Scripps in the News

Search print, web, television, and radio press clips about Scripps Institution of Oceanography research and people.
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The Los Angeles Times
Feb 14, 2015

Scientists from NOAA, the Department of Energy, NASA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the state Department of Water Resources and other agencies are trying to better understand how atmospheric rivers evolve as they encounter the state's up-and-down topography. They are also researching how the composition of aerosols, which can be natural or man-made, influences the amount of rain and snow that clouds release.


San Diego Reader
Feb 14, 2015

San Diego is so arid, it can leave mushroom hunters foraging for irrigation. No one knows how many kinds of mushrooms there are in San Diego, what medicinal or other properties they may have, where they grow, or how they’re doing in a changing climate. “It is clearly a scientific question that needs answering — and one I’ve been enjoying trying to help answer,” says Dr. Mary Ann Hawke, a plant ecologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Hawke is working on a project to document the county’s mushrooms — part of an international effort to “barcode” species by sequencing their DNA.


Discovery News
Feb 13, 2015

For five years, United Nations climate negotiators and onlookers have been focused on one big-ticket objective: Preventing the planet from heating up by more than 2°C, or 3.6°F. That’s a convoluted goal, though. Not all the extra energy that’s trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases manifests as warmth at its surface; most of it heats up the oceans. If current trends continue, scientists say we would blow past the 2°C target within a few decades — but the modeling required to make that projection produces substantial uncertainty. David Victor, UC San Diego professor of international relations, and Charles Kennel, director emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, triggered substantial debateafter they wrote an essay, published by Nature in October, arguing that “the 2°C goal is wrong-headed,” because “there are better ways to measure the stress” that humans place on the climate. “Some of the backlash from ‘denialists’ is partly rooted in policy-makers’ obsession with global temperatures that do not actually move in lockstep with the real dangers of climate change,” they wrote


The Los Angeles Times
Feb 13, 2015

If you ever wanted to see the inner workings of a deep-sea ocean research vessel, head to San Diego for a tour of the Melville. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is getting ready to say goodbye to a vessel it has operated for 46 years and that has helped scientists and researchers study oceans around the world. The oldest ship in the institution's fleet (built in 1969) will open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 21 before it's retired from service. What happens to the ship now? The Melville is owned by the Navy, which will put it up for sale. Scripps will replace it with a new research vessel called the Sally Ride, named for the first U.S. woman to go into space.


Arizona Daily Star
Feb 12, 2015

If you're still alive in Tucson through 2050 and beyond, you may well experience the longest, driest drought the Southwest has experienced in at least 1,000 years. That's the message of a new study written by scientists at Columbia and Cornell universities and released Thursday. Thanks to human-caused global warming, this region and the Great Plains are likely to experience droughts from 2050 to 2100 that are worse than the "megadroughts" that lasted up to 60 years in the Southwest in pre-Medieval times, the study said. Daniel Cayan, a San Diego-based climate scientist who didn't work on this study, said "I'm not sure I endorse a real sensational statement" about future Southwestern droughts. But he believes that droughts that society has weathered in recent history will be exacerbated in the future by a warmer climate, he said in an interview. "This latest drought situation we're seeing along the West Coast, into Nevada and parts of the Southwest, they've been aggravated by the fact that we've had record warm temperatures," said Cayan of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.


San Diego 6
Feb 11, 2015

Marine collector Phil Zerofski has arguably one of the most fascinating offices on the planet. He captures sea creatures in a quest to find new cures for human diseases. Zerofski looks for specimens that have been requested by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. "It’s awesome there's a lot of really bright people out here; just being a little part of their research is fun for me,” he said. He let San Diego 6 News anchor Neda Iranpour and photographer Juve Mata tag along for one of his collections. Scientist Amro Hamdoun said “we spawn sea urchins.” Hamdoun and fellow scientist Tufan Gokirmak are looking for cancer cures using urchin embryos.


NBC 7
Feb 10, 2015

Several penguins at SeaWorld are acting as test swimmers for a dive study proposed by a San Diego penguin expert. Dr. Paul Ponganis, a penguin expert at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has been attaching cameras to emperor penguins living at SeaWorld’s Penguin Encounter. The study Ponganis is proposing would strap similar cameras to the ones SeaWorld penguins have now to wild emperor penguins in Antarctica. The proposal is awaiting a grant from the National Science Foundation. If approved, Ponganis would attach backpack cameras to emperor penguins in the wild and collect data from that footage.


Bloomberg Business
Feb 10, 2015

The National Research Council, which writes fat, independent reports on complicated topics for policymakers, has at last weighed in on the utility— and possible consequences—of re-engineering the planet to ease global warming's worst impacts. Geoengineering has provided a shock of fresh air to climate debates in recent years because it's complicated, and that means it has initially resisted being deformed into either political party's talking points. It's a question fraught with moral, political, and scientific uncertainties. Fifty years ago this week, the White House first weighed in on global warming. President Lyndon Johnson wrote in a special message to Congress that "air pollution is no longer confined to isolated places. Several months later, Johnson's scientific advisers issued a report, Restoring the Quality of Our Environment (PDF), which was dug up last week by the news website Daily Climate. The team included Roger Revelle of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who had overseen the beginning of carbon dioxide monitoring and, three years later, would inspire a young Al Gore to pursue an interest in global warming.


The New York Times
Feb 08, 2015

Even though the camera and the instrument to measure planetary radiation no longer have top billing, Francisco P. J. Valero, the scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who proposed them, thinks the L1 observations will still revolutionize the field. In addition to delivering colorful photographs, the camera will track the movement of ozone, dust and other aspects of the atmosphere.


Discovery News
Feb 06, 2015

Oceanographer Rob Pinkel unpacked crates of scientific instruments this week aboard the 272-foot research vessel Falkor while docked in the port of Hobart, on the island of Tasmania. He checked the weather and made preparations along with several dozen other scientific crew members to hunt for an elusive ocean phenomenon, massive “internal waves” that are born on the tidal straits of New Zealand, chug across the Tasman Sea, and bounce off the coastline of Tasmania.