Brisbane's average carbon dioxide concentration for 19 June 2024: 426 ppm.
Average for 2023*: 427 ppm.

*Average of calendar year’s observations – based on three phases of data collection with different calibrations and incomplete data (64% complete).

With additional sites, we can learn more about Brisbane’s CO2 levels and their associations with weather, traffic etc. If you are interested in hosting a sensor, please contact us here.  

Last year we visited Naomi Asimow at UC Berkeley, a Ph.D. student with the team who have been running the most comprehensive project of this type – in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

She is the lead author of a recent paper reporting a 5-year analysis that shows an annual decline in CO2 concentrations of 1.8% per year – attributed largely to a 2.6% annual improvement rate in the efficiency of the vehicle fleet, with EVs and hybrids comprising a growing proportion of vehicles, and the gradual retirement of older, less efficient vehicles. 

While more extensive and sophisticated than our network, this report illustrates the value of “ground-truthing” greenhouse gas levels in cities, given that bottom-up inventories can be quite inaccurate.  Read the paper here

Unfortunately, the rate of CO2 reduction the team reports is far slower than the trajectory required to meet San Francisco’s 2040 net zero target.  And as for Brisbane, continued population growth, an anaemic rate of EV adoption, poor fuel standards and the popularity of ever larger utes and SUVs, does not bode especially well for our own outlook.

Daily profiles

Slight increases on Wednesday, Petrie Terrace should be available tomorrow after data collection code was restarted.

Please see below for a very interesting recent report from San Francisco’s BEACO2N network – which inspired our own project.  The report this last week has had significant media coverage including the Los Angeles Times, pointing out the value of such networks:

“I think the best contribution this makes is showing how we can check what’s going on,” said Danny Cullenward, a climate economist and senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s probably not the last word. But it’s an elegant way to ground-truth some of these things. We need more of these approaches, not fewer.”

A network of sensors that includes carbon dioxide measurement is being installed in Providence, Rhode Island, adding to the handful of cities with continuous monitoring:

Globally, 2024 continues to show some exceptional temperatures.  For example, global sea surface temperatures continue to run about four standard deviations above the mean fro 1982-2011 (dark line, top left):



Why do levels change across the day?  Although patterns vary considerably, levels normally rise overnight as the top of the atmospheric boundary layer is closer to the ground. At daybreak, the boundary layer rises and winds bring in ‘cleaner’ air from higher levels, while photosynthesis also reduces carbon dioxide levels, until the sun goes down.Los Angeles 

Learning about traffic-related emissions in Brisbane

Average levels measured at Petrie Terrace for weekdays were higher than for weekends in the morning and afternoon/evening commuting times, but lower in the early morning hours.  Differences in traffic emissions are the likely explanation.  (Note: some missing days during 2023). Strong similarities with data using much more sophisticated measurements, from Mexico City and Munich (below) including the reversal from early morning to the afternoon and evening. (González del Castillo, E. et al. (2022) ‘CO2 variability in the Mexico City region from in situ measurements at an urban and a background site’, Atmósfera, 35(2), pp. 377–393. Available at: & Lan, L. et al. (2020) ‘Assessment of Urban CO2 Measurement and Source Attribution in Munich Based on TDLAS-WMS and Trajectory Analysis’, Atmosphere, 11(1), p. 58. Available at: 

Another way of viewing this is to subtract weekend values from weekday values.  This shows the morning and afternoon/evening commuting time peaks very clearly.   

Why do weekdays have lower values than weekends in the early morning?  Sunday ends low, which runs into Monday morning and brings down the weekday average for those early hours. Saturday ends high (perhaps because of late evening entertainment-related traffic), which runs into Sunday morning and elevates the weekend values in those hours.

The increment of 4-6 ppm for weekdays compared to weekends doesn’t indicate the total effect of traffic emissions as it is just a difference score – even on weekends the city centre has a high traffic load.

This analysis shows the value of targeted comparisons – even though our low-cost equipment limits the accuracy of measurements (and therefore inferences about data from different sites), comparisons made over the same time-period can be made with much greater confidence. 

Phase 3 Data

(Table presents latest data, which may include revisions based on periodic recalibration of equipment, correction of errors, omissions, etc.)  Please note that data for Petrie Terrace between 21 Nov 2023 and 03 Jan 2024 will soon be revised in the next few days to account for drift in a sensor – now replaced).

