Using this data set we find that atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions have increased by over 40% from 1990 to 2008 with an annual average increase of 3.7% over the five-year period 2003–2007. In 2008 the growth rate in the fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions was smaller than in the preceding five years, but it was still over 2%. Global mean carbon dioxide emissions in 2008 were 8.8 GtC yr−1.

For the latter part of the last century emissions of carbon dioxide have been greater from oil than from coal. However during the last few years this situation has changed. The recent strong increase in fossil fuel CO2 emissions is mainly driven by an increase in emissions from coal, whereas emissions from oil and gas to a large degree follow the trend from the 1990s.