To our friends at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and US National Weather Service San Diego California: We have something that may help you answer any questions you're receiving about El Niño!
We got in touch with experts from Scripps Oceanography to answer some common questions about El Niño and its impacts. With expertise ranging from climate science to coastal resilience to oceanography, this explainer is a handy tool for sharing more information about the climate phenomena that alter weather patterns around the world. ⬇️
What is El Niño?
El Niño and La Niña are natural climate phenomena that alter weather patterns around the world. El Niño occurs irregularly but shows up roughly every three to seven years and typically lasts between nine and 12 months with occasional exceptions that linger for multiple years.
Surf’s up! 🌊🏄♀️ Scripps Oceanography’s Coastal Data Information Program - CDIP has been recording a series of large wave events along the West Coast. Extratropical storm activity in the Pacific Ocean generated the swells of late December, continuing into the new year, consistent with the ongoing .
Here in La Jolla, photographer John H. Moore captured these striking images of the big surf — and the bold surfers who dared to ride the waves — during this epic event.
The pulse that arrived on Dec. 28 approached historic records at several California buoy stations. The largest wave recorded by CDIP during this event reached an astonishing 15.8 meters (51.8 feet) at Cape Mendocino. Point Sur measured the highest significant wave height — the average measurement of the largest 33% of waves — at 8.93 meters (29.3 feet). In San Diego County, the largest individual wave measured by CDIP was 7.57 meters (24.8 feet) at the Mission Bay West buoy.
The combination of large waves and high tides led to significant coastal flooding and erosion, which Scripps scientists are also measuring.
More on the recent West Coast swells here: http://blog.cdipucsd.org/2023-12_west_coast_swells/
Visit CDIP's website for more wave data: https://cdip.ucsd.edu/
All photos credited to John H. Moore 📸
Scripps Oceanography researchers revisited two industrial undersea dumpsites off the coast of Southern California, where they conducted a seafloor survey in April 2023. The work is part of an ongoing effort to understand environmental impacts from industrial waste dumping that occurred in the area between the 1930s and 1970s. Using instruments including a deep water autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), the team collected new video imagery showing that many of the objects on the seafloor are discarded military munitions.
The expedition was led by Scripps oceanographers Sophia Merrifield and Eric Terrill, the same team who initially surveyed the site in 2021. The goal of the second survey was to extend maps of the seafloor using higher resolution acoustic sonar imaging techniques, along with HD video.
According to a statement from the Navy Region Southwest, “These munitions are likely a result of World War II-era disposal practices.”
Scientists also mapped whale falls, which are sunken whale carcasses. A total of seven whale falls were confirmed with video imagery, of which studies will be ongoing.
Learn more about the 2023 seafloor survey at the link below ⬇️
Second Seafloor Survey of Dumpsite off Coast of Southern California Completed
Image caption: Example munitions surveyed by the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) during the 2023 seafloor survey of the San Pedro Basin. Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego. As part of ongoing efforts to understand the scale of the environmental impact from industrial waste dump...
Greetings from the past 🖖🏾
We're scheduling this on a gloomy day (Wednesday, May 24, 2023) earlier this year. How's the weather at Scripps Pier today? 👀 🌊
Tune into our webcams and comment on what the weather is like today, Wednesday, January 3, 2024! ⬇️
✨ New year, same data sets. ✨
Scripps Oceanography is home to a number of long-term global and regional observing systems that improve our understanding of environmental change and hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires, and harmful algal blooms.
These rich data sets help scientists understand how our planet, its ecosystems, and the creatures that inhabit it are changing over time.
Curious about ocean warming trends? Interested in learning more about Southern California earthquakes? Fascinated by marine life and physical ocean conditions? You can dive into the data below. ⬇️
Data Programs at Scripps
Scripps researchers develop and operate long-term global and regional observing systems that improve understanding of environmental change and hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires, and harmful algal blooms.
📸 As UC San Diego's photographer, Erik Jepsen captures the many moments, milestones and one-of-a-kind views across the campus. These shots of the UC San Diego Surf Team reaching new heights definitely made the list. ☁️ 🌅 🏄🏾
Take a look at some of his favorite photos from 2023, which include several shots of life at Scripps Oceanography. 🌊 ⬇️
🏆 Our Most-Clicked Story of the Year Award goes to: California's Salton Sea May Be Staving Off Earthquakes As It Disappears
Our global audience was fascinated by the research led by Scripps Oceanography and San Diego State University that found that as the Salton Sea in Southern California has dried up, it has stabilized the southern section of the San Andreas Fault, perhaps delaying the next “big one.
