Global CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Charts & Graphs, Lab Reports, Visualization

Introduction & Inspiration

In recent decades, humans have faced severe climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. We need greenhouse gases to keep our planet livable by holding onto some of Earth’s heat energy so that it doesn’t all escape into space. But the over emission of greenhouse gas makes Earth too warm. Global Warming causes the melt of glaciers and results in the rise of sea level. Therefore, this report mainly focuses on the issue, global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, intends to invoke the climate crisis that we should address immediately.

Material and Methodology

I use the dataset on Github, Data on CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Our World in Data. In this project, they got the data from Our World in Data and produced the data visualization. Our World in Data is a scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality.

The primary data sources are focus on CO2 emissions from each country and region. Also, the dataset is already recalculated carbon emissions into CO2 — showing the emissions in tonnes of carbon. The data include the CO2 emission from 1750 to 2019. This report mainly targets the data since 2000. The values may differ from the current situation, but approximately two decades’ scope can reflect many global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions from a micro perspective.

The graphic charts and data visualization was created in Tableau Public. The software has practical tutorials online that teach you to step by step to make vivid charts and build a dashboard based on your dataset. Before importing the data from the CSV file, I checked the data with Excel and simplified the table, removing some columns, such as data source links, that are not relevant or impact the results of this project. I used different chart formats and categorical dimensions to get clear and valuable charts. 

Results & Analysis

Link to Dashboard

Screenshot of Dashboard on Tableau Website

Data Visualization 1: Severity of Worldwide CO2 Emissions

Screenshot of Tree-maps in Tableau
Approaches: Tree-maps

I used the tree-maps to show the severity of CO2 emissions worldwide. The chart illustrates clearly the proportion of carbon dioxide emissions overall in each country and region. To create this tree-map, first, I add a year filter from 2000 to 2019. I added Country to columns, drawing SUN(CO2) to rows, and selected the tree-map form to visualize the data. Then, I edited the title and put the tree-map into the dashboard. I found out the first and the second are regions, the total sum of World and Asia. I decided to target the country instead of showing the region. So I create a filter to exclude the area and also filter out the null data. In final, I only keep the data of countries on this tree-maps.


In these graphics, the most problematic countries occupy the most significant area. Each country is divided into different colors, sizes—the ordered layout of the blocks based on their severity from the left-top corner to the left-bottom corner. China is contributed the most amount of CO2 emission totally in the world. And the second ranked country is United States.

Data Visualization 2: CO2 Emissions World Map since 2000

Screenshot of Maps in Tableau
Approaches: Maps

After I made the tree-maps showing the severity of worldwide CO2 emissions, I decided to create the Maps to lead the country from a geographic perspective. I selected country and year filters from the previous worksheet and applied them to this new worksheet. Then, I dragged the SUM(CO2), the SUM(CO2 per Gdp), and SUM(CO2 per Capita) to rows. I made the map presenting the SUM(CO2) to compare with the Tree-maps and kept SUM(CO2 per Gdp) and SUM(CO2 per Capita) in the tooltip boxes. When you hover the country area on the map, those information shows up.


This chart shows the average CO2 Emissions World Map since 2000 on the map. The filter can select different years of carbon dioxide emissions. The world map points out that the relatively large proportion of CO2 emissions are related to the country development. Typically, the majority of CO2 emissions are from developing country countries. Take China as an example, are ranked as the first contribution of CO2 emission about twenty years. And the United States is the second contribution and one of developing countries that has a seriously CO2 emission problem.

Data Visualization 3: CO2 Emissions Top 5 Country

Screenshot of Bars in Tableau
Approaches: Vertical Bars

From the result of data visualization on Tree-maps and Maps, I decided to select the top five on significant CO2 emission. To compare their CO2 per capita and CO2 per Gdp, I used the vertical bar charts to show the data. I made a filter of selected Top 5 countries and added them to the columns. And choose the SUM(CO2), the SUM(CO2 per Gdp), and SUM(CO2 per Capita) to rows. The number of each data offers a very different range from each other, so I showed them separately in three-bar charts


In this bar chart, the United States is extremely higher than other countries overall on three measurement numbers. Although China has the second contribution on the sum of CO2 emissions, they have very low CO2 per capita. The data indicates that most of China’s emissions are not from humans’ consumption activities. China has huge population, but the CO2 emission is uneven distribution. It could be the emissions from non-human activities, industrial pollution, or factories.


The lab research and Tableau Public tool are efficient for data visualization. The software is easy to manipulate and visualize the database through various charts and forms. The method helps researchers provide useful insights, and it can also modify the visual style with different colors, fonts, and labels.

In this report, I use the dataset between 2000 to 2019. I think the time scope could be longer to five decades that are showing more dramatic changing on CO2 emissions. Because the climate changing need a long time observation and tacking data. Twenty-decade data collection could be too short and not very accurate enough to prove the relevant factors between the CO2 emission and the climate crisis.


Causes of Climate Change | Climate Change Science | US EPA

Our World in Data: CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Data on CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Our World in Data