U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Reduced Carbon Emission Estimates from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Cement Production in China
Published: August 19, 2015
Posted: January 05, 2016

Accurate global and national inventories of fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are fundamental to carbon cycle research and important for research studying potential impacts and vulnerabilities of greenhouse gas induced climate change. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon from fossil fuel use and cement production. The Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) has long compiled annual time series of fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the globe and individual countries using data published by the United Nations. A recent study provides new fossil fuel CO2 emissions estimates for China based on new, previously unpublished Chinese data. These new estimates are markedly lower than earlier estimates, including CDIAC’s, for recent years (e.g., 0.35 GtC for 2013) thanks to extensive, new measurements of Chinese coal and cement properties. Even with these downward revisions of fossil fuel carbon releases from China, China remains the world’s largest fossil fuel emitter, but the emissions reductions have implications for balancing the global carbon cycle budget and projections for future emissions scenarios.

Reference: Liu, Z., et al. 2015. “Reduced Carbon Emission Estimates from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Cement Production in China,” Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature14677. (Reference link)

Contact: Justin Hnilo, SC-23.1, (301) 903-1399
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Carbon Cycle, Nutrient Cycling

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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