DateKelvin GrovePetrie TerraceChapel HillBellbird Park
19-06-2024------419 ppm433 ppm
18-06-2024------414 ppm426 ppm
17-06-2024---420 ppm417 ppm426 ppm
16-06-2024---424 ppm415 ppm427 ppm
15-06-2024---437 ppm430 ppm443 ppm
14-06-2024---442 ppm 436 ppm446 ppm
13-06-2024---438 ppm425 ppm440 ppm
12-06-2024---427 ppm420 ppm432 ppm
11-06-2024---442 ppm430 ppm453 ppm
10-06-2024---437 ppm424 ppm444 ppm
09-06-2024---429 ppm419 ppm434 ppm
08-06-2024---426 ppm416 ppm430 ppm
07-06-2024---423 ppm413 ppm421 ppm
06-06-2024---442 ppm431 ppm445 ppm
05-06-2024---456 ppm441 ppm459 ppm
04-06-2024---446 ppm428 ppm447 ppm
03-06-2024---429 ppm419 ppm433 ppm
02-06-2024---429 ppm422 ppm441 ppm
01-06-2024---448 ppm445 ppm452 ppm
31-05-2024---447 ppm444 ppm445 ppm
30-05-2024---454 ppm448 ppm463 ppm
29-05-2024---448 ppm445 ppm473 ppm
28-05-2024---458 ppm451 ppm488 ppm
27-05-2024---464 ppm454 ppm474 ppm
26-05-2024--454 ppm446 ppm458 ppm
25-05-2024---445 ppm442 ppm448 ppm
24-05-2024---445 ppm441 ppm447 ppm
23-05-2024---448 ppm444 ppm464 ppm
22-05-2024---443 ppm436 ppm459 ppm
21-05-2024---451 ppm435 ppm457 ppm
20-05-2024---448 ppm434 ppm457 ppm
19-05-2024432 ppm437 ppm426 ppm435 ppm
18-05-2024431 ppm442 ppm434 ppm448 ppm
17-05-2024439 ppm448 ppm446 ppm 452 ppm
16-05-2024447 ppm452 ppm449 ppm455 ppm
15-05-2024439 ppm450 ppm448 ppm463 ppm
14-05-2024448 ppm460ppm451 ppm460 ppm
13-05-2024437 ppm453 ppm432 ppm452 ppm
12-05-2024438 ppm448ppm442 ppm452 ppm
11-05-2024435 ppm444 ppm438 ppm445 ppm
10-05-2024440 ppm447 ppm445 ppm442 ppm
09-05-2024439 ppm444 ppm444 ppm451 ppm
08-05-2024439 ppm444 ppm442 ppm447 ppm
07-05-2024435 ppm440 ppm434 ppm450ppm
06-05-2024---445 ppm442 ppm461 ppm
05-05-2024--- 444 ppm444 ppm448 ppm
04-05-2024435 ppm442 ppm438 ppm441 ppm
03-05-2024---440 ppm434 ppm428 ppm
02-05-2024---437 ppm427 ppm428 ppm
01-05-2024439 ppm445 ppm443 ppm457 ppm
30-04-2024446 ppm445 ppm457 ppm476 ppm
29-04-2024442 ppm451 ppm451 ppm471 ppm
28-04-2024437 ppm446 ppm443 ppm463 ppm
27-04-2024---443 ppm440 ppm461 ppm
26-04-2024---443 ppm441 ppm452 ppm
25-04-2024449 ppm454 ppm457 ppm470 ppm
24-04-2024442 ppm448 ppm444 ppm473 ppm
23-04-2024440 ppm444 pm447 ppm450 ppm
22-04-2024440 ppm441 ppm438 ppm436 ppm
21-04-2024451 ppm439 ppm438 ppm447 ppm
20-04-2024463 ppm447 ppm444 ppm466 ppm
19-04-2024---452 ppm451 ppm457 ppm
18-04-2024---453 ppm455 ppm462 ppm
17-04-2024449 ppm455 ppm463 ppm471 ppm
16-04-2024454 ppm461 ppm456 ppm483 ppm
15-04-2024451 ppm456 ppm450 ppm478 ppm
14-04-2024453 ppm456 ppm451 ppm468 ppm