What were some of your favorite Scripps studies or newsworthy clips from this year? Comment below! ⬇️
California’s Salton Sea May Be Staving Off Earthquakes As It Disappears
New research led by scientists at San Diego State University (SDSU) in collaboration with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography finds that as the Salton Sea in Southern California has dried up, it has stabilized the southern section of the San Andreas Fault, perhaps delaying the next ...
This recent Scripps Oceanography alum's career is already taking flight! 🦉Keep reading to hear more about his wild career.
As part of the interdisciplinary undergraduate Environmental Systems (ESYS) Program at Scripps, Daniel Banyai-Becker (UC San Diego Alumni '20) focused on ecology, behavior, and evolution with a minor in general biology. He now works as a research associate with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance where he does banding and translocation of burrowing owls throughout San Diego County.
"Studying in the Environmental Systems department turned out to be the best decision I could have made at UC San Diego," he said.
Learn more about Daniel's time at Scripps. ⬇️
Hoping your Christmas is merry and bright 🎄 🌊 ✨
📸: on Instagram
This is no ordinary snowflake. ❄️ It's actually a collage created using an aerial photo taken by Scripps Oceanography researcher Jamin Greenbaum while in transit via helicopter to deploy sensors at Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica.
Swipe to see one of the photos of the stunning Antarctic landscape captured by Jamin. ➡️
Happy Holidays from your friends at Scripps Oceanography!
📣 Calling all undergraduate students—you have the opportunity to spend your summer immersed in marine science as part of the Scripps Oceanography Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) Summer Internship Program! 🌊🔬
This ten-week paid research program in marine science and technology allows undergraduate students to learn and conduct research alongside renowned scientists.
Students contemplating a career in scientific research and development are encouraged to apply by January 12, 2024. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply to this program below. ⬇️
⚡️These photos are electrifying! You'll be shocked when you check out these photos of last night's lightning over Scripps Pier captured by UC San Diego photographer Erik Jepsen! 🌩️
🌊 The Ted and Jean Scripps Marine Conservation and Technology Facility (MCTF) opened earlier this year and is already making waves in both scientific discoveries and the design world. The new building recently received a Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Award in the Beyond L.A. category! 🏆
Designed by Safdie Rabines Architects, the 40,410-gross-square-foot facility converts and reimagines portions of the first NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, constructed in 1963, masterfully connecting modern elements with Scripps history. You can learn more about MCTF here: https://bit.ly/3CdQwd5
📸: UC San Diego photographer Erik Jepsen
Yet another consequence of climate change: the world’s natural capital is expected to decrease, which will lead to a 9% loss of ecosystem services by 2100 according to a new study led by Scripps Oceanography scientists.
“The big question is what do we lose when we lose an ecosystem?” said lead author Bernardo Bastien-Olvera, a postdoctoral fellow in the Ricke Lab at Scripps Oceanography. “Flipping the question: What do we gain if we are able to limit climate change and avoid some of its impacts on natural systems? This study helps us better consider damages not usually accounted for. It also reveals an overlooked, yet startling dimension of climate change effects on natural systems – its capacity to exacerbate global economic inequality.”
Learn more about the study recently published in the journal Nature. ⬇️
Ecosystem Benefits to Humanity Expected to Decline by Nine Percent by 2100
Image: Biome range shift in Izta-Popo, Mexico. Credit Armando Vega.
We're feeling festive here on Scripps Pier 🎄 🌊
📸: UC San Diego photographer Erik Jepsen
It’s time to go atmospheric river hunting! 🛫🌧️
The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at Scripps Oceanography leads the (AR Recon) program with the Air Force Reserve, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and California Department of Water Resources to gather important data on atmospheric rivers (ARs) to help forecasters and water managers in the U.S. West Coast.
CW3E researchers work closely with flight navigators to coordinate flights and pinpoint where to deploy instruments called dropsondes into the ARs that collect temperature, pressure, water v***r and wind data.
Along with the flights, AR Recon’s land-based stations release weather balloons called radiosondes, which ascend upwards measuring pressure, temperature and relative humidity.
These advances in AR science are improving forecast reliability, giving dam operators more water supply security. At Prado Dam, a new assessment shows that improved forecasts led to an additional 4,000-6,000 acre-feet of groundwater recharge.
The aim of AR Recon is to “fill in information gaps with direct observations of atmospheric rivers and improve forecasting to inform Western decision-makers regarding storm impacts, water management and flood mitigation,” said Anna Wilson, Field Research Manager at Scripps’ CW3E and AR Recon coordinator.
