A graph and a little house on the mountains

Ralph Keeling, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.
May 20, 2011

As an observed fact, the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide appears relentless and unstoppable. Largely driven by consumption of fossil-fuels for energy usage, the increase is a direct consequence of the growth of the global economy over the past century. Despite growing awareness of the consequence of rising carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases on climate, carbon dioxide levels have not deviated from their accelerating growth path and are destined to rise above the symbolic level of 400 parts-per-million threshold in the next few years. In this talk, I will reflect on history of the science of global warming, from the seminal achievements of Bert Bolin, my father, and others in the 1960s and 1970s, to our current understanding of the problem, and to the enormity of the challenge looking ahead. I will also reflect on my long-term acquaintance with Bert, and his inspiring role as a life-long leader in this field.


The Bert Bolin Lecture on Climate Research is given annually in May to commemorate professor Bert Bolin and his pioneering work for climate research at Stockholm University and internationally. The speaker is selected among prominent scientists within climate research by the Faculty of Science.

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