13-04-2024448 ppm452 ppm446 ppm465 ppm
12-04-2024441 ppm444 ppm441 ppm458 ppm
11-04-2024447 ppm446 ppm443 ppm455 ppm
10-04-2024440 ppm434 ppm425 ppm428 ppm
09-04-2024451 ppm450 ppm446 ppm457 ppm
08-04-2024453 ppm458 ppm443 ppm449 ppm
07-04-2024438 ppm441 ppm441 ppm441 ppm
06-04-2024443 ppm445 ppm447 ppm441 ppm
05-04-2024449 ppm453 ppm448 ppm448 ppm
04-04-2024447 ppm453 ppm---450 ppm
03-04-2024450 ppm455 ppm---452 ppm
02-04-2024443 ppm449 ppm---443 ppm
01-04-2024444 ppm449 ppm451 ppm459 ppm
31-03-2024443 ppm446 ppm445 ppm460ppm
30-03-2024445 ppm450 ppm450 ppm456 ppm
29-03-2024447 ppm453 ppm450 ppm---
28-03-2024445 ppm456 ppm455 ppm---
27-03-2024441 ppm444 ppm440 ppm---
26-03-2024450 ppm---446 ppm---
25-03-2024457 ppm---454 ppm---
24-03-2024445 ppm448 ppm444 ppm---
23-03-2024439 ppm444 ppm435 ppm447 ppm
22-03-2024434 ppm438 ppm425 ppm419 ppm
21-03-2024445 ppm448 ppm441 ppm440 ppm
20-03-2024450 ppm457 ppm456 ppm457 ppm
19-03-2024438 ppm445 ppm441 ppm446 ppm
18-03-2024436 ppm440 ppm432 ppm435 ppm
17-03-2024436 ppm441 ppm431 ppm439 ppm
16-03-2024436 ppm425 ppm438 ppm419 ppm
15-03-2024448 ppm455 ppm446 ppm471 ppm
14-03-2024447 ppm454 ppm443 ppm439 ppm
13-03-2024442 ppm443 ppm436 ppm426 ppm
12-03-2024442 ppm444 ppm436 ppm423 ppm
11-03-2024445 ppm445 ppm442 ppm441 ppm
10-03-2024439 ppm443 ppm435 ppm427 ppm
09-03-2024441 ppm442 ppm434 ppm439 ppm
08-03-2024444 ppm449 ppm441 ppm435 ppm
07-03-2024449 ppm454 ppm449 ppm464 ppm
06-03-2024450 ppm455 ppm450 ppm471 ppm
05-03-2024446 ppm449 ppm442 ppm464 ppm
04-03-2024458 ppm462 ppm456 ppm473 ppm
03-03-2024449 ppm450 ppm442 ppm457 ppm
02-03-2024448 ppm449 ppm437 ppm447 ppm
01-03-2024449 ppm453 ppm441 ppm446 ppm
29-02-2024453 ppm456 ppm446 ppm456 ppm
28-02-2024450 ppm456 ppm453 ppm454 ppm
27-02-2024450 ppm449 ppm456 ppm441 ppm
26-02-2024452 ppm453 ppm456 ppm467 ppm
25-02-2024453 ppm453 ppm454 ppm455ppm
24-02-2024467 ppm468 ppm462 ppm477 ppm
23-02-2024457 ppm458 ppm446 ppm451 ppm
22-02-2024456 ppm455 ppm450 ppm473 ppm
21-02-2024458 ppm455 ppm455 ppm476 ppm
20-02-2024454 ppm451 ppm454 ppm456 ppm
19-02-2024461 ppm460 ppm456 ppm473 ppm
18-02-2024452 ppm454 ppm462 ppm
17-02-2024453 ppm451 ppm461 ppm
16-02-2024449 ppm445 ppm466 ppm
15-02-2024448 ppm450 ppm436 ppm
14-02-2024454 ppm447 ppm451 ppm
13-02-2024454 ppm449 ppm429 ppm
12-02-2024452 ppm445 ppm442 ppm
11-02-2024448 ppm438 ppm439 ppm
10-02-2024448 ppm438 ppm444 ppm
09-02-2024444 ppm431 ppm426 ppm
08-02-2024446 ppm429 ppm419 ppm
