Scripps in the News

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U-T San Diego
Mar 18, 2015

It was not a fluke, but rather a fluke-less whale that had people in awe this week along the Southern California coast. Whale watchers captured video of the tail-less gray whale off Dana Point Sunday after it swam north from San Diego. “Oh, very shocked, I was very shocked to see it,” said Audrey Evans with Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. “It didn't seem like it should be able swim along at the pace that it was swimming at, just because that driving force of that tail was completely missing,” Evans said. Evans was aboard the Flagship Cruises’ Murrieta Saturday when the group of whale watchers saw the tail-less whale swimming with two normal grey whales off Point Loma.

The Guardian
Mar 18, 2015

Curtailing the Earth sciences mission of NASA would deprive scientists of important data relating to volcanic eruptions, destructive algae growth, extreme weather events and much more, experts warned a week after a confrontation on Capitol Hill over the NASA budget between Senator Ted Cruz and the agency director. At a routine budget hearing, Cruz challenged NASA’s administrator, Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, to explain why funding for the agency’s Earth sciences mission had grown while funding for space exploration had shrunk. Top Earth and space scientists warned, however, that the particular exploration of earth that NASA carries out with satellites could not readily be replicated by a different agency. “NASA is an agency that has incredible expertise in satellites and in getting satellites into space,” said Margaret Leinen, vice-chancellor for marine sciences and director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. “And while NOAA does some of that, NASA is the agency that, that’s their bread-and-butter. They are the experts.”

U-T San Diego
Mar 17, 2015

San Diego beaches are 33-50 feet wider than normal due to a lack of strong winter storms, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography says in a report released Tuesday.

Mar 16, 2015

A heat wave that gripped San Diego from Friday through Sunday, the last weekend of winter, shattered previous daytime high temperatures by as much as 9 degrees. Temperatures soared across the county into the 80s and 90s, surpassing the normal mid-March daytime high temperature of 67 degrees. The summer-like temperatures, that are expected to begin breaking down on Monday, are result of a strong high-pressure system and mild Santa Ana winds. "I think what we’re experiencing is in large part natural variability, but it’s also partly driven by the fact that the globe is warming," said Alexander Gershunov, a research meteorologist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Gershunov said the world is warming non-uniformly. He said the West has been warming stronger and more consistently than other regions of the country.

Mar 15, 2015

After several months of speculation due to borderline conditions in the Pacific Ocean, El Niño is finally here, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center. They issued an El Niño advisory on March 5, 2015. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego said: “Typically, the ocean surface warms up by a few degrees Celsius. At the same time, the place where hefty thunderstorms occur on the equator moves eastward. Although those might seem like small differences, it nevertheless can have big effects on the world’s climate.”

Mar 13, 2015

U.S. geoscientists are accustomed to being used as a punching bag by climate change skeptics in Congress, who challenge the science of global warming. But some influential Republican legislators are now going a step further, by denigrating the discipline itself. Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX), the new chair of the science and space panel within the Senate commerce committee and an unofficial presidential candidate, asserted yesterday at a hearing that the earth sciences are not “hard science.” The idea that the geosciences aren’t hard science comes as a shock to Margaret Leinen, president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a former head of the National Science Foundation’s geosciences directorate. “Of course the geosciences are part of the hard sciences,” says Leinen, head of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and vice chancellor for marine sciences at the University of California, San Diego. “They provide us with very fundamental knowledge about the way the planet works, knowledge grounded in the physical sciences.”

National Geographic
Mar 13, 2015

Low-oxygen areas are expanding in deep waters, killing some creatures outright and changing how and where others live. It may get much worse.  Scientists are debating how much oxygen loss is spurred by global warming, and how much is driven by natural cycles. “I don’t think people realize this is happening right now,” says Lisa Levin, an oxygen expert with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. J. Anthony Koslow, of Scripps tallies fish often credited with keeping marine systems functioning soundly—tiny midwater bristlemouths, the region’s most abundant marine species, as well as viperfish, hatchetfish, razor-mouthed dragonfish, and even minnow-like lampfish.

Globe and Mail
Mar 09, 2015

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California found their new method was more accurate than most preseason forecasts of Fraser River sockeye runs from the past 58 years.

U-T San Diego
Mar 05, 2015

The Birch Aquarium in La Jolla plans to introduce marine science to more children who rarely have the chance to explore the ocean, thanks to a record-tying $6 million gift that will be announced today. The donation from Price Philanthropies in City Heights will establish an endowment to fund aquarium presentations for up to 10,000 local students each year — and to bring a three-day beach science program to sixth-grade classes in low-income neighborhoods. The new donation is the largest gift since 1986, when the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation gave $6 million to pay for a 31,000-square-foot aquarium and ocean science center at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Both Scripps and Birch Aquarium are part of UC San Diego.
Mar 04, 2015

An international team of scientists which included three University of Granada and the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences researchers (a joint UGR-CISC centre) have found new data on the weather in the Mediterranean basin over the course of the past 20 thousand years thanks to the chemical composition of sediments deposited in its seabed. This work has been published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. Its authors include Francisca Martínez Ruiz y David Gallego Torres (Andalusia Institute of Earth Sciences, CSIC-UGR), both of them members of the RNM179 research group, as well as Miguel Ortega Huertas (from the Mineralogy and Petrology Department). The other co-authors are Miriam Kastner (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, USA), Marta Rodrigo Gámiz (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Texel, The Netherlands) and Vanesa Nieto Moreno (Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany).