Skiing is a great hobby, a good way to keep in shape and something many people like to do on their vacations. For a specific group of scientists in Colorado however, it's not just about getting from EGE to Vail, it's part of the job. NOAA researchers in the Rockies routinely have to ski to great heights to measure levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas is the culprit behind much of climate change, but you can't just look up and see it. It's literally like catching air to check levels. Since 1967 these dedicated science skiers have been collecting air samples and tracking levels of CO2. At first levels were about 275 parts per million. Levels now are just about 400 ppm and this increase is troubling for environmental scientists.
Climate change might be a hotly debated political football, but that doesn't change the science of it. It's real and it's going to be catastrophic if fossil fuel emissions are not curbed. Many people don't see the basic science that goes into climate research. Simple measurements of air quality and CO2 levels tell a story and it's not one that will have a happy ending if something isn't done soon.