Global Carbon Budget record decrease in global CO2 emissions in 2020

COVID-19 restriction measures caused an unprecedented drop of 2.4 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2020

Global fossil CO2 emissions are expected to decline approximately 2.4 billion tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) in 2020, a record drop caused by COVID-19 confinement measures in place. It means that this year fossil CO2 emissions are predicted to be 34 GtCO2, 7% lower than in 2019. These are the main results of the 15th edition of the Global Carbon Budget, which has been released on 11 December by the Global Carbon Project. 

Virtual Emergent Constraints and Tipping Points Workshop 23 26 November 2020

Emergent Constraints and Tipping Points Workshop

These collaborative workshops bring together Climate Scientists, Mathematicians and Ecologists to answer key questions around the relationships between the variability and sensitivity of the Earth System and its subcomponents.

The first workshop will discuss proposed emergent constraints on future projections, many of which are based-on assumed relationships between sensitivity and variability.

Climate Science2Policy CS2P workshop on 17 18 November 2020


The European Commission has announced the organisation of a Climate Science2Policy workshop (CS2P workshop) to bring together Horizon 2020 projects related to climate science and policy makers. The main goal is to identify and discuss key policy-relevant messages and research requirements to achieve the climate targets of the European Green Deal, as well as other climate change related policies and programmes.

Climate classroom The main drivers of changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere


The carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere is affected by both natural processes and anthropogenic emissions. Distinguishing the short-term variations in CO2 levels due to natural processes from human emissions is important for calculating the carbon budget and pushing for action to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Here, we explore the four main drivers of the changes in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere in the order of their contributions to weekly and monthly variations (from greatest to smallest).

Ocean acidification in the Arctic will be greater than previously expected


The ocean absorbs around a quarter of atmospheric CO2 released by anthropogenic sources. While this uptake mitigates global warming, it also disrupts the seawater chemistry. The additional CO2 in the ocean reduces its pH and the amount of calcium carbonate minerals, an effect known as ocean acidification. This reduction in calcium carbonate minerals negatively affects the growth and survival rates of calcifying marine organisms, such as corals and shellfish, which depend on these minerals to build their skeletons and shells. 

Temporary drop in CO2 emissions as a result of COVID 19 crisis

Change in global daily fossil CO2 emissions

Confinement measures have been adopted by many nations around the world since the beginning of 2020 in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. With a great part of the world’s population forced to stay at home, these measures have brought about drastic changes in energy demand, transport and consumption patterns.

IPCC AR6 workshop Key issues of climate carbon interactions

Image from: IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2014, Figure 3.2. 

A workshop on the Sixth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR6) and the potential involvement of the 4C project in the report was held on June 12th, 2019 in Brussels, on the second day of the 4C kick-off meeting. The 3-day meeting opened with a summary of the four key objectives of the project, listed below, and the timeline, expectations and budget information were discussed.

  1. Understanding the contemporary carbon cycle.

  2. Predicting the carbon cycle and climate for the global stocktake to the horizon of 2030.

Welcome to the 4C project


The 4C project, funded under the EU Horizon 2020-Research and Innovation program, sets to address the uncertainties in our understanding of the carbon-climate interactions and feedback. 4C will address the crucial knowledge gap in the climate sensitivity to CO2 emissions through innovative integration of models and observations. It will provide new constraints on modelled carbon-climate interactions and climate projections, and support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments and policy objectives.