Global Carbon Budget 2019

Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jones, Matthew W.; O'Sullivan, Michael; Andrew, Robbie M.; Hauck, Judith; Peters, Glen P.; Peters, Wouter; Pongratz, Julia; Sitch, Stephen; Le Quéré, Corinne; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Canadell, Josep G.; Ciais, Philippe; Jackson, Robert B.; Anthoni, Peter; Barbero, Leticia; Bastos, Ana; Bastrikov, Vladislav; Becker, Meike; Bopp, Laurent; ... (2019). Global Carbon Budget 2019. Earth System Science Data, 11(4), pp. 1783-1838. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/essd-11-1783-2019

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Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and their redistributionamong the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the “global carbon budget” – is important to betterunderstand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climatechange. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. Fossil CO₂ emissions (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement productiondata, while emissions from land use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on land use and land usechange 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) and terrestrial CO₂ sink (SLAND) are estimated with global process models constrained by observations. The resulting car-bon budget imbalance (BIM), the difference between the estimated total emissions and the estimated changesin 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 last decade available (2009–2018), EFF was 9.5±0.5 GtC yr⁻¹, ELUC 1.5±0.7 GtC yr⁻¹, GATM4.9±0.02 GtC yr⁻¹ (2.3±0.01 ppm yr⁻¹), SOCEAN 2.5±0.6 GtC yr⁻¹, and SLAND 3.2±0.6 GtC yr⁻¹, with a budget imbalance BIM of 0.4 GtC yr⁻¹ indicating overestimated emissions and/or underestimated sinks. For the year 2018 alone, the growth in EFFwas about 2.1 %and fossil emissions increased to 10.0±0.5 GtC yr⁻¹, reaching 10 GtC yr⁻¹ for the first time in history, ELUC was 1.5±0.7 GtC yr⁻¹, for total anthropogenic CO emissions of 11.5±0.9 GtC yr⁻¹ (42.5±3.3 Gt CO₂). Alsofor 2018,GATM was 5.1±0.2 GtC yr⁻¹(2.4±0.1 ppm yr⁻¹), SOCEAN was 2.6±0.6 GtC yr⁻¹, and SLAND was 3.5±0.7 GtC yr⁻¹, with a BIM of 0.3 GtC. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 407.38±0.1 ppmaveraged over 2018. For 2019, preliminary data for the first 6–10 months indicate a reduced growth in EFF of +0.6 % (range of −0.2 % to 1.5 %) based on national emissions projections for China, the USA, the EU, andIndia and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. Overall, the mean and trend in the five components of the global carbon budgetare consistently estimated over the period 1959–2018, but discrepancies of up to 1 GtC yr⁻¹ persist for the rep-resentation of semi-decadal variability in CO₂ fluxes. A detailed comparison among individual estimates and theintroduction of a broad range of observations shows (1) no consensus in the mean and trend in land use changeemissions over the last decade, (2) a persistent low agreement between the different methods on the magnitudeof the land CO₂ flux in the northern extra-tropics, and (3) an apparent underestimation of the CO₂ variability byocean models outside the tropics. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets usedin this new global carbon budget and the progress in understanding of the global carbon cycle compared withprevious publications of this data set (Le Quéré et al., 2018a, b, 2016, 2015a, b, 2014, 2013).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Lienert, Sebastian


500 Science > 530 Physics




Copernicus Publications




Fortunat Joos

Date Deposited:

02 Apr 2020 15:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:37

Publisher DOI:





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