Scripps in the News

Search print, web, television, and radio press clips about Scripps Institution of Oceanography research and people.
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Inside Climate News
Feb 04, 2017
Researchers have developed a new method for determining the source of black carbon—a particularly nasty type of pollution that can blanket the Arctic—giving some hope that this known accelerator of climate change could be slowed. Black carbon, the soot that darkens the sea ice, causing it to absorb heat from the sun instead of reflecting it, speeds up the rate at which the ice disappears. It's yet another severe aspect of climate change—except that its lifespan is just days or weeks, as opposed to carbon dioxide's, which can last a century or more. A new study, released earlier this week in the scientific journal PNAS, provides "a very powerful tool" in combating black carbon, said Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who was not a part of the study.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Feb 03, 2017
Even so, volunteer Sally Beach (“Yes, that’s really my last name.”) still managed to kick off a recent Birch Aquarium at Scripps whale watching excursion with a prediction that ended up being 100 percent accurate, and we hadn’t even left the pier yet.

CBS News
Feb 02, 2017
A wild octopus surprised an Australian diver this week by suddenly, and quite dramatically, inflating itself with water, ballooning up like a parachute. Later, when the diver posted a video of the interaction online, she wondered whether the octopus was trying to intimidate her with its grandiose size. A team of marine biologists at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego gave one likely explanation. The video shows how the octopus used camouflage to blend its color and body texture with its habitat, the Scripps team said. When the animal sees the diver, the octopus spreads out its arms twice, likely to make itself look larger, the scientists added.“This behavior is used to say, ‘Look how big I am. You don’t want to eat me,’ to a predator,” said Caitlin Scully, a spokesperson at the aquarium.

Wired
Feb 02, 2017
Last March, a paper by a geoscientist named Rob DeConto came out in Nature outlining a new paradigm for how Antarctic ice sheets are impacted by climate change resulting in sea levels rising by almost twice what scientists had predicted for the end of the century. News of that paper soon landed on the desk of Jerry Brown, governor of California and fired-up proponent of climate change science. Now, he has convened a group of seven scientists, including DeConto, to sift through that study and other recent research to calculate new projections for sea level rise—and, importantly, think about what it could mean for California’s coast. Over the next three months, the team will read, discuss, and synthesize. Eventually, they’ll arrive at numbers. And those numbers will have huge implications for the Golden State’s infrastructure, planning, and the budgets that support them.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Feb 01, 2017
Global warming could one day freeze Northern Europe, according to new research by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego scientist Shang-Ping Xie and his former student Wei Liu, now a researcher at Yale. In a study published last month, they say the Atlantic circulation pattern that keeps Europe cozy is likely to collapse due to climate change. The researchers estimate the circulation pattern, best known as the Gulf Stream, could switch off centuries in the future. If that happens, it could cause surface air temperatures in Europe to plunge more than 12 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, and drive intense storms in the Northern Hemisphere.

Los Angeles Times
Jan 28, 2017
A swarm of seafaring robots unleashed by researchers at UC San Diego has discovered how plankton might get together to have sex: by harnessing the motion of the ocean. The robots, described in the journal Nature Communications, shed fresh light on the mysterious behaviors of the tiny but legion creatures that help form the foundation of marine food chains. “If you want to find another plankter just like you so you can have sex, the equivalent in human terms would be [each] person at the far end of a football field and you both have blindfolds on and you’re just randomly walking around hoping to bump into each other,” said study coauthor Peter Franks, a biological oceanographer at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And yet in spite of the odds against them, plankton still manage to find each other. Franks had an idea two decades ago after taking photos of the ocean from an airplane: Perhaps they harnessed the actual physics of the ocean.

KPBS
Jan 26, 2017
The reproduction rituals for underwater creatures can be a bit bizarre. Marine conservationist Marah Hardt of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego she struck on the idea to write a book about them after getting frustrated that stories about damage to the oceans weren’t getting widespread attention. Hardt’s book is called "Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection With Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep."

La Jolla Light
Jan 25, 2017
The sculpture is one of more than 10 pieces that artists from California developed for the exhibit after dialogues with Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) scientists who research climate change or related matters. In this case, the artist worked closely with scientists Art Miller and Alexander Gershunov, who acted as a consultant for the exhibit.

Los Angeles Times
Jan 24, 2017
The announcement in June of 2016 of Los Angeles's driest year seemed like an ominous milestone, but just six months later, L.A. has seen a major turnaround. Los Angeles is experiencing its wettest winter in years, with 14.33 inches of rain since October. Atmospheric river storms are coming from an area of the ocean that has warmer temperatures and have arrived in a number and size not seen in years, said Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

KPBS
Jan 24, 2017
On a recent stormy day, choppy waves crashed into the Scripps pier. Scenes like this are probably what most people picture when they think of waves. But surface waves aren't the only kind. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Peter Franks is interested in waves beneath the surface — internal waves.