MathBench > Climate Change

Keeling Nails Carbon Dioxide

Roadtrip anyone?

So like I said, Keeling took his parts per million measurements in Pasadena, which is a nice place, but still pretty close to Los Angeles, which has pretty much the worst air quality in the US. Anyway, he found that CO2 levels bounced around a lot, depending on air quality that day.

Darn! But, undaunted, Keeling headed off to Big Sur California, a wilderness area that was just beginning to be very hip with the in crowd. At Big Sur, he found that although CO2 levels changed quite a bit, the changes were systematic -- a predictable daily cycle, with readings pretty consistently about 310 ppm in the afternoon.

So Keeling did what any good post-doc would – he wrote up a list of other places that would be fun and not too expensive travel-wise, then he went on some more camping trips, including the Pacific Rainforest and the Arizona mountains. And voila, the same pattern: daily fluctuations but about 310 ppm in the middle of the afternoon.

Big Sur California Olympic Pennisula High Mountain Forest Arizona