The current and future amount of carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere is what currently concerns and occupies many people.

I am looking for a big picture of the net fluxes between different carriers of carbon that gives a good idea where the anthropogenic CO2 emissions (and other greenhouse gases) actually did come from (compared to e.g. 1500, 1800, 1900, 1950 and 2000).

So I am looking for rough (and possibly estimated) numbers like these - optimally in an overview, so the numbers sum up to 100:

  • p1% by fossil fuel burning

  • p2% from the natural biosphere (which decreased), esp. deforestation

  • p3% from cultivated biosphere (which increased), incl. methane emissions from cattle

  • p4% from industrial abiotic chemical processes, e.g. cement production

  • pk% other important sources with pk > 1%?

  • p6% other?


1 Answer 1


There are various charts but not exactly what you want. This one combines burning, industry and cement but shows land sources and sinks separately: enter image description here CarbonBrief, Le Quéré, C. et al. (2016)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 But please don't link to random Dropboxes rather than the actual open-access paper. $\endgroup$
    – Deditos
    Aug 2, 2019 at 10:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.