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Interview: Climate Pioneer’s Son
Ponders a Worrisome CO2 Milestone

Climate scientist Ralph Keeling has followed in the footsteps of his renowned father, Charles David Keeling, who in 1958 became a pioneering figure in humanity’s struggle to combat climate change when
Ralph Keeling Curve
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Ralph Keeling
he developed an accurate method of measuring CO2 in the atmosphere and tracking its increase. Today, his son is the director of the Scripps CO2 Program, which was founded by his father and late last week reported that global carbon dioxide concentrations had passed an alarming milestone of 400 parts per million. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Ralph Keeling discusses his father’s work, reflects on the meaning of CO2 levels climbing higher than they’ve been in at least 800,000 years, and expresses hope that crossing the 400 ppm mark may play a role in awakening the public to the dangers of runaway climate change. “It feels a little bit like we’re moving into a new era,” said Keeling. “Bringing about change requires people to be aware of what’s going on.”
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