What is this number?

It might not look like much but it's probably the most defining number of our time, one that will shape this century and many beyond it. It is the amount, in parts-per-million, of carbon dioxide in our planet's atmosphere. The number is taken live from The Keeling Curve, a graph of this accumulation based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, in Hawaii. Running from 1958 to the present day, it is named after the late scientist Charles David Keeling who started the monitoring program.

Why not the whole curve?

Phones showing the keeling number during a protest.

Because we are making a tool for protest, and a PDF of a graph just doesn't cut it. We want the number out there, as legible as can be - in projections on government offices, on screens in apartment windows facing the street or on the phones of protestors at a march.

Why does the number go up & down?

Our planet has oceanic and terrestrial forests, both of which absorb gigatons of CO2 emitted by our civilisation each year. However, most of the world's terrestrial forests are in the Northern Hemisphere, and so there is a seasonal variation of about 5ppmv (parts per million variance) that represents plant life above the equator taking in as much CO2 as it can. During cold months in the North the number rises again, as there is less canopy to absorb it. In a sense, that up-and-down represents our planet's seasonal breathing.

This '2 steps forward 1 back' upward march is direct proof that we're emitting more CO2 than can be absorbed - too much - and so the rest is left to our atmosphere, warming the planet in turn. Were we doing things right, there would be a gentle tide, up and down, throughout the year; there wouldn't be a 'curve' at all.

By visiting this site I'm emitting CO2?!

Indeed websites have a carbon footprint. In fact, the average web page produces about 0.5 grams of CO2 with every visit. This all adds up fast, where a simple blog with 20,000 visits a month would push 120kg of carbon into the atmosphere in a year. Taken all together, our global Internet infrastructure has an emission footprint equal or greater to the entire aviation industry.

In making this site, we wanted to walk-the-talk. Hosted on renewable energy and with very low data footprint, it is cleaner than 97% of all websites tested on a popular website emissions calculator. It generates just 0.02 grams with every visit. This website uses PWA (progressive web app) technology to cache all the assets (texts & images) on first page load. By doing so, we greatly reduce real-time server requests, saving bandwidth & network resources.

Taking your phone to a protest?

We want you to help us get this number out there, but not if it's going to endanger you, your friends and family. For this reason it's important to only take a phone to a protest when it's safe to do so. What do we mean by that? It needs to..
  • Be backed up
  • Be disk encrypted
  • Have no external SD card unless it is encrypted
  • Be fully powered off (not just screen blanked) before taken by a police officer
  • Have a strong pattern or passphrase login (biometric logins are not protest-ready!)
  • Have no presently logged in accounts (social media, email, messaging apps, etc)

You should consider the phone you're taking to a protest as one you'll never see again. Good practice is to use a 'burner' phone (an old phone, or one you've bought 2nd hand with cash) and with a SIM card you've also bought with cash, where possible. Don't need to make calls or use data? Consider not taking your phone with a SIM at all.

In many countries peaceful demonstrators arrested are released the same day, but their devices may be given back days or weeks later. Devices may be sent to forensics to extract information from them to stop or undermine future protests. If your phone is disk encrypted and powered off at the point of arrest, this will be difficult, if not impossible. Nonetheless, it is wise to consider your returned phone compromised. For this reason it should (at the very least) be reset, with all onboard storage wiped. Better is to never use it again.

Your privacy

You need to be online only once when you visit this page. The PWA (progressive web app) caches all assets on first page load, so it continues to work even when you're offline. The next time you're online, the last measurement from the observatory will be fetched from the Internet. Even better, you can install this app permanently on your phone without any tracking nor dependency on Google's Playstore or Apple's App store, and use it just like any other app. More information on how to install on Chrome or Firefox.

This website works in airplane mode, even while you're offline - crucial if you are in areas where IMSI Catchers are deployed. We do not and will never collect any information on you, your phone or your browser. The only information being stored on your local device storage is the customisation of the chosen theme and the playmodes for the timeline and flash tools.


We aren't accepting donations for this project. But what you can do is donate to the following climate and ecological emergency groups, to support them in their work. Without action on this planetary emergency, pushing governments and industry to decarbonise, there really is no hope.

Here are the direct donation links for each:

Who made this?

Get in touch

Get in touch by sending an email to parts█permillion█live.

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