Keeling's Curve: The Story of CO2 Google+ Hangout

Part of the Data Visualization Google+ Hangouts Curriculum Collection.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was once misunderstood. Then, in 1958, a young geochemist named Charles (Dave) Keeling began to measure it regularly atop a massive Hawaiian volcano. Learn more about the patterns that Keeling found—and the legacy of that discovery—in this recorded online event with NOAA atmospheric scientists.
Pieter Tans, NOAA

Dr. Pieter Tans, Senior Scientist at NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and lead, Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group

Ralph Keeling, Scripps

Dr. Ralph Keeling, program director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography CO2 Program and son of Charles Keeling

Andy Jacobson

Dr. Andy Jacobson, University of Colorado research scientist and NOAA lead for CarbonTracker at ESRL

The discussion focussed on an AMNH data visualization about CO2’s global dynamics, designed for informal education at museums and science centers. Tans, Keeling, and Jacobson explore these patterns in atmospheric data and global models, explain how greenhouse gases are monitored, and discuss the significance of passing 400 parts per million CO2 concentration, a long-anticipated symbolic milestone of our impact on Earth's atmosphere.

The seminar offers tips for interpreting the visualization with educational and museum audiences. 


Funding for this visualization and professional development training is provided by NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant number NA10SEC0080014.