CDIAC: The Keeling Curve and more.

Sites of atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements

Sites of atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements

Forgive me: I am re-blogging this from my old blog because
(a) its interesting and (b) someone at Protons asked a question about it.

I love the CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre ) website. Yes, it is obscure and takes a lot of clicking to find what you want. But that is because you don’t really know what you want!

But after a bit of clicking you can find data – raw data that you can plot and analyse yourself – or simple graphics. I like this page which shows what the atmospheric CO2 record looks like from the Northern Pacific, southwards through the famous Mauna Loa data, and at successively further southward in the Pacific until one reaches the Antarctic. I have pasted graphs of the data below.

The vertical scale is the same in all the graphs, but not the horizontal scale. What the graphs show is the same rising trend, but the annual oscillations differ in character and magnitude. In particular  the further north one looks, the more dramatic is the effect of ‘summer’ in the northern hemisphere which causes a drastic fall in carbon dioxide concentrations as plants grow. Most of the Earth’s plants are in the northern hemisphere and so this effect is seen much more strongly here. And just to show that the site really does give access to the data, here is the data from these three sites plotted for the year 2007. Notice how weak the oscillation is in the antarctic and how it is out of phase with the Northern hemisphere summer.

Month by Month Data from 2007

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide concentration versus month of the year for 2007. The data is for three different locations. Notice the seasonal variation for each location is quite different.

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide concentration versus month of the year for 2007. The data is for three different locations. Notice the seasonal variation for each location is quite different.

Data from Alert, Alaska

Atmospheric Carbon dioxide data from Alert, Alaska

Atmospheric Carbon dioxide data from Alert, Alaska

Data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii

Atmospheric Carbon dioxide data from Muana Loa, Hawaii

Data from South Pole, Antarctica

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration at the South Pole versus time

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration at the South Pole versus time

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

One Response to “CDIAC: The Keeling Curve and more.”

  1. Information about Greenhouse gases « Protons for Breakfast Blog Says:

    […] This is a source  of data on emissions of a carbon dioxide run by the US department of Energy. It also includes the World Data Center for Atmospheric Trace Gases. It includes a very nice frequently asked questions page. It can often take a lot of clicks to get to the data one needs – especially if one isn’t sure before hand exactly what one is looking for. This site was the source of the recent blog about annual oscillations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: