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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


CO2 Data Explorer

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  • This interactive resource allows students to explore CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement production globally and by country, with some data starting as early as 1750.
  • Students can view the data as a graph, table, or map.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource packs a lot of information into one place and it can be easily customized to answer specific questions.
  • Total greenhouse gas emissions, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions are also available to explore.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may want to spend some time working with all of the options available in this resource so that you can help guide students for specific tasks.
  • For production-based emissions, students can select the source of emissions (coal, oil, gas, cement, flaring, or total), the countries of interest, and how the data are counted (per capita, per country, cumulative, per MWh of energy, or per dollar of GDP).
  • For consumption-based emissions, students can choose how the data are counted (per capita, per country, per dollar of GDP, or as a percentage of emissions embedded in trade) and the countries of interest.
  • The data and images of graphs, tables, and maps can be downloaded for use offline.


  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with social studies classes when discussing the reasons for the emissions in different countries and some of the underlying reasons for any changes observed over time.
  • Economics classes can use this resource to explore connections between gross domestic product (GDP), trade, and carbon emissions.
  • Questions to ask while using this resource could include:
    • Which countries have produced the most emissions cumulatively and which are currently producing the most emissions?
    • On a per-capita basis, which countries have produced the most emissions over the last 70 years?
    • Relatively speaking, which country's emissions have increased the most over the last 70 years?
Scientist Notes

Students can explore to gain insights on CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, cement, aviation, shipping and other production-based activities. Calculations on the indicators used to quantify and normalize the emissions sources are accurate and valid for teaching.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
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      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS.ESS3.5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
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