The lava flow caused by the latest eruption from Mauna Loa cut off access to the Mauna Loa Observatory on Monday at 8 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Society.
According to a post from UC San Diego, the observatory lost power on Monday. The Mauna Loa Observatory is one of four NOAA laboratories that measures the Keeling Curve, a graph that shows the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, which has been crucial evidence for climate change. It has taken the measurements since 1958.
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego said they are exploring options regarding moving the measurement equipment.
Scripps Oceanography geoscientist Ralph Keeling, son of Keeling Curve creator Charles David Keeling, said in the news release that the future of carbon dioxide readings from the station was “very troubling.”
“It’s a big eruption and it’s in a bad place,” said Keeling.
The eruption started late Sunday night. The front of the lava flow was about 6 miles from Saddle Road as of 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Besides the Mauna Loa Observatory Road, Hawaii officials said at a news conference on Monday that there is no immediate threat to people or property on Hawaii Island.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke covers the Hawaiian Islands for Spectrum News Hawaii. Email her ideas and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.