Learn more about the Atmospheric River Reconnaissance program by visiting the following link: https://bit.ly/3uYXtOO
🌧️: View of NOAA Gulfstream IV Flying over an Atmospheric River. Credit: Rich Henning/NOAA
🧑💻: Anna Wilson and Jennifer Haase from Scripps chat about ARs with Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Rickert, aerial reconnaissance weather officer with the U.S. Air Force. Photo: Erik Jepsen
🛩️ : Maj. Peyton Eustis and 1st Lt. Zach McDermott, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron pilots, fly the WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Photo: Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Kendziorek/403rd Wing
🎈: Weather balloon launch in Marysville, CA featuring Chad Hecht launching the balloon. Photo: Lillian Gilmore
San Diego tide pools are teeming with life, and if you're curious about what creatures live in these diverse ecosystems, you'll have the perfect opportunity to explore them during a event in San Diego this week! 🐚 🐙 🐠
🌊 Once the tide recedes, you'll be able to examine the biodiversity found in tide pools, from nudibranchs and octopuses to seaweeds and hermit crabs.
For those planning to explore, here are some tips on how to tread carefully to keep yourself, the wildlife and the habitat safe, courtesy of Scripps Oceanography PhD students Danielle McHaskell and Olívia Pereira, and alumni Kayla Wilson and Anaí Novoa. ⬇️
Learn more about king tides with California Sea Grant. ⬇️
📸: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego
And that's a wrap on COP28 UAE!
🌊 Over the last 2 weeks, members of the Scripps Oceanography delegation helped lead critical discussions centered on ocean advocacy and sharing the latest ocean science with fellow global leaders and policymakers. The Ocean Pavilion, a collaborative effort between Scripps, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and more than 30 oceanographic partners, helped host over 100 unique programs to help share the message of the critical role oceans play in regulating climate change.
Some highlights of COP28 include:
🌍 Delegates from Scripps Oceanography and School of Global Policy and Strategy met with United States Congressman Scott Peters at the Ocean Pavilion to discuss ways that scientists can help policymakers, and vice versa, to work toward better climate solutions
🎤 Members of the Ocean Pavilion team, including Scripps oceanographer Lynne Talley, organized an official side event advocating for more ocean observations, which are key to better understanding climate impacts like extreme weather and sea-level rise"
🔬 Scripps PhD student Kara Wiggin joined a panel on how women have led the way in discovery and solutions in ocean science with a focus on challenges and opportunities that lie in climate action
🎥 Research economist Tom Corringham spoke with Sky News Arabia سكاي نيوز عربية on ocean climate economics
Interested in all the Ocean Pavilion happenings? All sessions held in the Ocean Pavilion’s Main Theatre were recorded and are now accessible for viewing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/
As an avid ocean lover (and new surfer), Master of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity & Conservation student Sofia Alli is committed to protecting and conserving the marine environments that bring her so much joy. 🏄🏾♀️
She's currently bringing her passion and dedication to Dubai as part of the UC San Diego COP28 UAE delegation, where she is eager to learn more about seabed mining and coastal biodiversity.
"I’ve worked in the past with international marine conservation researchers and nonprofits in South America," she said. "My area of interest is Mexico’s and Central America’s marine policy and energy policy so I am very excited to follow any discussions regarding offshore energy development and climate adaptation in coastal areas."
In addition to her love of the ocean, Sofia is also passionate about raising awareness for how climate change impacts developing nations.
"Latin America specifically is such a rich, diverse, and abundant ecosystem that heavily feels the impact of climate change and marine conservation policy needs to be better tailored to these nations' needs and capabilities," she said. "Climate change needs to be combatted on a global scale and requires delicate cooperation."
🌊 Learn more about Sofia and the other UC San Diego delegates making waves at COP28: https://bit.ly/47EVzRg
Scripps marine biology PhD student Kara Wiggin’s interdisciplinary research allows her to work with and learn from people in a variety of fields. Her passion for environmental science led her to the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps, where she’s studying how microplastic pollution in the ocean interacts with human health. 🌊🦠🔬
“The most exciting thing about my work is learning new things! I love to learn new analysis tools and new lab techniques,” said Kara. “The most exciting day is when I finally run a successful experiment with a new protocol I developed in the lab, or when I finally get new code to run successfully!”
