We present and discuss quasi-continuous long-term 14CO2 observations from the continental background station Schauinsland (48°N, 8°E, 1205 m asl, Black Forest, southern Germany). The observed steady decline of atmospheric 14CO2 from 1977 to 1996 can be described by a single exponential function with an e-folding time of (16.3 ± 0.2) yr. Summer means (May to August) in atmospheric 14CO2 at Schauinsland compare within Δ14C = ±4‰ with measurements made on individual rings from a tree grown in the near vicinity of the Schauinsland site. Both data sets are slightly depleted by up to 5‰ if compared to maritime background measurements of atmospheric 14CO2 made at Izaña, Tenerife. This is due to the influence of fossil fuel CO2 emissions over the European continent as well as generally in mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. δ13C analyses from the Schauinsland samples show mean seasonal variations with an amplitude of ±0.4‰, caused by atmosphere-biosphere exchange, and a mean decrease from 1977 to 1996 of δ13C = −0.017‰ yr−1. This trend is mainly due to an increasing quantity of fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere, depleted in 13C/12C ratio, and compares well to trends measured at other stations in mid-to-high northern latitudes.