SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Friending, posting, tweeting -- it's the way we share information these days for 73 percent of adults. Thanks to social networking, local scientists are getting recognition for an ongoing climate study that started over 50 years ago.
Now the Keeling Curve's daily tweets from Scripps Institution of Oceanography are up for a Shorty Award.
Shorty Awards -- note the brevity in the title. It's like an Oscar, only the recipient doesn't have to be a movie star. Anyone highly influential can win in the land of social media, where short sentences rule.
Now science is getting the nod for the Keeling Curve, which is a visible measurement of rising carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere over time.
"Shorty Awards are a relatively new award, they've been around about six years, and they honor social media efforts of all sorts. We've been entered as a nominee in the science category for the work we did with the Keeling Curve," Scripps Institution of Oceanography communications officer Robert Monroe said.
"Carbon dioxide is the most important man-made greenhouse gas that can cause trapping of heat and a warming of the climates. So the local climate is impacted by that. There'll be regional consequences that are a little bit harder to predict, but they may include less rainfall, higher temperatures here in California," SIO professor of geochemistry Ralph Keeling said.
Social media is being called the new frontier for communication. Tweeting, tumbling, and posting is paying off by reaching people who wouldn't normally read more than a paragraph of information. But if you can chop up complicated scientific lessons into easy bites and generate buzz online, it's considered a huge accomplishment, and worthy of a Shorty Wward.
"Until recently people have never had an easy way to appreciate it on a daily basis, and so that's what we're trying to do with this. People can check their Twitter feed and find out what CO2 levels are on any given day," Monroe said.