Scripps in the News

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KPBS
Dec 29, 2015
Scripps Institution of Oceanography climate researcher David Pierce said this year's El Niño remains one of the strongest on record, but it has not yet channeled monster storms toward California.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dec 22, 2015
A winter storm that began in British Columbia blanketed Southern California on Tuesday, bringing light showers and nippy conditions that could last through Wednesday morning in San Diego County. More wet and chilly weather is expected this week: A cold low-pressure system might result in showers late Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, according to the National Weather Service. In 2014, a pool of unseasonably warm water began to develop off the West Coast. By April of this year, it had gained the unofficial name “the blob.” UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla staged an international forum to tackle the question: What is this occurrence? No one came up with a definitive answer, but it soon became clear that the ocean off of Southern California was likely to grow even warmer because an El Niño was developing.

Carbon Brief
Dec 18, 2015
With the ink only just dry on the agreement signed in Paris to curb global carbon emissions, scientists at this year’s American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco have been reacting to the landmark deal and digesting some of the finer details. Here are a few scientists Carbon Brief found at the conference to share their thoughts on what the Paris agreement means and where the world goes from here. Prof Ram Ramanathan – Professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and member of the Holy See delegation at COP21 on a global achievement.

Space.com
Dec 16, 2015
Humanity shouldn't dally in its quest to colonize Mars, SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk says. "Now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it's possible for us to extend life to another planet," Musk told a huge crowd here Tuesday (Dec. 15) at the annual winter meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk talks to Margaret Leinen, the director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, on Dec. 15, 2015, at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dec 14, 2015
As a man of science and a man of the cloth, George Hemingway lived a life that delved into fact and faith. A biological oceanographer who was also an Episcopal priest, he found the two divinely tied together. “Science is an orderly, structured way of knowing. For me, as a Christian, science contributes to the self-revelation of God’s order and plan,” he said in a Union-Tribune story published in 1996. Mr. Hemingway, a seagoing research scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego ordained in 1985, died Nov. 8 at his home in Nehalem, Ore., after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 75. He joined Scripps in 1966. As a scientist there for more than 30 years, Mr. Hemingway was highly regarded for his contributions to the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), a marine research program that is considered to be one of the best in the world.

Discovery News
Dec 14, 2015
Melting ice triggered by global warming may make Earth whirl faster than before and could shift the axis on which the planet spins, researchers say. This could also affect sunset times, as the length of Earth’s day depends on the speed at which the planet rotates on its axis. Prior research found the rate at which Earth spins has changed over time. When polar ice caps melt, they remove weight off underlying rock, which then rebounds upward. This makes the poles less flat and the planet more round overall. This should in turn cause Earth to tilt a bit and spin more quickly. However, previous research mysteriously could not find evidence that melting glaciers were triggering a shift in either Earth’s rotation or axis that was as great as predicted. This problem is known as “Munk’s enigma,” after oceanographer Walter Munk at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who first noted the mystery, in 2002.

KPBS
Dec 14, 2015
San Diego may have received a smattering of rain over the weekend. But according to the KPBS Drought Tracker, California has so far not been getting unusually high levels of precipitation this rainy season. As of Monday morning, California had racked up 26 percent of the statewide rainfall it normally receives between Oct. 1 and April 1. The average Sierra snowpack level was at 21 percent of what normally piles up by April 1. "Everything seems to be pretty close to the normal line," said Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego climate researcher Sam Iacobellis. "To 'bust the drought,' of course we'd like to see much higher than normal.” So far, Iacobellis said there's no cause to worry about the drought getting worse. But there's also no reason to celebrate yet.

CBS News
Dec 14, 2015
Melting ice triggered by global warming may make Earth whirl faster than before and could shift the axis on which the planet spins, researchers say. Prior research found the rate at which Earth spins has changed over time. When polar ice caps melt, they remove weight off underlying rock, which then rebounds upward. This makes the poles less flat and the planet more round overall. This should in turn cause Earth to tilt a bit and spin more quickly. However, previous research mysteriously could not find evidence that melting glaciers were triggering a shift in either Earth's rotation or axis that was as great as predicted. This problem is known as "Munk's enigma," after oceanographer Walter Munk at Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego, who first noted the mystery, in 2002. Now, in a new study, researchers may have solved this enigma and shown that rising sea levels are indeed affecting Earth's spin and axis.

Bloomberg
Dec 10, 2015
As diplomats in Paris began one of their last days to ink a climate treaty, something symbolic took place on the Bloomberg Carbon Clock, that real-time estimate of the atmosphere’s CO2 level. In short, the most important gas heating the Earth turned 400. But 400 what, you may ask? CO2 (carbon dioxide to the periodic table-impaired) now makes up an average of 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. This is according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who monitor the (ostensibly) clear air of the Pacific Ocean at Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory. Their data powers the Clock. "Will daily values at Mauna Loa ever fall below 400 ppm again in our lifetimes?'' Ralph Keeling, the Scripps scientist who oversees CO2 monitoring, wrote in October. "I’m prepared to project that they won’t, making the current values the last time the Mauna Loa record will produce numbers in the 300s.''

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dec 10, 2015
Munk’s official biography says he retired from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. But the reality is different. After his morning swim, the 98-year-old Munk often works for the rest of the day, and he will give you a puzzled look if you ask him why.