Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Clim. Past, 17, 1881–1902, 2021
Clim. Past, 17, 1881–1902, 2021

Research article 23 Sep 2021

Research article | 23 Sep 2021

The triple oxygen isotope composition of phytoliths, a new proxy of atmospheric relative humidity: controls of soil water isotope composition, temperature, CO2 concentration and relative humidity

Clément Outrequin et al.

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Cited articles

Aemisegger, F., Sturm, P., Graf, P., Sodemann, H., Pfahl, S., Knohl, A., and Wernli, H.: Measuring variations of δ18O and δ2H in atmospheric water vapour using two commercial laser-based spectrometers: an instrument characterisation study, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 1491–1511,, 2012. 
Ainsworth, E. A. and Rogers, A.: The response of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance to rising [CO2]: mechanisms and environmental interactions, Plant Cell Environ., 30, 258–270,, 2007. 
Alexandre, A., Basile-Doelsch, I., Sonzogni, C., Sylvestre, F., Parron, C., Meunier, J.-D., and Colin, F.: Oxygen isotope analyses of fine silica grains using laser-extraction technique: Comparison with oxygen isotope data obtained from ion microprobe analyses and application to quartzite and silcrete cement investigation, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 70, 2827–2835,, 2006. 
Alexandre, A., Landais, A., Vallet-Coulomb, C., Piel, C., Devidal, S., Pauchet, S., Sonzogni, C., Couapel, M., Pasturel, M., Cornuault, P., Xin, J., Mazur, J.-C., Prié, F., Bentaleb, I., Webb, E., Chalié, F., and Roy, J.: The triple oxygen isotope composition of phytoliths as a proxy of continental atmospheric humidity: insights from climate chamber and climate transect calibrations, Biogeosciences, 15, 3223–3241,, 2018. 

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Short summary
Continental atmospheric humidity is a key climate parameter poorly captured by global climate models. Model–data comparison approaches that are applicable beyond the instrumental period are essential to progress on this issue but face a lack of quantitative relative humidity proxies. Here, we calibrate the triple oxygen isotope composition of phytoliths as a new quantitative proxy of continental relative humidity suitable for past climate reconstructions.