Most noted among climate research
projects was a monitoring station
established in 1958 by the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography on top of
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory.
Scripps geochemist Charles Keeling was instrumental in outlining a way to record CO2 levels and in securing funding for the observatory, which was positioned in the center of the Pacific Ocean.
Data from the observatory revealed what would become known
as the “Keeling Curve.” The upward, saw tooth-shaped curve
showed a steady rise in CO2 levels, along with short, jagged up-
and-down levels of the gas produced by repeated wintering and
greening of the Northern Hemisphere.
The dawn of advanced computer modeling in the 1960s began to predict possible outcomes of the rise in CO2 levels made evident by the Keeling Curve.
Computer models consistently showed that a doubling of CO2 could produce a warming of 2 degrees C or 3.6 degrees F within the next century.
More Co2 greenhouse gas molecules in the air means more heat is trapped, leading to an overall warming of the planet.