This synthesis discusses the emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production. While much is known about these emissions, there is still much that is unknown about the details surrounding these emissions. This synthesis explores our knowledge of these emissions in terms of why there is concern about them; how they are calculated; the major global efforts on inventorying them; their global, regional, and national totals at different spatial and temporal scales; how they are distributed on global grids (i.e., maps); how they are transported in models; and the uncertainties associated with these different aspects of the emissions. The magnitude of emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels has been almost continuously increasing with time since fossil fuels were first used by humans. Despite events in some nations specifically designed to reduce emissions, or which have had emissions reduction as a byproduct of other events, global total emissions continue their general increase with time. Global total fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions are known to within 10 % uncertainty (95 % confidence interval). Uncertainty on individual national total fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions range from a few percent to more than 50 %. This manuscript concludes that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion continue to increase with time and that while much is known about the overall characteristics of these emissions, much is still to be learned about the detailed characteristics of these emissions.