Scripps in the News

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Bloomberg Business
Dec 07, 2015
Fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are the main drivers of global warming. The CO2 they give off makes up more than 75 percent of annual climate pollution. The Bloomberg Carbon Clock is a real-time estimate of the global monthly atmospheric CO2 level. The graphic draws on CO2 data released from the NOAA Mauna Loa Observatory. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego pioneered CO2 monitoring in March 1958 at the observatory in Hawaii. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started a parallel effort there in May 1974. Today, NOAA maintains a global network of observatories, sampling towers, flights, and flasks to measure the composition of the atmosphere.

Associated Press
Dec 06, 2015
The cold hard numbers of science haven't spurred the world to curb runaway global warming. So as climate negotiators struggle in Paris, some scientists who appealed to the rational brain are enlisting what many would consider a higher power: the majesty of faith. It's not God versus science, but followers of God and science together trying to save humanity and the planet, they say. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a non-Catholic who advised Pope Francis on climate and is on the pontiff's science academy, says he thinks this new alliance will play a major role in what he hopes will be a historic agreement. But for Ramanathan, now a member of the Holy See's delegation to the climate talks, it's more than science or history. The world will not act enough on climate change, Ramanathan said, "until we teach this in every church, every mosque, every synagogue, every temple."

The New York Times
Dec 05, 2015
PARIS — Of the many faiths represented at the climate talks here, the Roman Catholic Church is distinctive in having both a seat at the table and a loud voice outside the room. The Holy See, the government of the Catholic Church in Vatican City, is an “observer” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1992 treaty that provides the framework for the climate negotiations.Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who directs the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, spoke about the floods that devastated his hometown, Chennai, India, this week. The wealthiest one billion people in the world enjoy “seemingly unlimited” access to fossil fuels, he said, while the bottom three billion “lack access to fossil fuels, even for cooking.”
Dec 04, 2015
The once black-and-white world of climate negotiations for poorer countries has evolved into many shades of gray at talks this week in Paris. For years, many in the developing world said richer countries created the global warming problem with their industrial emissions so it is up to them to clean it up—a sticking point in the past climate negotiations. “Everybody has to participate in cleaning up the mess,” said Richard Somerville, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. “If you are going to take it seriously, everybody has to play a part.”

Dec 04, 2015
In the bewildering world of international treaties, progress is often measured in terms of brackets, which contain contested text, and options, which represent proposals from different countries. Then there are brackets within brackets within options. When the negotiations began on 30 November, there were Nature lays out some key issues heading into the crucial second week of the talks. The negotiations aren't the only climate-related activity in Paris right now. Thousands of people are running a simultaneous conference that looks at sustainability from all angles — including the influence of cities, aviation, shipping and biodiversity. These issues don't feature in the political debate in Paris, but many scientists and environmental campaigners say they must be part of the solution moving forward. “I think we should start talking about the blue-green economy,” says Lisa Levin, director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Dec 04, 2015
Matt Siegfried is a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and a glaciologist on the ROSETTA-ICE field project in Antarctica. This research season, he's writing a blog for Nature about life in the field. While exciting updates keep streaming into my inbox, I’ve had to abruptly shift gears to prepare for two week-long conferences in the next two weeks. On Saturday, I hop on yet another airplane to cross an ocean (for those counting, I will have crossed three of the world’s five oceans in fewer than ten days), this time to attend the UN climate negotiations in Paris (follow the Scripps Institution of Oceanography delegation here). From there, I head back to California for the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, where I will present some of my dissertation research and co-chair a session of talks and posters on physical processes at the bed of ice sheets and glaciers.

Los Angeles Times
Dec 02, 2015
If the United Nations' climate change conferences — like the one going on in Paris now — were a person, that person would now be old enough to drink. For 21 years, the world has met, conferred and come away knowing it has to do better. That's about half the time Veerabhadran Ramanathan has been studying human effects on global climate. A professor of oceanography at the Scripps Institution at UC San Diego, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican, Ramanathan is one of the pope's delegates to the Paris conference.

Dec 01, 2015
In early December, the drill ship JOIDES Resolution will depart Colombo, Sri Lanka, and head for a spot in the southwestern Indian Ocean known as Atlantis Bank. There, it will lower a drill bit and try to screw it through 1.5 kilometres of rock, collecting a core sample as it goes. If all goes well, future expeditions — not yet scheduled or funded — will return and finalize the push into the mantle. Scientists first tried to reach the Moho in the middle of the twentieth century. In the 1960s, US scientists led ‘Project Mohole’, which drilled into the sea floor off Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The project reached a depth of just 183 metres before costs ballooned and Congress killed it. “We live on this Earth and we ought to know something about what happens beneath us,” says Walter Munk, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who conceived Project Mohole with colleagues over cocktails one evening in 1957.

Dec 01, 2015
A team from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is in Paris attending the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change. They are there to educate conference delegates, who are working on an international climate treaty, on the role the ocean plays in climate change. "The Kyoto Protocol, the biggest environmental treaty that was signed globally about climate change doesn't have the word ocean in it," said Yassir Eddebbar, a graduate student in oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography who leaves for Paris Wednesday. When world leaders decide on climate change goals — like reducing carbon emissions — the role of the ocean needs to be taken into consideration, Eddebbar said.

Nov 30, 2015
As world leaders converge on Paris Monday to begin a much-anticipated round of climate change talks, it will be only the 21st session of the conference of the parties to the U.N.’s climate-change framework treaty. But the world has worried about climate change and its effects for far longer. The hole in the ozone layer brought the issue into focus for many non-experts in the 1980s, but scientists have been aware that the Earth’s climate is changing—and that human actions can affect that change—for over a century. It was around that time [1950s] that Roger Revelle of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego made a discovery: according to his research, human activity was adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than nature could handle.