07-02-2024444 ppm435 ppm426 ppm
06-02-2024445 ppm433 ppm436 ppm
05-02-2024442 ppm432 ppm429 ppm
04-02-2024451 ppm442 ppm458 ppm
03-02-2024452 ppm442 ppm433 ppm
02-02-2024447 ppm439 ppm451 ppm
01-02-2024446ppm432 ppm 430 ppm
31-01-2024446 ppm432 ppm425 ppm
30-01-2024447 ppm432 ppm435 ppm
29-01-2024451 ppm447 ppm458 ppm
28-01-2024449 ppm453 ppm452 ppm
27-01-2024443 ppm445 ppm448 ppm
26-01-2024443 ppm440 ppm452 ppm
25-01-2024447 ppm442 ppm447 ppm
24-01-2024441 ppm438 ppm432 ppm
23-01-2024436 ppm422 ppm418 ppm
22-01-2024451 ppm448 ppm450 ppm
21-01-2024451 ppm451 ppm435 ppm
20-01-2024445 ppm440 ppm433 ppm
19-01-2024452 ppm442 ppm437 ppm
18-01-2024--450 ppm452 ppm
17-01-2024--445 ppm438 ppm
16-01-2024--440 ppm439 ppm
15-01-2024--436 ppm434 ppm
14-01-2024--441 ppm439 ppm
13-01-2024--436 ppm431 ppm
12-01-2024--442 ppm431 ppm
11-01-2024--445 ppm434 ppm
10-01-2024--456 ppm447 ppm
09-01-2024--444 ppm437 ppm
08-01-2024445 ppm438 ppm
07-01-2024--436 ppm427 ppm
06-01-2024--425 ppm419 ppm
05-01-2024--444ppm445 ppm
04-01-2024--450 ppm445 ppm
03-01-2024424 ppm439 ppm434 ppm
02-01-2024430 ppm438 ppm442 ppm
01-01-2024435 ppm444 ppm444 ppm
31-12-2023432 ppm445 ppm439 ppm
30-12-2023439 ppm445 ppm436 ppm
29-12-2023450 ppm466 ppm462 ppm
28-12-2023445 ppm466 ppm469 ppm
27-12-2023435 ppm448 ppm446 ppm
26-12-2023435 ppm439ppm434 ppm
25-12-2023429 ppm441 ppm441 ppm
24-12-2023432 ppm442 ppm437 ppm
23-12-2023421 ppm436 ppm443 ppm
22-12-2023430 ppm432 ppm446 ppm
21-12-2023429 ppm442 ppm433 ppm
20-12-2023419 ppm431 ppm431 ppm
19-12-2023421 ppm430ppm429 ppm
18-12-2023424 ppm426 ppm
17-12-2023432 ppm445 ppm433 ppm
16-12-2023434 ppm444 ppm439 ppm
15-12-2023433 ppm439 ppm436 ppm
14-12-2023421 ppm427 ppm426 ppm
13-12-2023422 ppm433 ppm425 ppm
12-12-2023420 ppm434 ppm421 ppm
11-12-2023418 ppm428 ppm422 ppm
10-12-2023423 ppm438 ppm424 ppm
09-12-2023420 ppm436 ppm426 ppm
08-12-2023430ppm437 ppm438 ppm
07-12-2023431 ppm439 ppm438ppm
06-12-2023427 ppm436 ppm436 ppm
05-12-2023426 ppm433 ppm428 ppm
04-12-2023435 ppm445 ppm439 ppm
03-12-2023438 ppm453 ppm465 ppm
02-12-2023434ppm443 ppm442 ppm
01-12-2023444 ppm451 ppm459 ppm
30-11-2023447ppm464 ppm457 ppm
29-11-2023437 ppm437 ppm436 ppm
28-Nov-2023444 ppm448 ppm448 ppm
27-Nov-2023433 ppm436 ppm444 ppm
26-Nov-2023427 ppm435 ppm447 ppm
25-Nov-2023425 ppm430 ppm423 ppm
24-Nov-2023429 ppm442 ppm427 ppm
23-Nov-2023431 ppm442 ppm432 ppm
22-Nov-2023435 ppm437 ppm433 ppm
21-Nov-2023440 ppm436 ppm432 ppm
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