Overview: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Data Sets

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Overview: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Data Sets
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Directly measured and continuous records of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) extend back to 1958. CO2 has also been measured in ancient air samples trapped in ice cores, and these records extend back hundreds of thousands of years. More recently, CO2 is being sampled by satellites providing global data to researchers.

Please cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions
Dataset DOIs
Hosted Climate Index Files
Usage Restrictions

Cite this page

Acknowledgement of any material taken from or knowledge gained from this page is appreciated:

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified "The Climate Data Guide: Overview: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Data Sets.” Retrieved from https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/overview-carbon-dioxide-co2-data-sets on 2024-07-21.

Citation of datasets is separate and should be done according to the data providers' instructions. If known to us, data citation instructions are given in the Data Access section, above.

Acknowledgement of the Climate Data Guide project is also appreciated:

Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, J. Fasullo, and K. E. Trenberth, 2013: Climate Data Guide Spurs Discovery and Understanding. Eos Trans. AGU, 94, 121–122, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013eo130001

Key Figures

Monthly (blue) and annual (red) CO2 at Muana Loa (1958-2011). (Climate Data Guide; D. Shea)

CO2 for February, 2012 derived from Level 3 version 5.9 AIRS and MSU retrievals. Ascending and descending nodes were combined. Top: average CO2; middle: standard deviation of observations; bottom: the observation count. (Climate Data Guide; D. Shea)

400,000-year Vostok Record: Source: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/ice_core_co2.html

Other Information

Earth system components and main variables
Type of data product

Years of record
Data time period extended
Yes, data set is extended
Daily, Monthly, Annual
Input Data
Vertical Levels:
Missing Data Flag
Missing data present
Ocean or Land
Spatial Resolution
Model Resolution (reanalysis)
Data Assimilation Method
Model Vintage (reanalysis)

Key Publications
  1. R.F. Keeling, S.C. Piper, A.F. Bollenbacher and J.S. Walker Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from Mauna Loa.
  2. Chahine1, M.T. et al (2008): Satellite remote sounding of mid-tropospheric CO2. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L17807
  3. Lüthi, D. et al. (2008): High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present. Nature 453: 379-382
  4. Atmospheric Trace Gases » Carbon Dioxide (CO2) » Ice Cores 800,000-year Ice-Core Records of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) This page introduces Antarctic ice-core records of carbon dioxide (CO2) that now extend back 800,000 years at Dome C and over 40