Charles David Keeling, 1928-2005: Carbon Dioxide monitor par excellence

Charles Keeling in 1958 set up at the Mauna Loa Observatory atop a Hawaiian volcano the first machine to accurately measure the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The plot is known as the "Keeling Curve". In 2002, President Bush honoured Dr. Keeling with the National Medal of Science. 

Charles Keeling died on June 22nd, 2005. He was a chemist and climatologist, professor of oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. Before Keeling's work, scientists were unsure why CO2 levels in the atmosphere fluctuated and varied with location. He persuaded the government to fund a station in Hawaii, far from industrial influences. Last year, his observatory showed, for the first time that CO2 had risen by 2 ppm in the atmosphere for two years running.

He also studied the role of oceans in modulating atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by extremely accurate measurements of CO2 dissolved in sea water.

(Excerpted from Paul Brown,The Globe & Mail with contributions from the Guardian and New York Times)

Created: 2005-07-03 23:11:47 by Frank R. Smith
Modified: 2005-07-04 14:27:27 by Arthur Smith