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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Review article
28 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).
EDGAR v4.3.2 Global Atlas of the three major Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the period 1970–2012
Greet Janssens-Maenhout1,a, Monica Crippa1, Diego Guizzardi8, Marilena Muntean1, Edwin Schaaf1, Frank Dentener7, Peter Bergamaschi1, Valerio Pagliari1, Jos G. J. Olivier2, Jeroen A. H. W. Peters2, John A. van Aardenne3, Suvi Monni4, Ulrike Doering5, and A. M. Roxana Petrescu6 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate, Air and Climate Unit, Via E. Fermi 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
2PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Bureau, Den Hague, The Netherlands
3European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Benviroc Ltd., Espoo, Finland
5Umweltbundesamt, Dessau-Rosslau, Germany
6University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Food Security Unit, Via E. Fermi 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
8Didesk Informatica, Verbania, Italy
aGhent University, Belgium
Abstract. The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) compiles anthropogenic global emissions and trends based on international statistics and best-available emission factors, for the use in atmospheric models and in policy evaluation. The new version v4.3.2 of the EDGAR emission inventory provides global emission estimates, disaggregated at source-sector level, for the historic period from 1970 (the year of EU's first Air Quality Directive) until 2012 (the end year of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol). The global geo-coverage and continuous time-series are strengths of the EDGAR database, which applies the same methodology and mainly default emission factors to all world countries, in order to achieve comparability and full transparency. Region-specific emission factors are selected, when these are recommended by IPCC (2006) guidelines or when these are justified by robust information on significant differences in economic activities, in customs or in geographical ambient conditions and proven to be more representative than the global average. This database is not only unique in its space-time coverage, but also in the completeness and consistency of the estimated emissions of multiple pollutants: the greenhouse gases (GHG), air pollutants and aerosols. This publication documents the first part of the EDGAR v4.3.2 emissions database focusing on emissions of the three major greenhouse gases of CO2, CH4 and N2O, from human activities apart from the land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector (including forest and savannah burning). Unlike the activities of the LULUCF sector, which are typically estimated top-down from less certain land-use observations, all these activities are estimated bottom-up from standard annual statistics of fuel, products, waste, crops or livestock. We present country-specific emission totals and analyse the trends and variations in emissions of the largest emitting countries together with the EU in more detail, to uncover the effect of changes in human activities with time on each of the gases. The GWP-100 weighted global total GHG emission trend is predominantly determined by the global CO2 trend and in particular, by fuel markets trends, geopolitical changes and financial crises rather than population changes. We also evaluate the uncertainty in emissions for different sectors and three groups of countries (the OECD countries of 1990, the countries with economies in transition in 1990 and the remaining non-Annex I countries). Even though large progress has been made on emission inventory compilation, the uncertainty in global total GHG emissions has not decreased, because of the increasing share of emissions from countries with less developed statistical infrastructure and secondly the decreasing share of emissions from the activities (e.g. coal power plants) for which relatively accurate information is available. Finally, we discuss changes in geospatial distribution with a focus on hot spots and megacities using gridded information. Data is presented online for each source category with annual and monthly global emissions grid-maps of 0.1° × 0.1° resolution and can be freely accessed from the EDGAR website (DOI:

Citation: Janssens-Maenhout, G., Crippa, M., Guizzardi, D., Muntean, M., Schaaf, E., Dentener, F., Bergamaschi, P., Pagliari, V., Olivier, J. G. J., Peters, J. A. H. W., van Aardenne, J. A., Monni, S., Doering, U., and Petrescu, A. M. R.: EDGAR v4.3.2 Global Atlas of the three major Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the period 1970–2012, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Greet Janssens-Maenhout et al.
Greet Janssens-Maenhout et al.

Data sets

EDGAR v4.3.2 Global CO2, CH4 and N2O Emissions for 1970-2012
G. Janssens-Maenhout, M. Crippa, D. Guizzardi, M. Muntean, and E. Schaaf
Greet Janssens-Maenhout et al.


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Short summary
The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research supports climate policy making with a global dataset at disaggregated country & source-sector level for 1970–2012. This dataset is not only unique in its space/time coverage, but also in its completeness & consistency of CO2, CH4 & N2O emissions compilation for all anthropogenic activities except land use. Comparison with UNFCCC values show that estimates are within the uncertainty range, but have an annual variation smaller than this range.
The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research supports climate policy making with a...