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Scripps Oceanography – CO2 Increase

This video gives you a brief explanation of the “Keeling’s curve” and how it came about.  The Keeling Curve is a graph that plots the ongoing change in concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere since the 1950s. It is based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii that began under the supervision of Charles David Keeling.

This record is highly regarded as the foundation of modern climate change research. The chart itself tells a damning story about co2 in the climate and how it’s increased from 1750 until the200’s with clear increases noted around the time of the industrial revolution and also World War 2. In the mid 1800’s and then again at 1950 there are clear increases in co2 levels measured on the curve.

Moreover the ice-core levels graph also reveal how much more co2 has been released into the atmosphere and how it is far more than has been present on earth in the past 800,000 years.

Our understanding of how the earth had changed and is changing draw heavily on a small number of variables that have been measured very carefully over long periods of time. These time series are the cornerstone of our understanding and provide the icons with which to communicate that understanding to the wider public. As we contemplate a future in which measurements can be made with much higher density based on deploying sensors in situ and using space-based platforms, one might easily imagine that the earth science of the future will take a rather different form. This will only be the case if these expanded efforts can also be sustained at high quality over long periods of time. That remains to be seen.

Sadly we live at a time when co2 polluting vehicles are more accessible than ever however we also live at a time when knowledge about co2 pollution is at its highest and we have the means to combat it. With a rising population on earth it’s more essential than ever to ingrain green methods of business and transportation so that the ever increasing population will adopt these methods without giving it a second thought.


Links: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/ , http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/history_legacy/keeling_curve_lessons


By Alex Mitchison

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