Scripps in the News

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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).

Mar 03, 2015

Davis et al. (including Scripps's Sarah Giddings) examined the role of the Salish Sea in delivering nutrients to the continental shelf. The researchers found estuary-enhanced upwelling in the Strait of Juan de Fuca to be a critical source of nitrogen to shelf waters, accounting for almost half of the primary productivity on the Vancouver Island shelf and a third of productivity on the Washington shelf.
Mar 02, 2015

A powerful method for analyzing and predicting nature's dynamic and interconnected systems is now providing new forecasting and management tools for Canada's premier fishery. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scripps graduate student Hao Ye, Scripps Professor George Sugihara, and fisheries coauthors in Canada describe how the technique, called empirical dynamic modeling, or EDM, improved forecasting for Fraser River sockeye salmon, a highly prized fishery in British Columbia.
Developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego by Sugihara, the McQuown Chair Distinguished Professor of Natural Science, the new technique uses archives of field data to drive predictions of future performance.

U-T San Diego
Mar 01, 2015

For graduate archaeology student Tom Holm, an iconic children’s story linked a cryptic chapter in California’s past with a modern-day Indian tribe in San Diego County. A decision by the Navy last week validated a cultural connection between the historic Nicoleno Tribe of San Nicolas Island — the most remote of the Channel Islands — and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. The  determination gives the tribe jurisdiction over hundreds of human remains and burial objects. Holm also hopes the Navy’s announcement will shed more light on the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, a mysterious historical figure memorialized in the children’s novel “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” by author Scott O’Dell. Holm, now a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, read the story with his own daughter in 2007, and became inspired to pursue a master’s degree in archaeology to sleuth out her story.

The New York Times
Feb 27, 2015

Helen Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., who studies the dynamics of ice flows in Antarctica, said the images were beautiful, but a full scientific explanation was outside her expertise.
“Basically, it’s very cold,” she said. “You’ve got waves. I imagine this does happen all around the edges of the Arctic Ocean. I can’t really say more than that. It’s the ocean freezing.”

The Scientist
Feb 27, 2015

Eugenie Clark, a marine biologist credited with profoundly contributing to researchers’ understanding of sharks, has died. She was 92. Throughout her career, Clark held positions at the University of Maryland, Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Florida, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.