Scripps in the News

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May 03, 2016
Imagine you are walking into a 12-foot cube with reflective mirrors on all sides and a music score begins, transporting you underwater, where you are surrounded by light radiating off the tiny organisms, and you can imagine what it looks and feels like to be a deep-sea diver who weaves in and out of its radiance. At Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego, part of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, this cube will soon exist. The installation is called the Infiniti Cube and is being created by a Scripps scientist who studies bioluminescence, a renowned London artist in residence at Scripps and a New York musician and composer who teaches math. Scheduled to open soon, the Infiniti Cube is just one example of how Birch Director Harry Helling is adapting to the times.

Scientific American
May 02, 2016
Climate change is doing more than warming the world’s oceans. It’s also making it harder for marine life to breathe. Curtis Deutsch, associate professor at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, studies how increasing global temperatures are altering the levels of dissolved oxygen in the world’s oceans. Other researchers, like Tony Koslow, a research oceanographer emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and former director of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations, have focused on how the changes in oxygen levels affect marine life.

NBC 7 San Diego
May 02, 2016
San Diego researchers have discovered that some sharks use their fluorescent glow to communicate with other sharks deep under water, and their research has provided some really cool images to show how it works. Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, working with experts at the American Museum of Natural History, used a custom-built "shark eye" camera to do the research. "This study provides the first evidence that sharks can see the fluorescence of their own species," said Dimitri Deheyn, a researcher at Scripps and co-author of the study. "It's not just beautiful but has an ecological purpose."

Apr 27, 2016
This winter’s El Niño may have been a dud rain-wise. Southern California saw less than half the precipitation it normally gets despite predictions of a conveyor belt of storms pummeling the region. Still, the phenomenon did bring warmer than average ocean temperatures and some extremely high tides. And that was a big silver lining for scientists hoping to learn more about how climate change is expected to affect coastal areas in the future. "It’s incredibly useful for thinking about our future" said Sarah Giddings, a researcher with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. For much of the winter, water along the coastline was about 20 centimeters higher than average, leading to erosion and even flooding, Giddings explained. Climate change is expected to create similar conditions, as green house gases heat up the planet and ice caps melt, pushing sea levels higher.

Fox 5
Apr 27, 2016
Coronado residents have found a few seahorses on the coastline and scientists say it’s likely because of El Niño. The reason it’s unusual is this particular species known as the Pacific Seahorse is normally found hanging out in the waters off central Baja all the way down to Peru. “The frequency of us seeing them is attributed to the same time of year or the same seasons we’ve had warmer periods of warm water in the ocean which many people attribute to El Niño," said Leslee Matsushige, curator of Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Matsushige said warmer waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, caused by El Niño, bring many unexpected tropical species north through a mix of rising sea-surface temperatures and altered currents.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Apr 27, 2016
Amid the gloomy forecast of climate change, climatologist Richard Somerville sees a glimmer of light. Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, will speak at UC San Diego Thursday about the prospects for turning the tide on the worst impacts of global warming. “This is not a gloom and doom issue,” Somerville said. “It’s a serious issues but the world is taking the right steps to deal with it in a rational way.”