CO2 Now


What the world needs to watch

Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

To help the world succeed, makes it easy to see the most current CO2 level and what it means. So, use this site and keep an eye on CO2.  Invite others to do the same. Then we can do more to send CO2 in the right direction.

Watch CO2 now and know the score on global warming, practically in real time.

The CO2Now Climate Sheet PDF Print E-mail

The Climate Sheet

Data current as of January 19, 2014

Climate Sheet posts the world’s most current and important planetary data and targets – together in one place from leading global sources.  The CO2Now Climate Sheet enumerates the chain of causes that are driving humanity’s largest environmental crises – global warming, climate change and ocean acidification.  It also sets out key scientific markers for a stable climate system.

0 tonnes

CO2 Emissions Target

Global CO2 emissions for long-term stabilization of atmospheric CO2

“Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 and climate requires that
net CO2 emissions approach zero”                    

~ J Hansen et al. 

Source 1:  J Hansen et al via NASA |  Target Atmospheric CO2  |  2008
Source 2:  IPCC  via CO2Now  |   
AR4 WG1 FAQ 10.3
 | 2007
Related:  TED Talks  | 
Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero  | 2010

 0 w/m 2
watts per square meter

Target to end global warming

Global energy balance  & the end of global warming x

“Stabilizing climate requires, to first order, that we restore Earth’s energy balance.
If the planet once again radiates as much energy to space as it absorbs from the sun,
there no longer will be a drive causing the planet to get warmer.” 

~ Dr. James Hansen

Source:  J Hansen | Conversation with Bill McKibben  | 2010

 0.58 W/m2
(± 0.15)


Global energy imbalance from humanity's GHG emissions  |  2005 - 2010

Source:   NASA  |  Earth's Energy Budget Remained Out of Balance  |  2012  
Also:        NASA  |  Abstract & Related Links  |  2012

Also:        Hansen et al.  |  Earth's Energy Balance and Implications   |  2011 
Also:        Hansen  | Storms of My Grandchildren  p. 102  | 2009 

Excerpt from Earth's Energy Budget Remained Out of Balance:

"A new NASA study underscores the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity — not changes in solar activity — are the primary force driving global warming. 

The study offers an updated calculation of the Earth's energy imbalance, the difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth's surface and the amount returned to space as heat. The researchers' calculations show that, despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space."

1.91 ppm per year
parts per million

Atmospheric CO2  |  Average Annual Rise  |  1994 -  2003

December Data Only  
Calculations by CO2Now are based on NOAA-ESRL CO2 data (Mauna Loa Observatory) dated January 9, 2014

 2.09 ppm per year
parts per million

Atmospheric CO2  |  Average Annual Rise  |  2004 -  2013

December Data Only   The rate of increase for this past decade is higher than any decade since the start of the atmospheric CO2 instrument record in March 1958.  
Calculations are based on NOAA-ESRL data (Mauna Loa Observatory) dated January 9, 2014

More Info:

CO2Now  |  Acceleration of Atmospheric CO2 

 8.07 pH

Ocean Acidification:  Average pH of Surface Oceans  |  2005

Average pH of surface oceans has declined about 0.1 units since before the industrial revolution.  This is an increase of about 30% in the concentration of hydrogen ions which is a considerable acidification of the oceans. 

“…world leaders should take account of the impact of CO2 on ocean chemistry,
as well as on climate change…we recommend that all possible approaches
be considered to prevent CO2 reaching the atmosphere.”

~ The Royal Society (2005)

Source 1: The Royal Society | Ocean acidification due to atmospheric CO2  | 2005
Source 2: Wikipedia  | 
Ocean Acidification


100-Year Average Global Surface Temperature for November|  1901 - 2000

Source:  NOAA-NCDC State of the Climate – Global Analysis


Average Global Surface Temperature*  |  November 2013

NOAA National Climatic Data Center: 

More Info:  
CO2Now  |   Global Temperature Update

 172 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Lowest level in 2.1 million years

Source:  Science  | Atmospheric CO2 Across the Mid-Pleistocene  | 2009
More Info:  Science Daily |
CO2 Higher Today Than Last 2.1 Million Years  | 2009

 195 countries

Target of Most National Governments

Signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nation’s ultimate climate objective “is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.”  (See UNFCCC Article 2 and UNFCCC media releases)

More Info:  |  112 Countries for 350 ppm / 1.5 °C
More Info:  AFP | Top UN Climate Scientist Supports 350 Goal

Note: In the event that other countries (or the UNFCCC as a whole) adopts a quantified atmospheric stabilization target for CO2 or any other greenhouse gases, it will be posted in The CO2Now Climate Sheet. 

 280 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Pre-Industrial Revolution

Atmospheric CO2 was stable at about 280 ppm for almost 10,000 years until 1750.

 300 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Highest level in at least 2.1 million years (pre-industrial)

Circa 1912, atmospheric CO2 levels breached the 300 ppm threshold for the first time in at least 2.1 million years.

 350 ppm

Atmospheric CO2 Target for Humanity

Atmospheric CO2  |  Upper Safety Limit

“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that… If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.”

~ J Hansen et al

Source 1:  Open Atmospheric Science  |  Target Atmospheric CO2   |  2008
Source 2:  Nature  | 
A Safe Operating Space for Humanity  |  2009
Source 3: 
SRC  Ecology & Society  |  Planetary Boundaries  |  2009
More Info: |
Science of 350

391.01 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  October 2012  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Data dated November 8, 2013 at NOAA-ESRL.

CO2Now links to source datasets |   Atmospheric CO2 data from NOAA & Scripps

396.81 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  December 2013  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Preliminary data released

Data dated January 9, 2014 at NOAA-ESRL.

CO2Now links to source datasets | Atmospheric CO2 data from NOAA & Scripps

885 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Median Projection for Year 2100

This projection is made in C-ROADS, a scientifically reviewed climate simulator. The analysis accounts for the voluntary emissions reductions pledges of parties to the UNFCCC.  This CO2 level represents a global temperature increase of about 4.5 °C.  

Source: Climate Interactive  Analysis as of April 2013
Implications:  The Royal Society  |   Four Degrees and Beyond  |  2011
CO2Now:  Atmospheric CO2 Projections

36 billion
metric tonnes

Humanity's Global CO2 Emissions (including land use)  |  2012

2011 global CO2 emissions are the highest in human history.   They are 54% higher than in 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol reference year).  Global fossil fuel emissions made up 91% of the total.  The Global Carbon Project (GCP) posted data for 2011 on November 19, 2013

Source:  Nature Geoscience & GCP  |  See "Global Carbon Emissions" at CO2Now


The CO2Now Climate Sheet

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