Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 7, 47–85, 2015
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 7, 47–85, 2015
Review article
08 May 2015
Review article | 08 May 2015

Global carbon budget 2014

C. Le Quéré1, R. Moriarty1, R. M. Andrew2, G. P. Peters2, P. Ciais3, P. Friedlingstein4, S. D. Jones1, S. Sitch5, P. Tans6, A. Arneth7, T. A. Boden8, L. Bopp3, Y. Bozec9,10, J. G. Canadell11, L. P. Chini12, F. Chevallier3, C. E. Cosca13, I. Harris14, M. Hoppema15, R. A. Houghton16, J. I. House17, A. K. Jain18, T. Johannessen19,20, E. Kato21,22, R. F. Keeling23, V. Kitidis24, K. Klein Goldewijk25, C. Koven26, C. S. Landa19,20, P. Landschützer27, A. Lenton28, I. D. Lima29, G. Marland30, J. T. Mathis13, N. Metzl31, Y. Nojiri21, A. Olsen19,20, T. Ono32, S. Peng3, W. Peters33, B. Pfeil19,20, B. Poulter34, M. R. Raupach35,†, P. Regnier36, C. Rödenbeck37, S. Saito38, J. E. Salisbury39, U. Schuster5, J. Schwinger19,20, R. Séférian40, J. Segschneider41, T. Steinhoff42, B. D. Stocker43,44, A. J. Sutton13,45, T. Takahashi46, B. Tilbrook47, G. R. van der Werf48, N. Viovy3, Y.-P. Wang49, R. Wanninkhof50, A. Wiltshire51, and N. Zeng52 C. Le Quéré et al.
  • 1Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 2Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Oslo, Norway
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, CE Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France
  • 4College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
  • 5College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
  • 6National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL), Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 7Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Atmospheric Environmental Research, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 8Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
  • 9CNRS, UMR7144, Equipe Chimie Marine, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, 29680 Roscoff, France
  • 10Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ Paris 06), UMR7144, Adaptation et Diversité en Milieu Marin, Station Biologique de Roscoff, 29680 Roscoff, France
  • 11Global Carbon Project, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, GPO Box 3023, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
  • 12Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • 13National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/PMEL), 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
  • 14Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 15Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Postfach 120161, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 16Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
  • 17Cabot Institute, Department of Geography, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK
  • 18Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61821, USA
  • 19Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Allégaten 70, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 20Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allégaten 55, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 21Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
  • 22Institute of Applied Energy (IAE), Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003, Japan
  • 23University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093-0244, USA
  • 24Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
  • 25PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague/Bilthoven and Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 26Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 27Environmental Physics Group, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 28CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, P.O. Box 1538 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • 29Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 30Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA
  • 31Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ Paris 06), CNRS, IRD, MNHN, LOCEAN/IPSL Laboratory, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
  • 32National Research Institute for Fisheries Science, Fisheries Research Agency 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-Ku, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan
  • 33Department of Meteorology and Air Quality, Environmental Sciences Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 34Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
  • 35ANU Climate Change Institute, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Building 141, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
  • 36Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, CP160/02, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • 37Max Planck Institut für Biogeochemie, P.O. Box 600164, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
  • 38Marine Division, Global Environment and Marine Department, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8122, Japan
  • 39Ocean Processes Analysis Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
  • 40Centre National de Recherche Météorologique–Groupe d'Etude de l'Atmosphère Météorologique (CNRM-GAME), Météo-France/CNRS, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, 31100 Toulouse, France
  • 41Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 42GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 43Climate and Environmental Physics, and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 44Imperial College London, Life Science Department, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK
  • 45Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 46Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 47CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre, Hobart, Australia
  • 48Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 49CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere, PMB #1, Aspendale, Victoria 3195, Australia
  • 50National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML), Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 51Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
  • 52Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • deceased

Abstract. 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, consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, 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 (2004–2013), EFF was 8.9 ± 0.4 GtC yr−1, ELUC 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM 4.3 ± 0.1 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN 2.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND 2.9 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1. For year 2013 alone, EFF grew to 9.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, 2.3% above 2012, continuing the growth trend in these emissions, ELUC was 0.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 5.4 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 2.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 2.5 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1. GATM was high in 2013, reflecting a steady increase in EFF and smaller and opposite changes between SOCEAN and SLAND compared to the past decade (2004–2013). The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 395.31 ± 0.10 ppm averaged over 2013. We estimate that EFF will increase by 2.5% (1.3–3.5%) to 10.1 ± 0.6 GtC in 2014 (37.0 ± 2.2 GtCO2 yr−1), 65% above emissions in 1990, based on projections of world gross domestic product and recent changes in the carbon intensity of the global economy. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2014, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach about 545 ± 55 GtC (2000 ± 200 GtCO2) for 1870–2014, about 75% from EFF and 25% from ELUC. This paper documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this living data set (Le Quéré et al., 2013, 2014). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2014).

Short summary
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities (burning fossil fuels and cement production, deforestation and other land-use change) are set to rise again in 2014. This study (updated yearly) makes an accurate assessment of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and their redistribution between the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in order to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change.