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Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from La Jolla Pier, California, U.S.A.

graphics Graphics   data Data


R.F. Keeling, S.C. Piper, A.F. Bollenbacher and J.S. Walker
Carbon Dioxide Research Group,
Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
University of California,
La Jolla, California 92093-0444, U.S.A.

Period of Record



At La Jolla Pier, weekly air samples are collected in 5-L evacuated glass flasks exposed in triplicate. Flasks are returned to the SIO for CO2 determinations, which are made using an Applied Physics Corporation nondispersive infrared gas analyzer. From 1973 to 1975, air sampling was continuous. In May 1983, the CO2-in-N2 calibration gases were replaced with CO2-in-air calibration gases, which are currently used (Keeling et al. 2002). Data are in terms of the Scripps "03A" calibration scale.

Map showing location of La Jolla Pier, California, U.S.A.

La Jolla Pier, California, U.S.A.
32°9' N, 117°3' W
10 m above MSL


On the basis of flask samples collected at La Jolla Pier, and analyzed by SIO, the annual average of the fitted concentrations of CO2 rose from 327.08 ppmv in 1970 to 384.56 ppmv in 2007. This represents an average annual growth rate of 1.55 ppmv per year in the fitted values at La Jolla.


  • Bacastow, R.B. 1979. Dip in the atmospheric CO2 level during the mid-1960's. Journal of Geophysical Research 80:3109-14.
  • Bacastow, R.B., and C.D. Keeling. 1981. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and the observed airborne fraction. In B. Bolin (ed.), Carbon Cycle Modelling, SCOPE 16. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
  • Bacastow, R.B., J.A. Adams, Jr., C.D. Keeling, D.J. Moss, T.P. Whorf, and C.S. Wong. 1980. Atmospheric carbon dioxide, the Southern Oscillation, and the weak 1975 El Niño. Science 210:66-68.
  • Keeling, C.D. 1998. Rewards and penalties of monitoring the earth. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 23:25-82. Annual Reviews Inc., Palo Alto.
  • Keeling, C.D., R.B. Bacastow, A.F. Carter, S.C. Piper, T.P. Whorf, M. Heimann, W.G. Mook, and H. Roeloffzen. 1989. A three-dimensional model of atmospheric CO2 transport based on observed winds: 1. Analysis of observational data. In D.H. Peterson (ed.), Aspects of Climate Variability in the Pacific and the Western Americas. Geophysical Monograph 55:165-235.
  • Keeling, C.D., T.P. Whorf, M. Wahlen, and J. van der Plicht. 1995. Interannual extremes in the rate of rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1980. Nature 375:666-670.
  • Keeling, C.D., J.F.S. Chin, and T.P. Whorf. 1996. Increased activity of northern vegetation inferred from atmospheric CO2 measurements. Nature 382: (6587) 146-49. MacMillan Magazines Ltd., London.
  • Keeling, C.D., P.R. Guenther, G. Emanuele III, A. Bollenbacher, and D.J. Moss. 2002. Scripps Reference Gas Calibration System for Carbon Dioxide-in-Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide-in-Air Standards: Revision of 1999 (with Addendum). SIO Reference Series No. 01-11.
  • Keeling, C.D., 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.
  • Whorf, T.P., and C.D. Keeling. 1998. Rising carbon. New Scientist 157:(2124) 54-54. New Scientist Publ Expediting Inc., Elmont.

CITE AS: Keeling, R.F., S.C. Piper, A.F. Bollenbacher and J.S. Walker. 2008. 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, Tenn., U.S.A.