Scripps in the News

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NBC 7 San Diego
Mar 14, 2016
Local scientists say this year’s El Nino is having a big impact on San Diego’s coastline, and they need the public’s help keeping track of it. Although there hasn't been a massive amount of rain, local researchers say people have to think about the waves and the impact they're having on the coastline, beaches and estuaries. Researchers with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System say that amid El Nino conditions the waves have been bigger than usual and may even be affecting human health. “Citizens can take photographs of the coastline and we're actually asking for photos from both low tide and high tide because we want to get those flooding events,” Sarah Giddings, assistant professor of oceanography at Scripps told NBC 7.

International New York Times
Mar 13, 2016
Created by a company called BioPop, my Dino Pet contains lots of itty bitty dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates are usually ocean-dwelling, single-celled organisms also known as marine plankton. The ones that live in my plastic dinosaur (a Christmas gift) are the latter kind. Shake them just a bit and the transparent creatures become a glow-in-the-dark snow globe.Except that a week after I set my dinosaur up, it still refused to put on its shimmer show. And then upon revisiting the instructions, everything was illuminated: Until now, your dinoflagellates were raised in San Diego, Calif. They’ve been waking up at 5 a.m. and going to bed around 6 p.m. P.S.T. In other words, the dinoflagellates on my night stand in New York had severe jet lag. “They get used to this schedule,” said Dimitri Deheyn, BioPop’s scientific adviser and a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Mar 13, 2016
By Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and Catherine Gautier, professor emerita at the UC Santa Barbara. As this is written, all four remaining candidates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination vehemently reject the fundamental findings of modern climate science. These findings are simple to state: The Earth's climate is now unequivocally warming. Many chains of evidence demonstrate the warming, including increasing atmospheric and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers and ice sheets, and changing precipitation patterns. The main cause of the warming is human activities, especially burning fossil fuels, which increases the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

KPBS
Mar 10, 2016
California's seasonal rain and snow levels have grown over the past week — but not by much. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego climate researcher Dan Cayan, who helped compile data for the KPBS Drought Tracker, said to truly put a dent in the drought, those numbers would have to hit 150 percent by April 1.

The Guardian
Mar 10, 2016
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide last year rose by the biggest margin since records began, according to a US federal science agency. Fossil fuel burning and a strong El Niño weather pattern pushed CO2 levels 3.05 parts per million (ppm) on a year earlier to 402.6 ppm, as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said on Wednesday. The Keeling curve. Photograph Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

The Washington Post
Mar 09, 2016
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have spiked more in the period from February 2015 to February 2016 than in any other comparable period dating back to 1959, according to a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory. The change in average concentrations from February of last year to February of this year was 3.76 parts per million at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, leaving the concentration at 404.02 parts per million for February, based on preliminary data. However, there also appears to be a role for the El Nino phenomenon. “CO2 tends to rise much faster during and just following El Niño events,” wrote Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography carbon dioxide program at UC San Diego and son of Charles David Keeling (after whom the iconic graph of rising greenhouse gas concentrations is named), last October. At the time, Keeling forecast that because of the current El Nino event, we would probably never see CO2 levels decline below 400 again “in our lifetimes.”

San Diego Reader
Mar 09, 2016
The endangered tidewater goby, native only to the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County, is a tiny fish. This year, when forecast El Niño storm surges threatened to breach tidepools and wash away portions of coastal habitat in San Diego County, UCLA graduate student Brenton Spies and a team of biologists came to help. When 300 of the gobies arrived at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography on February 4th, Birch employee Melissa Torres took them in. She made them at home in the aquarium’s outside reserve tank system, where she added clean sand and fake plants “to make them as comfortable as possible.” “In a way, this is a snapshot of our collective future as aquaria/zoos become sanctuaries for species caught up in climate change,” said Birch Aquarium executive director Harry Helling. The tidewater gobies are expected to be returned to their coastal estuarine homes on Camp Pendleton in early May, after winter storm threats have passed and habitats are determined to be more stable.

The Washington Post
Mar 09, 2016
A serious flood event is unfolding over the south central U.S., fed by an exceptional storm system producing snow over Mexico as well as a record March heat wave in the East. An atmospheric firehose has formed at the confluence of these two extreme weather systems and is aimed straight for the zone from east Texas to central Louisiana and then northward through Arkansas into southern Illinois. Meteorologists call this kind of narrow, intense stream of moisture an “atmospheric river”. These rivers are most common in the Pacific and bring California the bulk of its winter rain. Photo: Martin Ralph, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

KPBS
Mar 09, 2016
On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami and leading to a nuclear meltdown. Pat Abbot, geology professor emeritus at San Diego State University, Dave Sandwell, geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, discuss the aftermath of the 2011 Japan disaster Wednesday on Midday Edition.

The New York Times
Mar 07, 2016
Blue Latitudes, an organization founded in 2014 by two young scientists with degrees from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, is trying to increase awareness of the value of rigs as permanent homes for sea life.