Keeling, Charles David

Keeling, Charles David, 1928–2005, U.S. geochemist, b. Scranton, Pa., Ph.D. Northwestern Univ., 1954. As a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology (1953–56), he developed a system for measuring the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Joining the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (1956), Keeling continued his research at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, where he observed ever-rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and was able to show that this was due to the increasing use of fossil fuels. His records form the basis for what has become known as the Keeling Curve, the graph of the progressive increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and led to discoveries by other scientists on the effects of additional greenhouse gases on climate.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Weather and Climate: Biographies