We provide a fast and efficient method for calculating global annual mean carbon dioxideemissions from the combustion of fossil fuels by combining data from an established data set withBP annual statistics. Using this method it is possible to retrieve an updated estimate of globalCO2 emissions six months after the actual emissions occurred. Using this data set we find thatatmospheric carbon dioxide emissions have increased by over 40% from 1990 to 2008 withan annual average increase of 3.7% over the five-year period 2003–2007. In 2008 the growthrate 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 dioxidehave been greater from oil than from coal. However during the last fewyears this situation has changed. The recent strong increase in fossil fuelCO2 emissions is mainly driven by an increase in emissions from coal, whereas emissions from oiland gas to a large degree follow the trend from the 1990s.

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