In 1958, Charles Keeling became one of the first scientists to notice that heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas was building up in Earth’s atmosphere. When Keeling began measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide – at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii – the level was about 337 parts per million, up from the preindustrial levels of about 280 parts per million. Now it’s closer to 400 ppm, and still rising. Although some dispute it (read about the hockey stick controversy), the Keeling Curve is now widely accepted by virtually all climate scientists as a true record – and the longest continuous record – of atmospheric CO2. Now two University of Washington scientists have set the Keeling Curve to music. The result is a 90-second rendition of the primary cause of human-induced climate change. You can hear it by pressing play on the video above.
The Keeling Curve [is] so important for climate change, and I don’t think people know that. If you understand the Keeling Curve, you kind of get the story of climate change.
Or watch the video below, which is from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and also traces the history of the Keeling Curve.
Bottom line: Two scientists at the University of Washington have set the Keeling Curve – the CO2 record at Mauna Loa and the world’s longest-running measure of atmospheric carbon dioxide – to music. Hear it here.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.