The Mauna Loa graph is one of the most popular representations used to show rising carbon-dioxide levels. Because the graph uses only instrumental measurements and recordings have been taken in the same location at the Mauna Loa Observatory, some of the complications that come with interpreting other climate-change graphs are not present when looking at the Mauna Loa graph. However, students may still be confused about how to read the graph, and what causes the different trends.
Watch this video of 6th and 8th grade students in coastal communities in California. The purpose of this classroom video is to see students interpret the Mauna Loa graph and explain their ideas about what causes the upward trend in CO2.
For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Mauna Loa Carbon-Dioxide Records" in the Changing Climate Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 63.