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2664 VOLUME 15 J O U R N A L O F C L I M A T E

q 2002 American Meteorological Society

Stable Isotopes as Validation Tools for Global Climate Model Predictions of the Impact

Environment, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights, New South Wales, Australia

Department of Applied Physics, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia

Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

(Manuscript received 7 May 2001, in final form 12 November 2001)

This paper examines changes in isotopic abundances for 18 O and deuterium in precipitation over the Amazon

basin based on data in the Global Network on Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) database from the International

Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)/WMO. The analysis is conducted in the context of recent changes (and anticipated

future changes) to the land surface hydrology as a result of tropical deforestation. Statistically significant temporal

changes (1965–90) in selected stable isotopic signatures in the Amazon have been compared with global climate

model (GCM) predictions revealing notable differences. For example, the wet season deuterium excess differences

between Belem and Manaus, Brazil, are consistent with recent GCM simulations only if there has been a relative

increase in evaporation from nonfractionating water sources over this period. No significant change in dry season

isotopic characteristics is found despite earlier predictions that land-use change signals would be found. Results

of GCM simulations of Amazonian deforestation suggest that the recent stable isotope record is more consistent

with the predicted effects of greenhouse warming possibly combined with forest removal than with the predicted

1. Isotopic analysis as a tool in Amazonian

a. History of isotopes in the Amazon

Isotopic data have been used to det...

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