That's the Muana Loa atmospheric observatory, courtesy NOAA.
It's been fifty years since the U.S. Weather Bureau first sponsored a scientist to monitor of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere. Now many of the world's leading atmospheric scientists are gathering to commemorate that small start. Of course, nobody in 1957 had a clue that CO2 would be front and center as the world faces climate change and disputes over global warming and greenhouse gases.
The tracking of CO2 levels has become one of the most significant studies in recent science. Here's what NOAA says in their press release: “Because of the CO2 record, we now understand how we are changing the natural climate,' said Dr. Richard W. Spinrad,
NOAA assistant administrator of oceanic and atmospheric research."
Here's what the conference website says the attendees will be talking about:
"What We’ve Learned from the Global Record
Terrestrial Impacts, Feedbacks & Human Adaptation
Oceanic Impacts, Feedbacks & Human Adaptation
Energy Alternatives; Mitigation Options
Regionally Based Efforts to Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Economic Impacts – Financial Incentives
Communicating Science to the Public
Future Measurements and Research – What Will Be Needed?"
These scientists and political appointees will be slaving away this week in Kona, known for at least fine coffee and a few golf courses. And the website entices them to take some sight-seeing trips as well.
"A trip to the Mauna Loa Observatory is available at an additional charge to conference participants. This special opportunity to visit the Observatory will feature guided tours by observatory staff. The trip is worthwhile, but arduous, as your bus driver travels the windy, single lane road -- much of it through unpaved lava field -- as you climb up to the Observatory located at over 11,000 feet above sea level."
I think I need to get over there and cover it in person.