Dr. Keeling's Curve

Dr. Keeling's Curve

"Dr. Keeling’s Curve" by playwright George Shea, is a one-man show performed by actor Mike Farrell, star of the TV show MASH. Farrell plays scientist Dr. David Keeling, whose research on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels led to the iconic chart now known as the Keeling Curve.

Many scientists credit Keeling’s graph with first bringing the world’s attention to the ongoing increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Keeling’s Curve is the most well-known graphed image in all of Earth science history. No single set of measurements demonstrates more clearly than the Keeling Curve how humans are influencing our planet. The Keeling Curve — a graph showing the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1958 — is based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii that began under the supervision of Dr. David Keeling. His measurements showed the first significant evidence of rapidly increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

When Dr. Keeling first started measuring CO2 in 1958, the CO2 count was 310 parts per million (ppm). On the day of his death in June 2005, it was 382.4 ppm. The CO2 monitoring program has been continued by his son, Ralph Keeling.

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