Using this graphic and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include the link to this page and give the cartographer/designer credit (in this case Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)
Barnola, J.-M., Raynaud, D., Lorius, C. and Barkov, N.I. (2003). Historical CO2 record from the Vostok ice core. In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge
CRU (2007). CRUTEM3v dataset. Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature [Accessed 5 May 2007]
Etheridge, D.M., Steele, L.P., Langenfelds, R.L., Francey, R.J., Barnola, J.-M. and Morgan, V.I. (1998). Historical CO2 records from the Law Dome DE08, DE08-2, and DSS ice cores. In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge
Keeling, C.D. and Whorf, T.P. (2005). Atmospheric CO2 records from sites in the SIO air sampling network. In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge
Mann, M.E. and Jones, P.D. (2003). 2,000 Year Hemispheric Multi-proxy Temperature Reconstructions, IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series #2003-051. NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder
Uploaded on Saturday 25 Feb 2012
Historical trends in carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature, on a geological and recent time scale
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The most recent geological history, in the last hundred thousand years, has been characterised by cycles of glaciations, or ice ages. The historic temperatures, through these times, have been low, and continental ice sheets have covered large parts of the world. Through ancient air, trapped in tiny bubbles in the Antarctic ice, we have been able to see what the temperature cycle was at that time, and also the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The more recent history, from the middle ages and up until now, show increasing temperatures, rising as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age (LIA), around 1850. With the industrial era, human activities have at the same time increased the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, and scientists have been able to connect human activities as one of the drivers to climate change and global warming. The top part of the CO2 measurements, the observations, are what is referred to as the 'Mauna Loa curve' or the 'Keeling curve'.