CO2 and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions

OWID presents work from many different people and organizations. When citing this entry, please also cite the original data source. This entry can be cited as:

Max Roser (2016) – ‘CO2 and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions’. Published online at Retrieved from: [Online Resource]


# Empirical View

# CO2 emissions per capita

The first chart shows CO2 emissions per capita. You can add more countries to the chart and you can view the data on an interactive world map – just click on map in the upper right corner.

# CO2 emissions by source for each country in the world

The following chart is an interactive tool with which to analyze CO2 emissions by source for all countries in the world: Click on change country to choose the country for which you want to see data. It presents data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC).

# Global CO2 emissions

The following chart presents a global perspective and shows the impact of the the Industrial Revolution when production and transportation were transformed. At first solid fuels were mostly responsible for the CO2 emissions, but over the past few decades, liquid fuels have produced approximately as many metric tons of carbon emissions as solid fuels.

# Global CO2 emissions (in million metric tons of carbon), since 1751 – Max Roser1

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Global CO2 emissions have not been rising at the same rate as global GDP. As the world gets richer, CO2 is being released into the atmosphere at faster and faster rates.

# Global CO2 Emissions per capita, since 1751 – Max Roser2

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The massive increase in global CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution has resulted in massively higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

# Atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last 2000 years – Max Roser3

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# Atmospheric methane and nitrous oxide concentrations over the last 2000 years – Max Roser4

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# Data Sources

# Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
  • Data: CO2 emissions (also by fuel type), and data on trace gas emissions, aerosols, the carbon cycle, the Full Global Carbon Budget (1959-2013), land use and more.
  • Geographical coverage: Global, regional, national, subnational (for some) and globally gridded (1°x1°; since 1751).
  • Time span: Since 1751
  • Available at: Online here.
  •  CDIAC is the climate-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    • The Historical Carbon Dioxide Record from the Vostok Ice Core is available here – it covers the period 417,160 – 2,342 years BP.
    • The Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from Mauna Loa is available here – it goes back to 1958.
  • The Clio Infra Project is also using CDIAC data. The data is available for download here.

# History Database of the Global Environment (HYDE)
  • Data: Emissions of Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Monoxide, CFC, Sulphur Dioxide, Ammonia, Nitrogen Oxides, and NMVOC.
    • Also various global estimates of CO2 emissions (by van Aardenne et al. (2001), Keeling (1974), Marland et al (2004)) and methane.
  • Geographical coverage: Global and national.
  • Time span: Since 1700 for CO2, since 1890 for most other emissions.
  • Available at: The data on CO2 emissions is here. The other emissions data is available in the side menu.

# The Shift Project
  • Data: Data on greenhouse gas emissions by sector.
  • Geographical coverage: Global, by world region, by country group, by country.
  • Time span: Since 1980.
  • Available at: Online here.

# Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE)
  • Data: AGAGE is measuring the composition of the global atmosphere continuously since 1978.
  • Geographical coverage: Several measurement stations around the world.
  • Time span: Since 1978.
  • Available at: Online here.

# World Bank – World Development Indicators (WDI)
  • Data: CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gas emissions (also from the agricultural sector only and in per capita terms).
  • Geographical coverage: Global, by world region, and by country.
  • Time span: Since 1960.
  • Available at: Emissions of CO2 per capita is online here, and the other data is available at the same website.