Read more about Wiggin’s research journey by clicking here: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/scripps-student-spotlight-kara-wiggin 🥽
The Northern Anchovy (Engraulis mordax) is a crucial food source for much of California’s most stand out marine life – including droves of sea lions, pods of dolphins, lucrative tuna fisheries, and throngs of whales. But one of the hallmarks of the anchovy population off California is the cycle of booms and busts that can last for more than a decade. 🐟 🌊
New research from Scripps and NOAA Fisheries West Coast scientists may help explain these booms and busts that are a hallmark of California’s anchovies. And if the correlations hold up to further research, they could one day help inform management of California’s anchovy fishery and improve conservation.
🐠 Learn more about the new study that analyzed 45 years-worth of anchovy larvae from the CalCOFI program at the following link: https://bit.ly/419aaT4
📸 : iStock Photo
A new study from Scripps researchers estimates 152,753 infant deaths in Bangladesh over the past 30 years were attributable to living in flood-prone areas. The paper was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The findings show the long-term public health impacts of recurring environmental hazards that are becoming more common under climate change, said associate professor at Scripps and study co-author Tarik Benmarhnia.
Learn more about the research below ⬇️
Three Decades of Data In Bangladesh Show Elevated Risk of Infant Mortality In Flood-Prone Areas
A new study from researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Francisco estimates 152,753 excess infant deaths were attributable to living in flood-prone areas in Bangladesh over the past 30 years. Additionally, across the study period, children born during rainy mo...
COP27 (2022) ➡️ COP28 (happening now!)
Last year, Scripps PhD student Taylor McKie participated in events at the inaugural at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. For her second appearance at the global climate conference (COP28 UAE), she's looking forward to the opportunity to network with individuals and groups working on climate resilience efforts from both the United States and abroad.
"COP allows the space for those conversations to occur at the international level and sets a precedent for the types of decisions and actions we will need to ensure our resilience through the crisis of our generation," she said.
Taylor, who is a member of the Multiscale Ocean Dynamics lab, studies small-scale physical dynamics in the upper ocean. She uses this research to understand how the physics happening below the ocean’s surface influences climate and weather patterns such as rain, drought, and even monsoon storms.
"I wish people would understand how our systems and institutions perpetuate destruction through climate change impacts and that the same systems and institutions as they are cannot be part of the solution," she said. "I think climate change, if we allow for drastic changes to how we function, can be transformative for our societies and though the outcomes will be dire in the short term, there can be an opportunity to create a less harmful and equitable world in the long term."
Watch this episode of Wavelengths to learn more about her research: https://bit.ly/3Pw76wm
Scripps Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and several international partners brought the ocean to Dubai! 🌊
A delegation of Scripps Oceanography scientists are advocating for the ocean at COP28 UAE in the Ocean Pavilion. Located in the United Nations climate conference Blue Zone, the space brings together world leaders in ocean science, engineering, and policy to underscore how crucial our ocean is to the climate while serving as the central hub for conference delegates to exchange ideas on addressing the climate crisis by leveraging ocean science and solutions.
In addition to serving as a hub for panels, the Ocean Pavilion features an immersive theater and meeting spaces to foster discussions on ocean science while addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.
Interested in tuning in? You can watch livestreams and previously recorded panels here: https://bit.ly/3RqAYuS
This is a seaweed appreciation post. 🌿🌊 Flourishing seaweeds along our coasts have limitless potential, from playing a crucial role in combating climate change to promoting human health.
In celebration of seaweed diversity, the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps recently hosted a Seaweed Speakeasy as part of the 2023 California Seaweed Festival.
Highlighting the diversity, importance, and growing interest in seaweeds, the event included a seaweed science showcase, seaweed-inspired food, cocktails and mocktails, seaweed art from local artists, and a live immersive performance by ResilienSEA.
According to Scripps Professor Jennifer Smith, the event co-host, we have several hundred species of native California seaweeds right here off our coast that have so much to offer to society.
“Seaweeds will play a really important role in helping us achieve our sustainability goals from their use as food, feed, fertilizers, cosmetics, bioplastics, biofuels and even as a methane mitigating supplement in livestock,” said Smith.
Coast on over to the following link to learn more about the Seaweed Speakeasy and all that was featured at the event: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/scripps-oceanography-celebrates-seaweed-diversity-california
Photo 1: Handmade seaweed lanterns lit up the night.
Photo 2: Scripps alumna Oriana Poindexter’s cyanotype art (right) and seaweed-inspired ceramics by Olla Ceramics.
Photo 3: Performance by ResilienSEA, an organization connecting communities with ocean conservation and climate action through immersive experiences and performing arts.
Photo 4: Hog Island Oyster Co. served up several hundred fresh raw oysters direct from the farm in Tomales Bay.