06 Apr 2020

06 Apr 2020

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal ESSD. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

Global anthropogenic CO2 emissions and uncertainties as prior for Earth system modelling and data assimilation

Margarita Choulga1, Greet Janssens-Maenhout2, Ingrid Super3, Anna Agusti-Panareda1, Gianpaolo Balsamo1, Nicolas Bousserez1, Monica Crippa2, Hugo Denier van der Gon3, Richard Engelen1, Diego Guizzardi2, Jeroen Kuenen3, Joe McNorton1, Gabriel Oreggioni2, Efisio Solazzo2, and Antoon Visschedijk3 Margarita Choulga et al.
  • 1Research Department, ECMWF, Reading, RG2 9AX, UK
  • 2Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, EC-JRC, Ispra, 21027, Italy
  • 3TNO, Department of Climate, Air and Sustainability, Utrecht, 3584 CB, the Netherlands

Abstract. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their observed growing trends raise awareness in scientific, political and public sectors of the society as the major driver of climate-change. For an increased understanding of the CO2 emission sources, patterns and trends, a link between the emission inventories and observed CO2 concentrations is best established via Earth system modelling and data assimilation. In this study anthropogenic CO2 emission inventories are processed into gridded maps to provide an estimate of prior CO2 emissions for 7 main emissions groups: 1) power generation super-emitters and 2) energy production average-emitters, 3) manufacturing, 4) settlements, 5) aviation, 6) transport and 7) others, with estimation of their uncertainty and covariance to be included in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). The emission inventories are sourced from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and revised information from its 2019 Refinements, and the global grid-maps of Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) inventory. The anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2012 and 2015, (EDGAR versions 4.3.2 and 4.3.2_FT2015 respectively) are considered, updated with improved apportionment of the energy sector, energy usage for manufacturing and diffusive CO2 emissions from coal mines. These emissions aggregated into 7 ECMWF groups with their emission uncertainties are calculated per country considering its statistical infrastructure development level and sector considering the most typical fuel type and use the IPCC recommended error propagation method assuming fully uncorrelated emissions to generate covariance matrices of parsimonious dimension (7×7). While the uncertainty of most groups remains relatively small, the largest contribution to the total uncertainty is determined by the group with usually the smallest budget, consisting of oil refineries and transformation industry, fuel exploitation, coal production, agricultural soils and solvents and products use emissions. Several sensitivity studies are performed: for country type (with well-/less well-developed statistical infrastructure), for fuel type specification, and for national emission source distribution (highlights the importance of 30 accurate point source mapping). Uncertainties are compared with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) data. Upgraded anthropogenic CO2 emission maps with their yearly and monthly uncertainties are combined into the CHE_EDGAR-ECMWF_2015 dataset (Choulga et al., 2020) available from

Margarita Choulga et al.

Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Margarita Choulga et al.

Data sets

CHE_EDGAR-ECMWF_2015 M. Choulga Margarita, J. McNorton, and G. Janssens-Maenhout

Margarita Choulga et al.


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Short summary
People are worried that growing man-made carbon dioxide concentrations lead to the climate-change. Global models, use of observations and datasets can help us better understand behaviour of carbon dioxide. Here we separated all sources of man-made carbon dioxide into 7 groups (energy, industry, humans, transport and others), and calculated how certain these yearly and monthly values per each country are. Calculated values will be used in the model to predict carbon dioxide concentrations.