Global Carbon Budget 2018

05 December 2018

Earth System Science Data announces the publication of the Global Carbon Budget. An international team of more than 70 authors from dozens of institutions around the world analysed observations and models to compile an accurate account and projection of global carbon sources and sinks for the calendar year 2017. Prepared, submitted, and reviewed under ESSD's "living data" process (involving nine separate reviews of three versions over two years), these annual budgets provide up-to-date assessments of CO2 emissions and their redistribution among ocean, land, and atmosphere. As an outcome of an open transparent community-based initiative managed by the Global Carbon Project, the annual carbon budgets represent excellent matches to ESSD's mandate to publish openly shared, freely available data products.

This 2018 version of the Global Carbon Budget published in ESSD alerts us to a stark reality. Global CO2 emissions increased by 1.6 % from 2016 to 2017 and will likely increase by at least that amount again in 2018. Assuming that ocean and land sinks sustain their recent response to increasing emissions – the publication describes these sinks in detail – atmospheric CO2 concentrations will continue to rise in 2018. This careful account, accompanied at every step by quantitative expressions of uncertainty, and these well-documented trends should prove informative and relevant for researchers, policy makers, businesses, journalists, and alert global citizens.

ESSD, a Copernicus Publications open-access data journal produced since 2009, has now published several sequential versions of the Global Carbon Budget along with a rich array of other well-described free and open datasets. Readers and users will find recent products on global fires monitored from satellites, global sea level monitored by tide gauges and satellites, regional vegetation patterns around Lake Tana in Ethiopia or in northeast China, hydrometeorological datasets from many mountain regions, historical records of global fertilizer applications, precise locations and intensities of earthquakes or flash floods, etc. Like the annual carbon budgets, these data products come with detailed data descriptions, ready for subsequent analysis or model verification. ESSD serves a wide community of researchers and data providers.

The annual update of the global carbon budget is produced by the Global Carbon Project and was started in 2006. This is the 7th update of the global carbon budget published by ESSD in the living data format:

Le Quéré, C., Andrew, R. M., Friedlingstein, P., Sitch, S., Hauck, J., Pongratz, J., Pickers, P. A., Korsbakken, J. I., Peters, G. P., Canadell, J. G., Arneth, A., Arora, V. K., Barbero, L., Bastos, A., Bopp, L., Chevallier, F., Chini, L. P., Ciais, P., Doney, S. C., Gkritzalis, T., Goll, D. S., Harris, I., Haverd, V., Hoffman, F. M., Hoppema, M., Houghton, R. A., Hurtt, G., Ilyina, T., Jain, A. K., Johannessen, T., Jones, C. D., Kato, E., Keeling, R. F., Klein Goldewijk, K., Landschützer, P., Lefèvre, N., Lienert, S., Liu, Z., Lombardozzi, D., Metzl, N., Munro, D. R., Nabel, J. E. M. S., Nakaoka, S., Neill, C., Olsen, A., Ono, T., Patra, P., Peregon, A., Peters, W., Peylin, P., Pfeil, B., Pierrot, D., Poulter, B., Rehder, G., Resplandy, L., Robertson, E., Rocher, M., Rödenbeck, C., Schuster, U., Schwinger, J., Séférian, R., Skjelvan, I., Steinhoff, T., Sutton, A., Tans, P. P., Tian, H., Tilbrook, B., Tubiello, F. N., van der Laan-Luijkx, I. T., van der Werf, G. R., Viovy, N., Walker, A. P., Wiltshire, A. J., Wright, R., Zaehle, S., and Zheng, B.: Global Carbon Budget 2018, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 2141–2194,, 2018.