Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 605–649, 2016
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 605–649, 2016
Review article
14 Nov 2016
Review article | 14 Nov 2016

Global Carbon Budget 2016

Corinne Le Quéré1, Robbie M. Andrew2, Josep G. Canadell3, Stephen Sitch4, Jan Ivar Korsbakken2, Glen P. Peters2, Andrew C. Manning5, Thomas A. Boden6, Pieter P. Tans7, Richard A. Houghton8, Ralph F. Keeling9, Simone Alin10, Oliver D. Andrews1, Peter Anthoni11, Leticia Barbero12,13, Laurent Bopp14, Frédéric Chevallier14, Louise P. Chini15, Philippe Ciais14, Kim Currie16, Christine Delire17, Scott C. Doney18, Pierre Friedlingstein19, Thanos Gkritzalis20, Ian Harris21, Judith Hauck22, Vanessa Haverd23, Mario Hoppema22, Kees Klein Goldewijk24, Atul K. Jain25, Etsushi Kato26, Arne Körtzinger27, Peter Landschützer28, Nathalie Lefèvre29, Andrew Lenton30, Sebastian Lienert31,32, Danica Lombardozzi33, Joe R. Melton34, Nicolas Metzl29, Frank Millero35, Pedro M. S. Monteiro36, David R. Munro37, Julia E. M. S. Nabel28, Shin-ichiro Nakaoka38, Kevin O'Brien39, Are Olsen40, Abdirahman M. Omar40, Tsuneo Ono41, Denis Pierrot12,13, Benjamin Poulter42,43, Christian Rödenbeck44, Joe Salisbury45, Ute Schuster4, Jörg Schwinger46, Roland Séférian17, Ingunn Skjelvan46, Benjamin D. Stocker47, Adrienne J. Sutton39,10, Taro Takahashi48, Hanqin Tian49, Bronte Tilbrook50, Ingrid T. van der Laan-Luijkx51, Guido R. van der Werf52, Nicolas Viovy14, Anthony P. Walker53, Andrew J. Wiltshire54, and Sönke Zaehle44 Corinne 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
  • 3Global Carbon Project, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, GPO Box 3023, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
  • 4College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
  • 5Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 6Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
  • 7National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL), Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 8Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
  • 9University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093-0244, USA
  • 10National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/PMEL), 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
  • 11Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Atmospheric Environmental Research, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 12Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 13National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML), Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 14Laboratoire 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
  • 15Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • 16National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
  • 17Centre National de Recherche Météorologique, Unite mixte de recherche 3589 Météo-France/CNRS, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, 31100 Toulouse, France
  • 18Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 19College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK
  • 20Flanders Marine Institute, InnovOcean, Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Ostend, Belgium
  • 21Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 22Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Postfach 120161, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 23CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
  • 24PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague/Bilthoven and Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 25Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61821, USA
  • 26Institute of Applied Energy (IAE), Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003, Japan
  • 27GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 28Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 29Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ Paris 06), CNRS, IRD, MNHN, LOCEAN/IPSL Laboratory, 75252 Paris, France
  • 30CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, P.O. Box 1538, Hobart, TAS, Australia
  • 31Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 32Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 33National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics, Terrestrial Sciences Section, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 34Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, Canada
  • 35Department of Ocean Sciences, RSMAS/MAC, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 36Ocean Systems and Climate, CSIR-CHPC, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa
  • 37Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309-0450, USA
  • 38Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
  • 39Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  • 40Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allégaten 70, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 41National Research Institute for Far Sea Fisheries, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-Ku, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan
  • 42NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Science Laboratory, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 43Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
  • 44Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, P.O. Box 600164, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
  • 45University of New Hampshire, Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory, 161 Morse Hall, 8 College Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA
  • 46Uni Research Climate, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Nygårdsgaten 112, 5008 Bergen, Norway
  • 47Imperial College London, Life Science Department, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK
  • 48Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 49School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, 602 Ducan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
  • 50CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, TAS, Australia
  • 51Department of Meteorology and Air Quality, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 52Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 53Environmental Sciences Division & Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
  • 54Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK

Abstract. Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the “global carbon budget” – 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 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 and 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, 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. 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 (2006–2015), EFF was 9.3 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, ELUC 1.0 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM 4.5 ± 0.1 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN 2.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND 3.1 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1. For year 2015 alone, the growth in EFF was approximately zero and emissions remained at 9.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, showing a slowdown in growth of these emissions compared to the average growth of 1.8 % yr−1 that took place during 2006–2015. Also, for 2015, ELUC was 1.3 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, GATM was 6.3 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1, SOCEAN was 3.0 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 1.9 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1. GATM was higher in 2015 compared to the past decade (2006–2015), reflecting a smaller SLAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 399.4 ± 0.1 ppm averaged over 2015. For 2016, preliminary data indicate the continuation of low growth in EFF with +0.2 % (range of −1.0 to +1.8 %) based on national emissions projections for China and USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. In spite of the low growth of EFF in 2016, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to be relatively high because of the persistence of the smaller residual terrestrial sink (SLAND) in response to El Niño conditions of 2015–2016. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2016, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach 565 ± 55 GtC (2075 ± 205 GtCO2) for 1870–2016, 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., 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2016).

Short summary
The Global Carbon Budget 2016 is the 11th annual update of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and their partitioning among the atmosphere, land, and ocean. This data synthesis brings together measurements, statistical information, and analyses of model results in order to provide an assessment of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties for years 1959 to 2015, with a projection for year 2016.