Yearly Total Human-Induced Net CO2 Emissions

What are the Yearly Total Human-Induced CO2 Emissions?

These are the total yearly CO2 emissions emitted through human activities. They are the sum of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry plus emissions from land-use, land-use change and forestry. In the scientific literature human-induced emissions are often referred to as anthropogenic emissions.

Human-induced CO2 emissions are crucial because they are the largest driver of human-induced warming. Total CO2 emissions are also crucial in relation to the remaining carbon budget. The remaining carbon budget is based on CO2 emissions alone and should not be related to the sum of CO2-equivalent emissions from all gasses.

This indicator is specifically about net emissions, which means that it also accounts for the fact that certain human activities absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, for example afforestation and reforestation.

Paper section 2 Emissions: Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022, Piers M. Forster et al.

Units and measures

CO2 emissions are expressed in the total weight in gigatonnes per year.

Wikipedia: Gigatonne

Insights from this chart

The long-term steady growth of yearly CO2 emissions since the 1950s has flattened in the last 10 years, but yearly emissions are not yet clearly reducing. A steady yearly reduction is necessary to not exhaust the remaining carbon budget during the long-term transition towards less carbon-dependent human activities.

About the data

Climate Change Tracker is part of the Indicators of Global Climate Change (IGCC) initiative to spread indicators of climate change that are consistent with the IPCC Assessment Report 6. The IGCC produces estimates for key climate indicators: emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate forcers, greenhouse gas concentrations, radiative forcing, surface temperature changes, the Earth’s energy imbalance, warming attributed to human activities, the remaining carbon budget, and estimates of global temperature extremes.

IGCC Website: Indicators of Global Climate Change
Full paper: Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022: Annual update of large-scale indicators of the state of the climate system and the human influence

The IGCC CO2 emissions data currently only contains Global Carbon Budget data since 1959. The historic data is taken from the Global Carbon Budget directly.

Data sources

IGCC Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022
Credits: Chris Smith, Tristram Walsh, Alex Borger, Piers Forster, Nathan Gillett, Mathias Hauser, Willam Lamb, Robin Lamboll, Matthew Palmer, Aurélien Ribes, Dominik Schumacher, Sonia Seneviratne, Blair Trewin, & Karina von Schuckmann. (2023). Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022 (v2023.06.02). Zenodo. cycle: yearlyDelay: mixed

Global Carbon Budget 2023 Global Carbon Budget
Credits: Friedlingstein et al., 2023b, ESSD, full reference below **Update cycle: yearlyDelay: ~ 10 months after end of a year. Current year values estimates published in November.Reference: ** Friedlingstein, P., O'Sullivan, M., Jones, M. W., Andrew, R. M., Bakker, D. C. E., Hauck, J., Landschützer, P., Le Quéré, C., Luijkx, I. T., Peters, G. P., Peters, W., Pongratz, J., Schwingshackl, C., Sitch, S., Canadell, J. G., Ciais, P., Jackson, R. B., Alin, S. R., Anthoni, P., Barbero, L., Bates, N. R., Becker, M., Bellouin, N., Decharme, B., Bopp, L., Brasika, I. B. M., Cadule, P., Chamberlain, M. A., Chandra, N., Chau, T.-T.-T., Chevallier, F., Chini, L. P., Cronin, M., Dou, X., Enyo, K., Evans, W., Falk, S., Feely, R. A., Feng, L., Ford, D. J., Gasser, T., Ghattas, J., Gkritzalis, T., Grassi, G., Gregor, L., Gruber, N., Gürses, Ö., Harris, I., Hefner, M., Heinke, J., Houghton, R. A., Hurtt, G. C., Iida, Y., Ilyina, T., Jacobson, A. R., Jain, A., Jarníková, T., Jersild, A., Jiang, F., Jin, Z., Joos, F., Kato, E., Keeling, R. F., Kennedy, D., Klein Goldewijk, K., Knauer, J., Korsbakken, J. I., Körtzinger, A., Lan, X., Lefèvre, N., Li, H., Liu, J., Liu, Z., Ma, L., Marland, G., Mayot, N., McGuire, P. C., McKinley, G. A., Meyer, G., Morgan, E. J., Munro, D. R., Nakaoka, S.-I., Niwa, Y., O'Brien, K. M., Olsen, A., Omar, A. M., Ono, T., Paulsen, M., Pierrot, D., Pocock, K., Poulter, B., Powis, C. M., Rehder, G., Resplandy, L., Robertson, E., Rödenbeck, C., Rosan, T. M., Schwinger, J., Séférian, R., Smallman, T. L., Smith, S. M., Sospedra-Alfonso, R., Sun, Q., Sutton, A. J., Sweeney, C., Takao, S., Tans, P. P., Tian, H., Tilbrook, B., Tsujino, H., Tubiello, F., van der Werf, G. R., van Ooijen, E., Wanninkhof, R., Watanabe, M., Wimart-Rousseau, C., Yang, D., Yang, X., Yuan, W., Yue, X., Zaehle, S., Zeng, J., and Zheng, B.: Global Carbon Budget 2023, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 15, 5301–5369,, 2023.