Scripps in the News

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The Atlantic
Jul 25, 2016
A 2015 report that one of us co-authored found that one in three women science professors surveyed reported sexual harassment. There’s been a lot of talk about how to keep women in the STEM pipeline, but it fails to make a crucial connection: One reason the pipeline leaks is that women are harassed out of science. We recently spoke with a group of senior scientists who confirmed the prevalence of sexual harassment. Kim Barrett, the graduate dean at the University of California, San Diego, said she did not know of a single senior woman in gastroenterology, her subfield, who had not been sexually harassed. Margaret Leinen, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, described a conversation she once overheard between one male and five female scientists at a meeting where harassment was being discussed. “I don’t see what the fuss is about,” said the man. “I’ve never met anyone who has been sexually harassed.” The women just looked at each other. “Well, now you’ve met five,” they said.

KPCC
Jul 22, 2016
A major heat wave is set to hit Southern California this weekend, bringing with it dangerously hot conditions and an increased risk of wildfires. Once we get through the weekend, however, we'll be getting a different sort of heat. Unlike the usual scorcher, this one will bring sticky heat. "Humidity is going to get a lot stronger next week although the heat's not going to be quite as much," Alexander Gershunov, a research meteorologist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, told Take Two. Historically California’s heat is very dry, will a cooling effect in the evening, but as a long-term trend humidity is rising in the region, Gershunov said.

Smithsonian.com
Jul 20, 2016
About 60 years ago, David Keeling began to wind his way up the side of Mauna Loa. What the world needed, Keeling argued, was a few remote sites set up around the world, continuously measuring fluctuations in the amount of carbon dioxide that was entering, or leaving, the atmosphere. Keeling got his wish, even if Harry Wexler didn’t necessarily get his: Instead of joining the Weather Bureau, Keeling took a position at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, passing over a windowless office at the Naval Observatory for the ocean breeze of San Diego. Both Pieter Tans and Ralph Keeling—David Keeling’s son, who took over the Scripps portion of the program after his father’s death—see their role not so much as influencing policy, but gathering important data.

The Washington Post
Jul 18, 2016
“The HFCs effect now is very small. The problem with the HFCs is it’s the fastest-growing greenhouse gas,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “So by banning HFCs, you prevent another disaster downstream. It could be as high as half to one degree [Celsius] by the end of the century.”

Los Angeles Times
Jul 15, 2016
The open ocean around San Diego, Hawaii and Peru generates at least $17-billion worth of resources each year, according to a study by San Diego researchers. Published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, the study calculated values for items sold on the market, such as fish, but also quantified the benefits of carbon capture, recreation and biodiversity. “Those are real services that marine environments do provide, but the average person doesn’t think of those in terms of dollars and cents,” said co-author Lisa Ballance, a marine mammal researcher with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla and a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

The Washington Post
Jul 14, 2016
Every week, there are many new scientific studies published relating to climate change. But according to leading climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan — credited with discovering that chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are actually a greenhouse gas, among other major findings — a new study this week showing that clouds already are shifting their distributions across the Earth, and in a way predicted by climate change models, stands out. And not in a good way. The study was led by Ramanathan’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego colleague Joel Norris, though Ramanathan said he was not involved in the work and didn’t know about it until shortly before publication. But Ramanathan said that the study basically confirms that there’s nothing to prevent the world from reaching the high levels of warming that have long been feared — except for our own swift policy actions, that is.

SeaPower Magazine
Jul 14, 2016
In honor of the first American female astronaut, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently welcomed the U.S. Navy’s newest research vessel — R/V Sally Ride — for oceanographic research. The Navy’s Superintendent of Shipbuilding received the ship from the Dakota Creek Industries shipyard in Anacortes, Wash., and ONR delivered it to officials from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, ONR announced in a July 14 release. Scripps will operate and maintain Sally Ride under a charter lease agreement with ONR, which manages the ship on behalf of the Navy. RV Sally Ride will spend the next month being outfitted with equipment, spare parts, food and other supplies needed for basic ship operations. In August, it will begin “shake-down” cruises, an opportunity to test the ship’s capabilities, as it goes from the shipyard in Washington to its ultimate homeport in San Diego, where Scripps is located.

National Geographic
Jul 14, 2016
A study in Environmental Research Letters suggests a fifth of premature deaths during a 2003 heat wave in Europe are linked to human-caused climate change. “We are now able to put a number on the deaths caused by climate change in a heat wave,” said lead author Daniel Mitchell of the University of Oxford. “Previous studies have attributed changes in heat waves to climate change, or related increased heat stress to human deaths, but none have combined the two.” By comparing satellite data from 1983 to 2009 to climate models, the authors found that the clouds forming most often are not low-lying reflective ones that cool the planet. Instead, cloud patterns were in line with what scientists would expect to see in climate models—an increase in greenhouse gases associated with human activity over the study period. “Even if there is no change in the overall coverage of clouds on the earth, clouds closer to the pole reflect less solar radiation because there is less solar radiation coming in closer to the pole,” said lead author Joel Norris of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Smithsonian.com
Jul 14, 2016
When the dinosaurs fell, new giants emerged. From the African savannahs to the Australian outback, giant mammals that would have towered over their modern day descendants swiftly conquered nearly every continent. But in the ocean, whales took their time on the road to massiveness—and that slow expansion could explain why they’re still the biggest creatures around today. That’s the conclusion of a new study by the Smithsonian’s Nicholas Pyenson and the University of California’s Geerat Vermeijin, published July 5 in the journal Biology Letters. In the paper, Pyenson and Vermeijin chronicle the rise in ocean giants over the last 34 million years, illuminating the markedly different evolutionary paths they took compared to their terrestrial counterparts. “It’s such an obvious topic: When did giant whales come on the scene?” says Richard Norris, a paleobiologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego who was not involved in the research. “For the most part that hasn’t been written about very much.”

The Washington Post
Jul 12, 2016
In a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego show off the stunning results of their latest foray into underwater microscopy: Polyps "kiss."