Scripps in the News

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Inside Climate News
Jan 02, 2014

Ralph Keeling, the director of an acclaimed Scripps program that keeps track of the amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere, has renewed his plea for public support of the research, which has suffered from flagging federal grants. "The Scripps CO2 and O2 measurements now face severe funding challenges," Keeling wrote in a letter posted on Dec. 24. "The situation is most urgent for the O2 measurements. These measurements have been supported for decades through proposals submitted every few years to the federal agencies. The value of these measurements is not questioned, but federal funding for these programs has never been so tenuous." The work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has led to many findings beyond just showing how much carbon dioxide and oxygen are in the air at any given moment, although that measurement has generated the most headlines—such as when carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million, more than at any time in human history.

BBC News
Jan 01, 2014

An early warning system for earthquakes, tsunamis and floods is being trialled in the US.

Surfer Today
Dec 30, 2013

Surfing, as a well-established mainstream sport that we know today, couldn't be possible without the work and dedication of the following people. John C. Crowell (1917-). This hidden legend of oceanography has had one of the most important roles in the history of the world. During the summer of 1943, Crowell studied oceanographic meteorology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and was sent to England to work on wave forecasting for the planned Allied Invasion of Normandy. Alongside his army colleague Richard C. Bates, Crowell picked the right day and hour for the troops to make their final assault on Omaha Beach. Using simple surf forecasting models, John C. Crowell changed the way we schedule our waves forever.

U-T San Diego
Dec 23, 2013

A portrait in the office of Margaret Leinen shows her not as the newly appointed director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego but as a young researcher, sitting in a dredge bucket surrounded by piles of dark and porous rocks. Leinen, 67, joined Scripps in October, replacing former director Tony Haymet. Although professor Catherine Constable served as interim director of Scripps after Haymet’s departure, Leinen is the first woman to serve in a permanent position as vice chancellor for marine sciences, director of Scripps and dean of the School of Marine Sciences at the University of California San Diego

The Almagest
Dec 20, 2013

How will regions around the world adapt to an increase in sea levels? A project looking at how Venice can manage its rising waters is a remarkable case study for flood-prone environments elsewhere. One way that Venice – a city with more than five centuries of flood experience – is protecting itself is through the ongoing construction of huge barriers with hinged steel gates to seal off the three inlets that connect the Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea at times of very high water. In addition, soft engineering approaches such as replacing lost salt marshes have also been undertaken. This holistic view has underpinned the work of the Venice Sustainability Advisory Panel, a 10-strong international group of scientists led by Professor Paul Linden and co-investigator Professor Charles Kennel at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. “Science was not enough,” said Kennel. “It was equally crucial to take into account the social, economic and political considerations bearing upon Venice’s decisions about the Lagoon.”

Dec 17, 2013

Although greenhouse gases and aerosols have very distinct properties, their effects on spatial patterns of rainfall change are surprisingly similar, according to new research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. A team of scientists at the IPRC and Scripps has now provided important new insights based on results from experiments with three state-of-the-art climate models. Even though aerosols and greenhouse gases are concentrated in vastly different regions of the earth, all three models revealed similar regional effects on rainfall over the ocean.
“This came as a big surprise to us,” reflected lead-author Shang-Ping Xie, a professor of climate science and first Roger Revelle Chair in Environmental Science at Scripps. “It took a while for the result to sink in. The result means that it is hard to tell apart the greenhouse and aerosol effects.”

Practical Fishkeeping
Dec 15, 2013

In the first global assessment of its kind, a science team led by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has produced a report on the impact of fishing on herbivorous fish populations. These fish are vital to coral reef health due to their role in consuming seaweed, making them known informally as the "lawnmowers" of the reef. Without the lawnmowers, seaweeds can overgrow and out-compete corals, drastically affecting the reef ecosystem. Among their findings, the researchers found that populations of plant-eating fish declined by more than half in areas that were fished compared with unfished sites."One of the most significant findings from this study is that we show compelling evidence that fishing is impacting some of the most important species on coral reefs," said Jennifer Smith, one of the co-authors of the study.

Dec 13, 2013

A network of GPS receivers, some outfitted with $8 accelerometers, is part of a prototype system being tested in Southern California to monitor for earthquakes and other natural hazards. The technology is not new. What is different is the linking of GPS receivers into a real-time network that complies and analyzes their information. The system can then be used to detect earthquakes and extreme weather in the making. “By adding small inexpensive sensors used in popular electronic devices to existing GPS … we can greatly enhance our response to natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, severe weather and flooding,” said researcher Yehuda Bock of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. “The goal is to save lives during natural hazards,” Bock told reporters at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco this week.
Dec 13, 2013

Barry Smitherman sees the planet as not warming. Smitherman, a candidate for Texas attorney general, responded to Republican activist Donna Garner in a Nov. 17, 2013, email: "Donna, I have been battling this global warming hoax for 6 years now. The earth is not warming…" That claim by Smitherman, who also chairs the Texas Railroad Commission, contradicts the latest word from the international body that regularly sifts scientific findings related to climate. Richard Somerville, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, emailed us calling Smitherman’s claim "nonsense." Somerville wrote: "It is just plain foolish to focus on short-term distractions in the climate record due to natural variability, while ignoring the long term-trend due to human activities."

International Business Times
Dec 13, 2013

A new technology, similar to the one used in smartphones, can help scientists get early and more accurate warnings about extreme weather systems, tsunamis and earthquakes, researchers said. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL, in Pasadena, Calif., have enhanced existing GPS technologies with a particular type of sensor typically used in smartphones, video games and laptops, to develop a system that can warn of natural disasters. “Meaningful warnings can save lives when issued within one to two minutes of a destructive earthquake, several tens of minutes for tsunamis, possibly an hour or more for flash floods, and several days or more for extreme winter storms,” Yehuda Bock of Scripps said.