Scripps in the News

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Jul 02, 2015
<p>Non-avian dinosaurs weren&rsquo;t the only victims of the mass extinction that marks the end of the Cretaceous period. Roughly three-quarters of plants and animals on Earth also succumbed to the catastrophic environmental effects of a massive impact by an asteroid or comet (scientists are pretty sure that was the trouble). But one group of animals appears to have triumphed in the aftermath: fish. Michael Balter reports for Science that the extinction of animals competing for food made room in Earth&rsquo;s seas for ray-finned fishes, so named for the boney spines or rays that support their fins. Thus began the &quot;New Age of Fishes,&quot; according to the researcher&rsquo;s paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.&nbsp; A collection of fish teeth and shark scales from the Early Cenozoic period. (Elizabeth Sibert with Yale University via Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.)</p>

The New York Times
Jul 02, 2015
<p>Andrew P. Nosal of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said swimmers should stay close to shore and in groups, and avoid fishing areas and places where rivers flow into the ocean. People should be especially careful at times when sharks tend to be more active: dusk, night, and dawn.</p>

The New York Times
Jun 30, 2015
<p>In general, compared with land, the global ocean is unfamiliar. Which helps explain why scientists have only recently come to realize that the bristlemouth &mdash; a fish of the middle depths that glows in the dark and can open its mouth extraordinarily wide, baring needlelike fangs &mdash; is the most numerous vertebrate on the earth. Dr. Davison of the Farallon Institute, when he was a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, worked with colleagues there to plumb the Pacific off Southern California, doing so repeatedly from 2010 to 2012. Again, the little fish ruled.</p>

National Geographic
Jun 30, 2015
<p>Deep beneath the surface of the Red Sea, a rainbow of glowing corals have been discovered that&#39;s unlike anything scientists have ever seen. &quot;I was indeed surprised to find such a great color diversity at these greater depths,&quot; said J&ouml;rg Wiedenmann, a marine biologist at the U.K.&#39;s University of Southampton. When Wiedenmann illuminated the corals with blue or ultraviolet light&mdash;mimicking what&#39;s found in the ocean depths&mdash;he found that they could also glow red or green. Interestingly, Wiedenmann also discovered that the corals could produce these pigments in the absence of any light at all. (Watch: Go beneath the waves and see coral reefs in living color.) &quot;To me, the most interesting part of the study is the range of colors you can find in very closely related species,&quot; Dimitri Deheyn, a marine biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego,&nbsp; who wasn&#39;t involved in the research. He expected that similar corals would have similar colors, rather than the array that Wiedenmann found.</p>

The Huffington Post
Jun 29, 2015
<p>Sardines are important food for salmon, tuna, whales, and other species: recent large numbers of starving sea lion pups and abandoned brown pelican nests are likely connected to the lack of sardines. Will sardines recover? &quot;When you impose natural variability on top of [warming waters], an extreme &#39;natural&#39; event becomes even more extreme. I expect we&#39;ll see more of that in the future,&rdquo; said Biologist David Checkley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.</p>

Smithsonian Science News
Jun 22, 2015
<p>Hypoxia, the lack of oxygen in our estuaries, coastal and deep ocean waters, is on the rise and endangering marine life around the world. Its causes are a complex mix of excess nutrients and our warming world. Agriculture, human waste, and rising levels of atmospheric CO2 underlie these changes. Denise Breitburg, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. near the Chesapeake Bay, answers a few questions about marine hypoxia. Breitburg and Lisa Levin of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego were co-authors of a recent article on ocean deoxygenation in the journal Nature Climate Change.</p>

USA Today
Jun 21, 2015
<p>Throngs of red tuna crabs washed ashore Southern California beaches this week, likely the result of warmer water off the coast, scientists said. The tiny one-to-three inch, crawfish-like creatures floated onto shore in hordes so deep that parts of the beach were completely covered. Scientists believe patches of warm water are drawing the crabs further north from their primary habitat near Baja California. &quot;Typically such strandings of these species in large numbers are due to warm water intrusions,&quot; Linsey Sala, collection manager for the Pelagic Invertebrates Collection at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, said in a statement on the institution&#39;s website.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Los Angeles Times
Jun 19, 2015
<p>Pope Francis&rsquo;s new encyclical urging humanity to wean itself off fossil fuels &ldquo;without delay&rdquo; was particularly meaningful to Veerabhadran Ramanathan. Ramanathan, a climate change scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, is not Catholic. But since 2004, he has served on the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. It was that role that led him to a face-to-face encounter with the pope in May 2014. This is what he told the pontiff: &quot;We have a collection of experts from around the world who are concerned about climate change. The changes are already happening and getting worse, and the worst consequences will be felt by the world&#39;s 3 billion poor people.&rdquo;</p>

Yahoo Health
Jun 19, 2015
<p>If you go to the beach, it&rsquo;s probably crossed your mind at least once: Shark attacks can happen. There were 52 reported shark attacks in the U.S. last year, none of which were fatal, says Andrew Nosal, Ph.D., a marine biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. However, experts say there are some things you can do to minimize the odds a shark attack will happen to you: Don&rsquo;t Swim at Dusk&hellip;or Dawn. Sharks can more easily confuse us for fish when water is cloudy or visibility is poor or low, like first thing in the morning, in the evening, or at night. They&rsquo;re also the most active at dusk and dawn, says Nosal.</p>

The Chicago Tribune
Jun 18, 2015
<p>In a sweeping environmental manifesto aimed at spurring concrete action, Pope Francis called Thursday for a bold cultural revolution to correct what he described as a &quot;structurally perverse&quot; economic system where the rich exploit the poor, turning Earth into an &quot;immense pile of filth.&rdquo; Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego,&nbsp; said the encyclical is a &quot;game-changer in making people think about this.&rdquo; Francis framed climate change as an urgent moral issue to address in his eagerly anticipated encyclical, blaming global warming on an unfair, fossil fuel-based industrial model that harms the poor most. &quot;It&#39;s not politics anymore,&quot; he said, adding that science is often difficult to understand but that people respond to arguments framed by morality and ethics.</p>