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Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

NOAA

These graphs show carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The graphs display recent measurements as well as historical long term measurements. The related website summarizes in graphs the recent monthly CO2, the full CO2 Record, the annual Mean CO2 Growth Rate, and gives links to detailed CO2 data for this location, which is one of the most important CO2 sites in the world.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Natural processes driving Earth’s long-term climate variability do not explain the rapid climate change observed in recent decades. The only explanation that is consistent with all available evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change. Future changes in climate may be rapid compared to historical changes.
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
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understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling
About Teaching Principle O
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Emissions from the widespread burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Because these gases can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years before being removed by natural processes, their warming influence is projected to persist into the next century.
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man activities are impacting the climate system
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • On the website, at the bottom of the page, are data sources listed in the event that educators want to reproduce the graph or have students manipulate the data.

About the Science

  • The Mauna Loa CO2 data is being obtained at an altitude of 3400m in the northern subtropics and represent the longest existing continuous record of CO2 since methodical measurements began in 1958 during the International Geophysical Year (IGY).
  • The famous "Keeling Curve" shows the seasonal change of CO2 concentration due to the vegetation growth and is central to any discussion of climate change.
  • Additional information can be found at http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/home/index.php
  • Comments from expert scientist: The graphs are visually appealing and information is clearly presented. The data sources and methodology of calculating the CO2 concentrations are described very well and references are provided for additional information. The video of CO2 concentration history is especially neat.

About the Pedagogy

  • These up-to-date figures display the relevant data very well.

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