The consolidated European synthesis of CO2 emissions and removals for EU27 and UK: 1990-2020

M.J. McGrath*, A.M.R. Petrescu, P. Peylin, R.M. Andrew, B. Matthews, F. Dentener, J. Balkovič, V. Bastrikov, M. Becker, G. Broquet, P. Ciais, A. Fortems, R. Ganzenmüller, G. Grassi, I. Harris, M. Jones, J. Knauer, M. Kuhnert, G. Monteil, S. MunassarP.I. Palmer, G.P. Peters, C. Qiu, M.J. Schelhaas, O. Tarasova, M. Vizzarri, K. Winkler, G. Balsamo, A. Berchet, P. Briggs, P. Brockmann, F. Chevallier, G. Conchedda, M. Crippa, S. Dellaert, H.A.C. Denier van der Gon, S. Filipek, P. Friedlingstein, R. Fuchs, M. Gauss, C. Gerbig, D. Guizzardi, D. Günther, R.A. Houghton, G. Janssens-Maenhout, R. Lauerwald, B. Lerink, I.T. Luijkx, G. Moulas, M. Muntean, G.J. Nabuurs, A. Paquirissamy, L. Perugini, W. Peters, R. Pilli, J. Pongratz, P. Regnier, M. Scholze, Y. Serengil, P. Smith, E. Solazzo, R.L. Thompson, F.N. Tubiello, T. Vesala, S. Walther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Quantification of land surface-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and their trends and uncertainties is essential for monitoring progress of the EU27+UK bloc as it strives to meet ambitious targets determined by both international agreements and internal regulation. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of fossil sources (CO2 fossil) and natural sources and sinks over land (CO2 land) using bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) approaches for the European Union and United Kingdom (EU27+UK), updating earlier syntheses (Petrescu et al., 2020, 2021b). Given the wide scope of the work and the variety of approaches involved, this study aims to answer essential questions identified in the previous syntheses and understand the differences between datasets, particularly for poorly characterized fluxes from managed ecosystems. The work integrates updated emission inventory data, process-based model results, data-driven sectoral model results, and inverse modeling estimates, extending the previous period 1990–2018 to the year 2020 to the extent possible. BU and TD products are compared with European National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (NGHGIs) reported by Parties including the year 2019 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The uncertainties of the EU27+UK NGHGI were evaluated using the standard deviation reported by the EU Member States following the guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and harmonized by gap-filling procedures. Variation in estimates produced with other methods, such as atmospheric inversion models (TD) or spatially disaggregated inventory datasets (BU), originate from within-model uncertainty related to parameterization as well as structural differences between models. By comparing NGHGIs with other approaches, key sources of differences between estimates arise primarily in activities. System boundaries and emission categories create differences in CO2 fossil datasets, while different land use definitions for reporting emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) activities result in differences for CO2 land. The latter has important consequences for atmospheric inversions, leading to inversions reporting stronger sinks in vegetation and soils than are reported by the NGHGI.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus Publications
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameEarth System Science Data Discussions
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3591


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    McGrath, M. J. (Creator), Petrescu, A. M. R. (Creator), Peylin, P. (Creator), Andrew, R. M. (Creator), Matthews, B. (Creator), Dentener, F. (Creator), Balkovič, J. (Creator), Bastrikov, V. (Creator), Becker, M. (Creator), Broquet, G. (Creator), Ciais, P. (Creator), Fortems, A. (Creator), Ganzenmüller, R. (Creator), Grassi, G. (Creator), Harris, I. (Creator), Jones, M. (Creator), Knauer, J. (Creator), Kuhnert, M. (Creator), Monteil, G. (Creator), Munassar, S. (Creator), Palmer, P. I. (Creator), Peters, G. P. (Creator), Qiu, C. (Creator), Schelhaas, M. (Creator), Tarasova, O. (Creator), Vizzarri, M. (Creator), Winkler, K. (Creator), Balsamo, G. (Creator), Berchet, A. (Creator), Briggs, P. (Creator), Brockmann, P. (Creator), Chevallier, F. (Creator), Conchedda, G. (Creator), Crippa, M. (Creator), Dellaert, S. (Creator), Denier van der Gon, H. A. C. (Creator), Filipek, S. (Creator), Friedlingstein, P. (Creator), Fuchs, R. (Creator), Gauss, M. (Creator), Gerbig, C. (Creator), Guizzardi, D. (Creator), Günther, D. (Creator), Houghton, R. A. (Creator), Janssens-Maenhout, G. (Creator), Lauerwald, R. (Creator), Lerink, B. (Creator), Luijkx, I. (Creator), Moulas, G. (Creator), Muntean, M. (Creator), Nabuurs, G. (Creator), Paquirissamy, A. (Creator), Perugini, L. (Creator), Peters, W. (Creator), Pilli, R. (Creator), Pongratz, J. (Creator), Regnier, P. (Creator), Scholze, M. (Creator), Serengil, Y. (Creator), Smith, P. (Creator), Solazzo, E. (Creator), Thompson, R. L. (Creator), Tubiello, F. N. (Creator), Vesala, T. (Creator) & Walther, S. (Creator), EGU/Copernicus, 26 Nov 2022


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