Friday, June 12, 2015

Note to the Observent

Bunnies may notice that the tag line above has been changed and the give to save the Keeling curve link removed.  There are two reasons for this.

First, thanks in part to you, maybe a little to Eli, funding for the Scripps program has been saved.  As Ralph Keeling writes:

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego O2 and CO2 programs have received funding from multiple sources that put these operations on a relatively secure footing for the next few years. Support for the Scripps CO2 program has come in from three significant sources: Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The O2 program has received a new line of support from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which also operates the Mauna Loa Observatory where Keeling Curve measurements are made. 
People around the world have also taken it upon themselves to support ongoing Keeling Curve measurements. A crowdsourcing campaign was effective in communicating the importance of the project and has helped us meet our operational needs. I’m very, very grateful for all the great support that continues to come from members of the public who demonstrate that they care about preserving careful long-term observations of nature.
Second, today, the American Chemical Society is dedicating a plaque at Scripps, designating the Keeling Curve as a National Chemical Historical Landmark 
The ceremony to unveil a plaque marking the National Historic Chemical Landmark designation will take place at 11:45 a.m. at Ritter Hall on the Scripps campus in La Jolla, Calif., the site of Keeling’s lab, where the current Scripps CO2 Group operations continue today.

"This plaque is a great tribute to all the people who worked tirelessly over the years to sustain these detailed measurements,” said Ralph Keeling. "The Mauna Loa CO2 record changed how we view the world. It proved for the first time that humans were altering the composition of air globally, and it thereby legitimized the concern over human-caused climate change."

“The Keeling Curve is an icon of modern climate science,” said Thomas Barton, PhD, immediate past president of the American Chemical Society. “Dave Keeling’s meticulous research provided scientifically credible evidence that has proved critical to understanding and addressing human impacts on our environment. Keeling recognized in 1960 that fossil fuels are driving global atmospheric change, which presents serious challenges for Earth and its people. The global impacts of climate change are what make Keeling’s work so important, and so celebrated, today.”
Congratulations to all


jgnfld said...

Some days there is good news!!!!!! This is one of those days. Thanks for reporting it!

Anonymous said...

What John Garland said.

But also, this reminds of of another pioneering scientist working solo who found out that the lead additives in gasoline were polluting the atmosphere, far beyond what anyone at the time imagined. For me, it was the most fascinating episode of Cosmos:

Unknown said...

Excellent news!


And don't miss American science's great Antihistorical Landmark the 10 Heartland Climate Conference ."

Brian said...

Observent could also refer to spelling of headlines....

Barton Paul Levenson said...

It's good to hear good news once in a while.

Mal Adapted said...

I'm pleased to imagine that my own meager mite helped to communicate the importance of the project and even to meet the project's operational needs.

caerbannog said...

Ralph Keeling is quite the gentleman and scholar.

Every May, the Scripps-Birch Aquarium hosts the Charles David Keeling Memorial Lecture in honor of Charles Keeling.

And of course, Ralph Keeling is there to introduce the speaker.

Since the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is just a few miles from where I live, I try to attend those lectures.

A couple of years ago, I was standing in line waiting for the doors to open when I noticed that Ralph Keeling was standing in line a few persons behind me. The event manager saw Ralph standing there and said to him (paraphrasing from memory here), "Dr. Keeling, you are a Very Important Person here. You don't need to stand in line. Come right on in."

Ralph's reply was (again, paraphrasing from memory): "Everybody here is important; I'll wait in line with everyone else".

And that he did -- he waited in line along with the rest of us, and walked into the building after I did.

That apple definitely did not roll far from the (truly giant) tree.

Jan Galkowski said...


I put a link to the Keeling Curve crowdsource at might site as well, seeing it on Eli's. I may change the title, but I think I'll keep it there in any case.

And continue to make annual contributions to the effort.

Chris_Winter said...

Metzomagic: But also, this reminds of of another pioneering scientist working solo who found out that the lead additives in gasoline were polluting the atmosphere, far beyond what anyone at the time imagined.

Anyone wanting to read the history of Clair Patterson's efforts, along with Dr. Herbert Needleman's fight to get lead poisoning recognized as a disease in the U.S., will find a good start in Lydia Denworth's Toxic Truth: A Scientist, a Doctor, and the Battle over Lead (Beacon Press, 2008).

You'll find the parallels between lead-poisoning denial and climate change denial interesting (but probably unsurprising.)

EliRabett said...