Researchers use the 120-foot tower atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii to collect air samples and measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mauna Kea looms in the distance.
Credit Joe Palca / NPR
Aidan Colton is a research scientist at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Here in the "carbon cycle room," he measures the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide in air from intake ports at the top of a 120-foot tower outside the lab.
Climate scientists have a good reason to want to get away from it all. To get an accurate picture of the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, you have to find places where the numbers won't be distorted by cities or factories or even lots of vegetation that can have a major local impact on CO2 concentrations.
Thien-Kim Lam (left) and Larry Bright (right) with their 3-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, are a multiracial family. They represent a growing segment of American families that are inter-racial and whose children identify as both races.