Honoring One of the Greatest Scientific Contributions

"The Keeling Curve brought the world’s attention to the importance of climate change research and solutions." - Chancellor Khosla

From left: John E. Adams, District V Director of the American Chemical Society; Chancellor Khosla; James Butler, Director of Global Monitoring at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory; Ralph Keeling, Program Director of the Scripps CO2 Program; and Margaret Leinen, VC - Marine Sciences and Director of Scripps Oceanography

A brand new plaque sits on Ritter Hall today at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  It recognizes the Keeling Curve and its contribution to chemistry and the wellbeing of society.  The plaque was revealed on Friday as part of Scripps Day and it was initiated by the American Chemical Society as part of its National Historic Chemical Landmarks program, which honors seminal events in the history of chemistry. 

The Keeling Curve was created by Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling, who established his laboratory at Ritter Hall.  It is a long-term record of rising carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, which was linked to rising levels of fossil fuel emissions.  It’s been said that the modern age of climate research began with the Keeling Curve. 

A sister plaque was also installed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii where Keeling first took his measurements in 1957.