2015 Volume 93 Issue 5 Pages 513-533
Recent advancements in the measurement and modeling of heavy stable water isotopes (i.e., H218O and HDO), especially in situ and remote sensing spectroscopic vapor isotope measurements and isotope-incorporated general circulation and regional models, have rapidly improved our understanding of the behavior of water isotopes on Earth. These advancements have significantly increased the recognition of the usefulness of information on stable water isotopes in the geoscience community. This study reviews these recent advancements and their applications in climatological, meteorological, and hydrological sciences. It also explores two emerging directions. The first is the direct validation of climate models using independent isotopic proxy data. I particularly discuss comparisons of the 20th Century Isotope Reanalysis dataset, which covers 1871-2008, to ice core δ18O, tree cellulose δ18O, and coral δ18O. The second is the use of isotopic data as constraints in various climatological, meteorological, and hydrological models. Ideally, vapor isotope data could be used to improve weather forecasting.