Climate Data

Overview: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Data Sets

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.

Technical Notes

Data for other stations and time periods are available at the listed URLs.

Years of Record

1958/01 to 2012/09
temporal metadataID:



Daily | Monthly | Annual

Data Time Period Extended?

yes, data set is extended

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Earth system components and main variables

  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

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



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:

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 07 Nov 2013. "The Climate Data Guide: Overview: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Data Sets." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.