Dr. Charles David Keeling was the first person to decide to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and though his research has altered our perception of global warming, it wasn’t initially the scientific pillar that it is now when it was launched in 1958. Taking readings from the South Pole and Hawaii, he is largely credited with directing attention to the rising amount of carbon dioxide in the our atmosphere and, as a result, his research acted (and still acts as) a pillar of proof that supported the idea that our environment is warming up.
Most famous is the Keeling Curve, a chart largely considered the most iconic within the earth sciences. Using data from 1958 and forward from continuous measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii—funding for the South Pole measuring center was cut in the 60s, effectively shutting it down—the Keeling Curve has shown that atmospheric CO2 has risen from about 315 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in 1958 to 396 ppmv as of today.
The significance of his work—which prompted NOAA to start monitoring CO2 levels worldwide in the 70s—prompted activist and playwright George Shea to write Dr. Keeling’s Curve. The story combines the life story of Keeling with the insights and discoveries of atmospheric scientists before and after him who basically laid the foundation for Keeling’s own work as well as took Keeling’s work to new levels. A mix of history, biography, and science, the play has been performed around the country.
Shea is no stranger to fighting for environmental causes, having been arrested in 2011 while protesting with over a thousand others outside the White House in regard to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
The one-man play will be headed by longtime social justice and environmental activist and veteran M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell.
In partnership with the International City Theatre, the Aquarium of the Pacific is presenting Dr. Keeling’s Curve at the Center Theater, located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd, on Saturday from 8:00PM to 10:00PM. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online by clicking here.