See How Much CO2 the Earth Is Churning Out in Real Time

See How Much CO2 the Earth Is Churning Out in Real Time

Bloomberg Carbon Clock
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 11:15am

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg & the Paris Agreement

CONTENT: Article

Originally posted on

What the Clock Shows:

Fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are the main drivers of global warming. The CO2 they give off makes up more than 75 percent of annual climate pollution. The Bloomberg Carbon Clock is a real-time estimate of the global monthly atmospheric CO2 level.

This is a scientifically and statistically rigorous project, with a 40+ page technical explanation written by Bloomberg Enterprise Risk. The full version, which includes all the math and science underpinning the project, can be found HERE

The graphic draws on CO2 data released from the NOAA Mauna Loa Observatory. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography pioneered CO2 monitoring in March 1958 at the observatory in Hawaii. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started a parallel effort there in May 1974. Today, NOAA maintains a global network of observatories, sampling towers, flights, and flasks to measure the composition of the atmosphere.

To estimate real-time atmospheric CO2 levels between data releases, and forecast them, we analyze the three most recent years of data and use an average of the most recent four weekly data releases. That analysis is then fed into an algorithm. Each new weekly data point starts a new analysis that yields updated daily clock values and a trend line (shown in yellow on the graphic).

Two projections are made each week, a four-week daily forecast that runs the clock, and an annual forecast that projects the current trend one year into the future. The latter is appended to the graphic where the data end.

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CATEGORY: Environment