Global Reach

Flanked by Scripps Institution of Oceanography graduate Paolo Scarsi, now of Italy's National Research Council in Pisa, at left, children gather at an outgassing site in Ethiopia.

Scripps Science Around the World

Scripps scientists are solving the rapidly escalating environmental challenges of the 21st century. Scripps continues to be the foremost environmental research institution, addressing issues of global significance such as:

Climate Change

´╗┐Scripps has been at the forefront of climate change research for more than 50 years, beginning with the discovery by Charles Keeling of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scripps scientists not only monitor the oceans and atmosphere to forecast climate changes and their impacts. They also provide governments with the information they need to create climate policy.

Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters

Scripps researchers are studying the dramatic changes taking place on the planet to better understand and predict natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, El Niños, wildfires, and hurricanes, including why they occur and when and where they are most likely to strike.

Drug-resistant Diseases

Scripps researchers are pioneering the use of drugs from the sea to combat cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. Several Scripps-discovered marine compounds are now in clinical trials. A special focus is on the development of new antibiotics from marine microbes to help battle drug-resistant infections.

Water Shortages

Scripps scientists have pioneered hydrological studies detailing changes in snow and rainfall that could lead to severe water shortages. They are now working with government agencies to refine forecasts and develop strategies to cope with less water.

Saving Marine Life

Scripps is a leader in studying marine ecosystems including coral reefs, kelp forests, the open ocean, the California Current, polar regions, and the deep sea. Scripps scientists are investigating why marine ecosystems and fish populations are collapsing, what can be done to preserve and restore them, and how to improve fisheries management. Scripps scientists are also monitoring the impacts of oil pollution on natural populations and marine communities.

Energy Alternatives

Scripps researchers are working with corporate partners to develop clean and renewable biofuels from marine algae to replace fossil fuels for jet aircraft and other modes of transportation. Algae can create energy more effectively and efficiently than crop-based fuels with less need for freshwater.

Air Pollution

Scripps scientists have extensively studied the phenomenon of seasonal pollution haze in Asia known as the Atmospheric Brown Cloud. They study how the black carbon filled haze affects cloud formation, monsoon patterns, and atmospheric heating and cooling and have initiated programs to study the climatic effects when households in South Asia switch to using cleaner energy.

Ocean Acidification

Scripps is establishing a major center for ocean acidification research in the U.S. to understand how carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is changing ocean chemistry and its potential risks to marine life. This newest and potentially most devastating result of burning fossil fuels threatens the millions of marine organisms that form shells and skeletons of calcium carbonate, potentially disrupting the entire ocean food web.

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