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Climate scientist to deliver lecture in series honoring his father

8/30/2012 | Madeline Ley, News Bureau intern | 217-333-0567;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN,Ill. — Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, will deliver the annual lecture that honors his father, the late Charles David Keeling, who was an analytical chemist at the University of Illinois and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ralph Keeling, the director of the Scripps Carbon Dioxide Program in La Jolla, Calif., will discuss the influence of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and others, on Earth’s atmosphere in “The Unfolding Story of Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Life in the Greenhouse.”

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 (Monday) in 100 Noyes Laboratory, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana. There will be a reception immediately following the lecture in the Quad-side foyer of Noyes Laboratory.

Ralph Keeling was the first to demonstrate that the oxygen concentration of the global atmosphere is decreasing because of the burning of fossil fuels and has directed a program to track this decrease since 1989. His work at Scripps sustains the iconic record of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa and other sites begun by his father. 

“Ralph Keeling, with his precise measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and his study of the carbon cycle, has contributed greatly to science,” said Donald Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Illinois.

Ralph Keeling earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Yale University in 1979 and a PhD in applied physics from Harvard University in 1988.

The Charles David Keeling Lecture Series is sponsored by the department of chemistry; the School of Chemical Sciences; the department of atmospheric sciences; the School of Earth, Society and Environment; the School of Integrative Biology; and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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