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Scripps CO2 Program Data

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Scripps CO2 Program Data

About this collection

Date Issued
  • 2017
Date Collected
  • 1957 - present
Cite This Work

Keeling, Ralph F.; Keeling, Charles D. (2017). Scripps CO2 Program Data. UC San Diego Library Digital Collections.


The Scripps CO2 program was initiated in 1956 by Charles David Keeling and operated under his direction until his passing in 2005. It is currently being continued by Ralph F. Keeling, who also runs a parallel program at SIO to measure changes in atmospheric O2 and Ar abundances (Scripps O2 Program).

The Scripps CO2 program has made measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration and the isotopic abundances 13C/12C, 14C/C, and 18O/16O ratios of CO2 from a network of stations from nearly Pole to Pole, along a Pacific transect. The primary (in situ) record from Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii is based on measurements made with an analyzer at the site. In situ records are also available from La Jolla. At all other sampling stations, the records are based on flask samples returned to the laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for analysis. Flasks have also been redundantly collected at Mauna Loa and La Jolla.

Current results, including data sets and graphics, are available at from the ongoing program to measure CO2 and chemical species.

For daily updates of the CO2 Concentration at Mauna Loa Obervatory, Hawaii, see

Measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration in our program began in 1957 at La Jolla, California and at the South Pole, and in 1958 at Mauna Loa Observatory. These measurements were gradually extended during the 1960's and 1970's to comprise sampling at an array of stations from the Arctic to Antarctica. Isotopic measurements began in 1978 at selected stations, expanding over time to include additional stations.

The Scripps CO2 program is operationally independent from the Scripps O2 program in using different flasks and analysis systems. The CO2 records of these two programs are therefore substantially independent, even though the flasks for both programs are collected at many of the same stations


4 digital objects.

Scope And Content

The Scripps CO2 Program website at provides access to openly available atmospheric and seawater CO2 concentration data from various sources. Redundant copies of the atmospheric CO2 data from 13 sampling stations are being deposited here, through the UC San Diego Library, to provide enhanced discovery, long-term accessibility, and preservation. New data from the 10 active stations are added to this collection as they become available, but the issued Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for each collection item will not change until new calibrations are applied to the data. Data sets calculated from the latest calibration are accessible by clicking on View Collection Items from this page. Data sets using older calibrations will be accessible via 1) Related Resource links on the landing pages of current collection items, and 2) the DOI originally issued for the data set.

Related Publications

C. D. Keeling, S. C. Piper, R. B. Bacastow, M. Wahlen, T. P. Whorf, M. Heimann, and H. A. Meijer, Atmospheric CO2 and 13CO2 exchange with the terrestrial biosphere and oceans from 1978 to 2000: observations and carbon cycle implications, pages 83-113, in "A History of Atmospheric CO2 and its effects on Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems", editors, Ehleringer, J.R., T. E. Cerling, M. D. Dearing, Springer Verlag, New York, 2005.

C. D. Keeling, S. C. Piper, R. B. Bacastow, M. Wahlen, T. P. Whorf, M. Heimann, and H. A. Meijer, Exchanges of atmospheric CO2 and 13CO2 with the terrestrial biosphere and oceans from 1978 to 2000. I. Global aspects, SIO Reference Series, No. 01-06, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, 88 pages, 2001.

Related Resource
  • English



Measurements by the Scripps CO2 program are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and by Earth Networks, a technology company that is collaborating with Scripps to expand the global greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring network.

In kind support for field operations is also provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Environment Canada, and the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).