Carbon Cycle Global Carbon Cycle World Meteorological Organization Falkland Island Seasonal Amplitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bacastow, R., J. A. Adams, C. D. Keeling, D. J. Moss, T. P. Whorf, and C. S. Wong. 1980. Response of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the weak 1975 El Nino. Science 210: 66–68.Google Scholar
  2. Bacastow, R. B. and C. D. Keeling. 1981. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and the observed airborne fraction. In B. Bolin (ed.), Carbon Cycle Modelling, SCOPE 16, pp. 103–112. John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Bacastow, R. B., C. D. Keeling, and T. P. Whorf. 1985. Seasonal amplitude increase in atmospheric CO, concentration at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, 1959–1982. J. Geophys. Res. ( Submitted ).Google Scholar
  4. Cleveland, W. S., A. E. Freeny, and T. E. Graedel. 1983. The seasonal component of atmospheric CO, information for new approaches to the decomposition of seasonal time series. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 10934–10946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeLuisi, J. J. (ed.). 1981. Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change, No. 9: Summary Report. 1980. NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  6. Fraser, P. J., G. I. Pearman, and P. Hyson. 1983. The global distribution of atmospheric CO,: II. A review of provisional background observations 1978–1980. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 3591–3598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fung, I., K. Prentice, E. Mathews, J. Lerner, and G. Russell. 1983. Three-dimensional tracer model study of atmospheric CO,: response to seasonal exchanges with the terrestrial biosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 1281–1294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gammon, R. H. and W. D. Komhyr. 1983. Response of the global atmospheric CO2 distribution to the atmospheric/oceanic circulation perturbation in 1982. In Hamburg IUGG, Symposium 19, The Oceans and the CO, Climate Response, August 1983, paper 19/2, Vol. 2, p. 828.Google Scholar
  9. Harris, J. M. and B. A. Bodhaine. (eds.). 1983. Summary Report 1982, Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change. Environmental Research Laboratories/NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. Herbert, G. A. (ed.). 1980. Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change, No. 8: Summary Report 1979. NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  11. Keeling, C. D. 1983. The global carbon cycle: What we know and could know from atmospheric, biospheric, and oceanic observations. In Proceedings of the CO2 Research Conference: Carbon Dioxide, Science, and Consensus, DOE CONF-820970, pp. 1L3–11. 62. NTIS, Springfield, Virginia.Google Scholar
  12. Keeling, C. D., A. F. Carter, and W. G. Mook. 1984. Seasonal, latitudinal, and secular variations in the abundance and isotopic ratios of atmospheric CO2. J. Geophys. Res. 89: 4615–4628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Komhyr, W. D., R. H. Gammon, J. Harris, L. W. Waterman, T. J. Conway,W. R. Taylor, and K. W. Thoning. 1985. Global atmospheric CO, distribution and variations from 1968–1982 NOAA/GMCC flask sample data. J. Geophys. Res. (in press).Google Scholar
  14. Machta, L. 1983. The Atmosphere. In Changing Climate, pp. 242–251. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  15. Mendonca, B. G. (ed.). 1979. Geophysical Monitoring for Climate Change, No. 7: Summary Report 1978. NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  16. Mook, W. M., M. Koopmans, A. F. Carter, and C. D. Keeling. 1983. Seasonal, latitudinal, and secular variations in the abundance and isotopic ratios of atmospheric carbon dioxide (1): results from land stations. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 915–933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pearman, G. I., P. Hyson, and P. J. Fraser. 1983. The global distribution of atmospheric carbon dioxide: I. Aspects of observation and modelling. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 3581–3590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Peterson, J. T. (ed.). 1978. Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change, No. 6: Summary Report 1977. NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado.Google Scholar
  19. Stokes 1982. Atmospheric carbon dioxide abundance: An archival study of spectroscopic data In W. Clark (ed). Carbon Dioxide Review, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Tanaka, M., T. Nakazawa, and S. Aoki. 1983. Concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide over Japan. J. Geophys. Res. 88: 1939.Google Scholar
  21. Wong, C. S., Y. H. Chan, S. Page, R. D. Bellegay, and K. G. Pettit, 1984. Trends of atmospheric CO, over Canadian WMO background stations at ocean weather station P, Sable Island, Alert. J. Geophys. Res. 89: 9527–9539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard H. Gammon
  • Walter D. Komhyr
  • James T. Peterson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations