“Since 1751 approximately 329 billion [metric] tons of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these emissions have occurred since the mid 1970s. The 2006 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 8230 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 3.2% increase from 2005.” CDIAC
This is the 1st in a series of posts on CO2 emissions, CO2′s fate in the atmosphere and the long term climate and ocean impacts of these emissions.
In this 1st post, I use CDIAC CO2 emission data to prepare a trend chart and CSV file showing annual global CO2 emissions for the period 1751-2006. The data and R script are available on-line as a Google spreadsheet and Google document so that interested readers can easily download CSV files of the data and generate analysis and charts on their own in Excel, R or any software that will accept a CSV file.
My masthead chart shows the monthly Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 concentrations trends since 1959. Clearly, atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing. In previous posts, I have analyzed long term temperature trends (here, here, here, here) and compared CO2 – temperature trends (here). As I continue my climate change learning journey, I want to take a look at CO2 emissions, what happens to those emissions in the environment and assess for myself whether I should be worried about CO2 emissions.
I will rely on – line data sources, generate charts & graphs of this actual data with R and limit my comments to the data and trends visible in my charts & graphs. Readers are welcome to join me in this exercise and discuss, reproduce, correct or enhance my charts & graphs. Comments on my posts are welcome, however, I will only accept comments on my charts & graphs, R scripts and/ or statements that I make about the charts and graphs. Broader comments about climate change or global warming will not be accepted.
CO2 Emission Trend
The 1751 – 2006 global CO2 emission trend chart, using a logarithmic Y axis scale, is shown below.
Obviously there has been an incredible increase in CO2 emissions as global population has increased and the use of fossil fuels for transportation, heating and power generation has expanded. Here’s a recap of the CDIAC data.
Access to CO2 Emission Data File and R Script
Here’s the link to my R script that reads the CDIAC data file, produces the plots and CSV file.
Looking For Comments
I’m looking for comments in several areas:
- Thoughts on use of Google spreadsheets to provide user access to climate data files
- Thoughts on use of Google documents to provide access to my R script
- Comment of data visualization of CO2 emission trends
- Thoughts / suggestions/ improvements to my R script
My next post will compare the CO2 emissions with atmospheric CO2 concentrations.