eCite Digital Repository

Global carbon budget 2015


Le Quere, C and Moriarty, R and Andrew, RM and Canadell, JG and Sitch, S and Korsbakken, JI and Friedlingstein, P and Peters, GP and Andres, RJ and Boden, TA and Houghton, RA and House, JI and Keeling, RF and Tans, P and Arneth, A and Bakker, DCE and Barbero, L and Bopp, L and Chang, J and Chevallier, F and Chini, LP and Ciais, P and Fader, M and Feely, RA and Gkritzalis, T and Harris, I and Hauck, J and Ilyina, T and Jain, AK and Kato, E and Kitidis, V and Klein Goldewijk, K and Koven, C and Landschutzer, P and Lauvset, SK and Lefevre, N and Lenton, A and Lima, ID and Metzl, N and Millero, F and Munro, DR and Murata, A and Nabel, JEMS and Nakaoka, S and Nojiri, Y and O'Brien, K and Olsen, A and Ono, T and Perez, FF and Pfeil, B and Pierrot, D and Poulter, B and Rehder, G and Rodenbeck, C and Saito, S and Schuster, U and Schwinger, J and Seferian, R and Steinhoff, T and Stocker, BD and Sutton, AJ and Takahashi, T and Tilbrook, B and van der Laan-Luijkx, IT and van der Werf, GR and van Heuven, S and Vandemark, D and Viovy, N and Wiltshire, A and Zaehle, S and Zeng, N, Global carbon budget 2015, Earth System Science Data, 7, (2) pp. 349-396. ISSN 1866-3508 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.5194/essd-7-349-2015


Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and a methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates as well as consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover-change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in SOCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models forced by observed climate, CO2, and land-cover change (some including nitrogen–carbon interactions). We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2005–2014), EFF was 9.0 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, ELUC was 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 4.4 ± 0.1 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 3.0 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1. For the year 2014 alone, EFF grew to 9.8 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, 0.6 % above 2013, continuing the growth trend in these emissions, albeit at a slower rate compared to the average growth of 2.2 % yr−1 that took place during 2005–2014. Also, for 2014, ELUC was 1.1 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 3.9 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 4.1 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1. GATM was lower in 2014 compared to the past decade (2005–2014), reflecting a larger SLAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 397.15 ± 0.10 ppm averaged over 2014. For 2015, preliminary data indicate that the growth in EFF will be near or slightly below zero, with a projection of −0.6 [range of −1.6 to +0.5] %, based on national emissions projections for China and the USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the global economy for the rest of the world. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2015, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 555 ± 55 GtC (2035 ± 205 GtCO2) for 1870–2015, about 75 % from EFF and 25 % from ELUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quéré et al., 2015, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2015).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:CO2, carbon cycle, global carbon budget, carbon dioxide emissions, carbon budget, climate change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Tilbrook, B (Dr Bronte Tilbrook)
ID Code:109754
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:622
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-06-29
Last Modified:2017-10-30
Downloads:127 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page