Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-386
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-386

  04 Nov 2021

04 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Global Carbon Budget 2021

Pierre Friedlingstein1,2, Matthew W. Jones3, Michael O'Sullivan1, Robbie M. Andrew4, Dorothee C. E. Bakker5, Judith Hauck6, Corinne Le Quéré3, Glen P. Peters4, Wouter Peters7,8, Julia Pongratz9,10, Stephen Sitch11, Josep G. Canadell12, Philippe Ciais13, Rob B. Jackson14, Simone R. Alin15, Peter Anthoni16, Nicholas R. Bates17, Meike Becker18,19, Nicolas Bellouin20, Laurent Bopp2, Thi T. T. Chau13, Frédéric Chevallier13, Louise P. Chini21, Margot Cronin22, Kim I. Currie23, Bertrand Decharme24, Laique Djeutchouang25,26, Xinyu Dou27, Wiley Evans28, Richard A. Feely15, Liang Feng29, Thomas Gasser30, Dennis Gilfillan31, Thanos Gkritzalis32, Giacomo Grassi33, Luke Gregor34, Nicolas Gruber34, Özgür Gürses6, Ian Harris35, Richard A. Houghton36, George C. Hurtt21, Yosuke Iida37, Tatiana Ilyina10, Ingrid T. Luijkx7, Atul K. Jain38, Steve D. Jones18,19, Etsushi Kato39, Daniel Kennedy40, Kees Klein Goldewijk41, Jürgen Knauer12,42, Jan Ivar Korsbakken4, Arne Körtzinger43, Peter Landschützer10, Siv K. Lauvset19,44, Nathalie Lefèvre45, Sebastian Lienert46, Junjie Liu47, Gregg Marland48,49, Patrick C. McGuire50, Joe R. Melton51, David R. Munro52,53, Julia E. M. S. Nabel10,54, Shin-Ichiro Nakaoka55, Yosuke Niwa55,56, Tsuneo Ono57, Denis Pierrot58, Benjamin Poulter59, Gregor Rehder60, Laure Resplandy61, Eddy Robertson62, Christian Rödenbeck54, Thais M. Rosan11, Jörg Schwinger19,44, Clemens Schwingshackl9, Roland Séférian24, Adrienne J. Sutton15, Colm Sweeney53, Toste Tanhua43, Pieter P. Tans63, Hanqin Tian64, Bronte Tilbrook65,66, Francesco Tubiello67, Guido van der Werf68, Nicolas Vuichard13, Chisato Wada55, Rik Wanninkhof58, Andrew Watson11, David Willis3, Andrew J. Wiltshire62, Wenping Yuan69, Chao Yue13, Xu Yue70, Sönke Zaehle54, and Jiye Zeng55 Pierre Friedlingstein et al.
  • 1College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
  • 2Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université PSL, Sorbonne Université, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France
  • 3Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 4CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Oslo 0349, Norway
  • 5School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 6Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven
  • 7Wageningen University, Environmental Sciences Group, P.O. Box 47, 6700AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 8University of Groningen, Centre for Isotope Research, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 9Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Luisenstr. 37, 80333 München, Germany
  • 10Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 11College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
  • 12CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Canberra, ACT 2101, Australia
  • 13Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 14Department of Earth System Science, Woods Institute for the Environment, and Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305–2210, United States of America
  • 15National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/PMEL), 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
  • 16Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Atmospheric Environmental Research, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 17Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), 17 Biological Lane, Ferry Reach, St. Georges, GEO1, Bermuda
  • 18Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 19Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 20Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 21Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
  • 22Marine Institute Ireland, Galway, Rinville, Ireland
  • 23NIWA, Union Place West, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 24CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 25Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, 7701, South Africa
  • 26SOCCO, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa
  • 27Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 28Hakai Institute, Heriot Bay, BC, Canada
  • 29National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 30International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1 A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
  • 31North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • 32Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), InnovOceanSite, Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Ostend, Belgium
  • 33European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
  • 34Environmental Physics Group, ETH Zürich, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics and Center for Climate Systems Modeling (C2SM), 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 35NCAS-Climate, Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 36Woodwell Climate Research Center, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
  • 37Atmosphere and Ocean Department, Japan Meteorological Agency, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105-8431, Japan
  • 38Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61821, USA
  • 39Institute of Applied Energy (IAE), Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003, Japan
  • 40National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics, Terrestrial Sciences Section, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 41Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences, Department IMEW, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Heidelberglaan 2, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 42Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
  • 43GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 44NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Jahnebakken 5, 5007 Bergen, Norway
  • 45LOCEAN/IPSL laboratory, Sorbonne Université, CNRS/IRD/MNHN, Paris, France
  • 46Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 47Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 48Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA
  • 49Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA
  • 50Department of Meteorology, Department of Geography & Environmental Science, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 51Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 52Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
  • 53National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Global Monitoring Laboratory (NOAA/GML), Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
  • 54Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 55Earth System Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8506 Japan
  • 56Meteorological Research Institute, 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0052 Japan
  • 57Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2-12-4 Fukuura, Kanazawa-Ku, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan
  • 58National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML), Miami, FL 33149, USA
  • 59NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
  • 60Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW), Seestrasse 15; 18119 Rostock, Germany
  • 61Princeton University, Department of Geosciences and Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 62Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
  • 63National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA ESRL),Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 64School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, 602 Ducan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
  • 65CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, PO Box 1538, Hobart Tasmania 7001, Australia
  • 66Australian Antarctic Partnership Program, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
  • 67Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00153, Italy
  • 68Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 69School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, Guangdong 510245, China
  • 70School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST)

