MathBench > Climate Change

Keeling Nails Carbon Dioxide

…How Keeling measured CO2

Back in the mid 1900s, no one knew the answer to these questions – and no one had a very good method for measuring CO2, either. In fact, scientists thought that CO2 levels in the atmosphere just bounced around without any real pattern.

Charles David Keeling (who went by Dave) (a geochemist) invented a sophisticated cabinet full of tubes, knobs, and dials… that was capable of measuring CO2 precisely. And being a young post-doc, he didn’t have the means to be travelling all over the world, so he tried his equipment right where he lived – in Pasadena California.