The Road Up Mauna Loa | Photo by Michael McGee, 2013
Active Period: 2008 - 2015
CO2Now.org was the official web address for "Earth's CO2 Home Page" from September 1, 2008, until November 10, 2015. The site was launched as a replacement for themosimportantnumber.org where front-page posting of atmospheric CO2 readings began late in 2007. On November 11, 2015, CO2Now.org was replaced by this site, CO2.Earth, as a founding member of the new .earth community.
Over the active lifetime of CO2Now.org, traffic grew from about 20,000 unique visitors per month to 50,000.
When CO2Now.org launched in September 2008, it rolled out a series of website widgets. Thousands of website owners around the world have installed a self-updating graphic on their site that always shows the latest atmospheric CO2 readings. Within a year, 'CO2 displays' with these widgets totalled at least 5 million per year. It quickly reached and then sustained a Google Page Rank of 7/10.
The CO2Now Facebook page launched September 24, 2012 and had 2900 likes by November 2015. The Twitter @CO2Now thread started earlier and had 5200 followers by November 2015.
Earth's CO2 Home Page
The images below show site creator Michael McGee with 'Earth's CO2 Home Page' that display Mauna Loa CO2 readings for July 2010 and July 2013.
7 Extra Parts Per Million in 3 Years
Michael McGee (left) | August 2010: Willows Beach, Victoria, Canada | Photo by Dong Guo
Michael McGee (right) | August 2013: Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, USA | Photo by John Barnes
Experiments in Redistributing Atmospheric Data
The usage of the CO2Now website, social media and widgets were the most notable achievements in the 7 years that CO2Now.org was operated. The project was largely a series of informal experiments. Some other initiatives are listed below.
CO2 Speakers' Corner
A "CO2 Speakers' Corner" was set up as an experiment in the use of video to prompt more discussion about atmospheric CO2. It was dubbed "Earth's first video log about atmospheric CO2." Only one video was produced. It featured graduate student Maeva Gauthier while participating in a 2009 Students on Ice scientific expedition to Antarctica. Video proved to be a rich comunications medium but it was resource intensive. No follow up speakers' corner video has yet to be produced.
Vimeo 2009 CO2 Speakers' Corner | Gauthier | Antarctica
DeSmogBlog 2009 Speakers Corner makes atmospheric CO2 data accessible
CO2 Bulletins in Print
In late 2009, a local newspaper in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, started publishing weekly bulletins featuring atmospheric CO2 readings. The bulletins were sponsored by a real estate agent in the area, xyz. The Nelson Daily News published the updates for nine months until it was closed by new owners after reporting the news for a century.
CO2 on Community TV
In 2009, Delores County Television (DCTV) in Colorado (USA), in association with Colorado State University, began reporting weekly CO2 updates when NOAA started posting weekly readings in near-real time. Soon after the DCTV initiative, station manager Dan Fernandez collaborated with CO2Now's Michael McGee for the supply of graphics used during news broadcasts that are led by high-school students. The collaboration continues. Now, the CO2 graphics credit NOAA for the source data and CO2.Earth for graphics supply.
CO2Now.org Show atmospheric CO2 on TV
CO2Now.org The first CO2 data broadcast on earth
CO2Now.org and founder Michael McGee have been involved in these activities:
- Co-organized (with the University of Victoria campus sustainability office) a screening of A Sea Change and science panel discussion on ocean acidification as part of the first international day of climate action on October 24, 2009 (a global event spearheaded by 350.org)
- Contributed video footage selected by YouTube/WEF for a mashup video (see McGee at 1:21) on the environment shown to delegates at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
- Collaborated with artist/author Franke James and designer/developer Bill James to produce a CO2 Toaster widget that can be embedded on any website. In 2010, the CO2 Toaster widget was selected for display in an online science-art exhibit
Future of CO2Now.org
CO2Now.org has been replaced by CO2.Earth. The old site is still there. But the links and signs point visitors to CO2.Earth. The site will likely be decommissioned mid-2017.
Future of CO2Now Widgets
If you installed CO2Now.org widget code on your website before November 11, 2015, please replace it at your earliest convenience. New website widget code is available at Show.Earth, a sister site for CO2.Earth. Updating the code has these benefits:
- Your clickable widgets will point directly to CO2.Earth
- The new code is responsive for enhanced behaviour with mobile devices
- There will be no surprises in 2017 (or later) when the old CO2Now.org widgets are no longer updated.