Abstract. Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in a changing climate is critical to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe and synthesize data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. Fossil CO2 emissions (EFOS) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on land-use and land-use change data and bookkeeping models. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly, and its growth rate (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is estimated with global ocean biogeochemistry models and observation-based data-products. The terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated with dynamic global vegetation models. The resulting carbon budget imbalance (BIM), the difference between the estimated total emissions and the estimated changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere, is a measure of imperfect data and understanding of the contemporary carbon cycle. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ. For the first time, an approach is shown to reconcile the difference in our ELUC estimate with the one from national greenhouse gases inventories, supporting the assessment of collective countries’ climate progress.

For the year 2020, EFOS declined by 5.4 % relative to 2019, with fossil emissions at 9.5 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 (9.3 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 when the cement carbonation sink is included), ELUC was 0.9 ± 0.7 GtC yr−1, for a total anthropogenic CO2 emission of 10.2 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1 (37.4 ± 2.9 GtCO2). Also, for 2020, GATM was 5.0 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1 (2.4 ± 0.1 ppm yr−1), SOCEAN was 3.0 ± 0.4 GtC yr−1 and SLAND was 2.9 ± 1 GtC yr−1, with a BIM of −0.8 GtC yr−1. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration averaged over 2020 reached 412.45 ± 0.1 ppm. Preliminary data for 2021, suggest a rebound in EFOS relative to 2020 of +4.9 % (4.1 % to 5.7 %) globally.

Overall, the mean and trend in the components of the global carbon budget are consistently estimated over the period 1959–2020, but discrepancies of up to 1 GtC yr−1 persist for the representation of annual to semi-decadal variability in CO2 fluxes. Comparison of estimates from multiple approaches and observations shows: (1) a persistent large uncertainty in the estimate of land-use changes emissions, (2) a low agreement between the different methods on the magnitude of the land CO2 flux in the northern extra- tropics, and (3) a discrepancy between the different methods on the strength of the ocean sink over the last decade. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new global carbon budget and the progress in understanding of the global carbon cycle compared with previous publications of this data set (Friedlingstein et al., 2020; Friedlingstein et al., 2019; Le Quéré et al., 2018b, 2018a, 2016, 2015b, 2015a, 2014, 2013). The data presented in this work are available at https://doi.org/10.18160/gcp-2021 (Friedlingstein et al., 2021).

Pierre Friedlingstein et al.

Status: open (until 30 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-386', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Nov 2021 reply

Pierre Friedlingstein et al.

Data sets

Global Carbon Budget 2021 Pierre Friedlingstein, Matthew W. Jones, Michael O'Sullivan, Robbie M. Andrew, Dorothee C. E. Bakker, Judith Hauck, Corinne Le Quéré, Glen P. Peters, Wouter Peters, Julia Pongratz, Stephen Sitch, Josep G. Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Rob B. Jackson, Simone R. Alin, Peter Anthoni, Nicholas R. Bates, Meike Becker, Nicolas Bellouin, Laurent Bopp, Thi T. T. Chau, Frédéric Chevallier, Louise P. Chini, Margot Cronin, Kim I. Currie, Bertrand Decharme, Laique Djeutchouang, Xinyu Dou, Wiley Evans, Richard A. Feely, Liang Feng, Thomas Gasser, Dennis Gilfillan, Thanos Gkritzalis, Giacomo Grassi, Luke Gregor, Nicolas Gruber, Özgür Gürses, Ian Harris, Richard A. Houghton, George C. Hurtt, Yosuke Iida, Tatiana Ilyina, Ingrid T. Luijkx, Atul K. Jain, Steve D. Jones, Etsushi Kato, Daniel Kennedy, Kees Klein Goldewijk, Jürgen Knauer, Jan Ivar Korsbakken, Arne Körtzinger, Peter Landschützer, Siv K. Lauvset, Nathalie Lefèvre, Sebastian Lienert, Junjie Liu, Gregg Marland, Patrick C. McGuire, Joe R. Melton, David R. Munro, Julia E. M. S. Nabel, Shin-Ichiro Nakaoka, Yosuke Niwa, Tsuneo Ono, Denis Pierrot, Benjamin Poulter, Gregor Rehder, Laure Resplandy, Eddy Robertson, Christian Rödenbeck, Thais M. Rosan, Jörg Schwinger, Clemens Schwingshackl, Roland Séférian, Adrienne J. Sutton, Colm Sweeney, Toste Tanhua, Pieter P. Tans, Hanqin Tian, Bronte Tilbrook, Francesco Tubiello, Guido van der Werf, Nicolas Vuichard, Chisato Wada, Rik Wanninkhof, Andrew Watson, David Willis, Andrew J. Wiltshire, Wenping Yuan, Chao Yue, Xu Yue, Sönke Zaehle, Jiye Zeng https://doi.org/10.18160/gcp-2021

Pierre Friedlingstein et al.

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Short summary
The Global Carbon Budget 2021 describes the data sets and methodology used to quantify the emissions of carbon dioxide and their partitioning among the atmosphere, land, and ocean. These living data are updated every year to provide the highest transparency and traceability in the reporting of CO2, the key driver of climate change.