Museum Month – What to look for at the Birch Aquarium

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Since February is Museum Month in San Diego (visit Macy’s to get your Museum Discount Card for half-off admissions), I’ll try to find a fairly unique tidbit for each of the participating museums.

I’ll start off the month with a tidbit about the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. A display of the Keeling Curve is a prominent fixture at the museum. The Keeling Curve, developed by Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling, was made famous in Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ showing the rapid rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Yes, it was our local Scripps Institution of Oceanography that set off the alarm bells warning the rest of us about the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere and global warming that has led to the ensuing debate of its causes and impacts.

Their warnings had been publicized for many years but it wasn’t until Al Gore’s movie that the issue made headlines and became the source of dinner table talk.

So, how did Al Gore become so enamored with this issue of global warming that he eventually used his public profile to bring light to it?

Well, as a senior at Harvard, Al Gore took a class taught by Roger Revelle, the former head of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the one who recruited Charles David Keeling and encouraged his research in the topic.

You can learn more about visiting the Birch Aquarium on my San Diego Travel Guide.

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