Charles David Keeling worked with scientists from the U.S. Weather Bureau and NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory to measure CO2 levels in the atmosphere beginning in 1958, leading to the widely known Keeling Curve. Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Newly discovered documents confirm that the petroleum and automobile industries funded the early climate science of Charles David Keeling at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1954 to 1956. Keeling became known for the “Keeling Curve,” which demonstrated the upward trajectory of the planet’s carbon dioxide levels.

The documents show that industry leaders were aware of the potential impacts of fossil fuels on the environment from early on.

Keeling traveled throughout the coastal areas, desertforests and grasslands of the western United States measuring background levels of carbon, DeSmog said in a detailed report.

A series of experiments atop the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii led to his famous curve — the foundation of today’s conception of human-caused climate change.

What the recently uncovered documents reveal is that this early research by Keeling was partially funded by “oil and auto companies” through the Southern California Air […]

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