Monday, December 15, 2008
SCRIPPS NEWS at 2008 AGU FALL MEETING
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San DiegoMore Lessons from the 8.2KA Event
PP21A-1409 · Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8 a.m. · Moscone North Hall D
PP21C-1452 · Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8 a.m. · Moscone North Hall D
A new analysis of oxygen isotopes collected from ice samples formed during the 8.2ka Event, a period of rapid Northern Hemisphere cooling, suggests that the cooling of the hemisphere moved rain belts to the south and disrupted tropical monsoon patterns. The finding concerns a moment in history when Greenland's temperatures dropped some 3C (5F) in a 60-year period beginning around 6217 B.C.
Horizontal banding of ice layers reveals thousands of years of ice formation at Greenland's Pakitsoq ice margin.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus said the work foretells one potential risk of anthropogenic climate change to agricultural societies that inhabit tropical latitudes. Related work by Severinghaus and his research team suggests that increasing atmospheric methane concentrations 2,000 years ago are more correctly attributed tostrengthening monsoon activity due to increased solar radiation than to human influences.
PRESENTATION TITLES: "HOLOCENE ASIAN AND AFRICAN MONSOON STRENGTH RECORDED IN O18 OF ATMOSPHERIC OXYGEN," AND "TIMING AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THE 8.2 KA EVENT WITH ATMOSPHERIC GASES (O2, CH4, N2, Ar)"
Building a Global Ocean Observatory
IN22A-02 · Tuesday, Dec. 16, 10:35 a.m. · Moscone West 3018
A new global ocean-observing network underway will soon revolutionize the way in which oceanographic research is conducted. The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) will launch a 21st-century monitoring program to study the present and future conditions of Earth through a diversity of oceanic environments, ranging from the coastal to the deep ocean.
Scripps researcher John Orcutt and colleagues from UC San Diego's California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) will present the latest information on the network's cyberinfrastructure design that connects cabled seafloor instruments, global moored buoys and autonomous vehicles to shore facilities and modern computing infrastructures.
The global observatory at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Network, is linked by a system-wide cyberinfrastructure.
The ocean-observing network will connect cities across the United States with near-real-time data and information to support the initiative's broad scientific, education and public outreach goals. The global observatory seeks to better understand and predict the impact of mankind on the interlinked ocean-atmosphere-solid earth system, and the impact of climate variability on marine ecosystems, biodiversity and community structures, including remote, poorly sampled parts of the world's ocean.
A NSF-funded program and managed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, OOI's design is complete and is set to begin construction in mid-2010. Researchers from Scripps Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Washington and Oregon State University are leading various aspects of the OOI network design, in addition to other academic partners.
PRESENTATION TITLE: "CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE NSF OCEAN OBSERVATORIES INITIATIVE"
Cloud Formation and Suppression Are Among the Effects of Wildfires
A33C-0239 · Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1:40 p.m. · Moscone North Hall D
Besides posing immediate health hazards through inhalation, wildfire smoke also has the potential to have a significant influence on cloud formation. Kim Prather, an atmospheric chemistry professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and UCSD's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, graduate student Meagan Moore and others measured cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity during the 2007 wildfires that destroyed more than 1,800 homes in and around San Diego, Calif.
Drifting smoke from San Diego wildfires, Oct. 22, 2007.
They found that the aerosols that flooded the atmosphere in rising columns of smoke bore a high propensity for cloud-forming activity. The team further found a strong correlation between the amount of ammonium present in smoke particles and CCN activity. Because smoke particles can increase or decrease cloud cover, the researchers concluded that aerosols can have a significant effect on climate forcing. Prather and her group are working to better understand the impact of wildfires on cloud properties as these particles can also affect regional precipitation patterns.
PRESENTATION TITLE: "SINGLE PARTICLE COMPOSITION AND CLOUD CONDENSATION NUCLEI (CCN) ACTIVITY DURING THE 2007 SAN DIEGO WILDFIRES"
The Science Behind Sandy Beaches
OS34A-02 · Wednesday, Dec. 17, 4:15 p.m. · Moscone West 2020 and
OS53F-06 · Friday, Dec. 19, 2:55 p.m. · Moscone West 2020
Wide, sandy beaches are meccas for tourists and sightseers, as well as economic engines that boost coastal businesses. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are probing the mechanisms behind Southern California beaches and the forces that contribute to their sand levels.
William O'Reilly, Scripps senior development engineer, is investigating why some sections of the Southern California coast offer significantly more stable beaches than others. Using a network of wave buoys, O'Reilly created a synopsis of wave climate and related coastal impacts from San Diego to Point Conception. He discovered the existence of numerous "subcells" that are bounded by areas of erosion hotspots-well-known surfing destinations-paired with areas of mild erosion. "These adjacent pairs... have significant implications for regional sediment management," said O'Reilly.
Marissa Yates conducts GPS-based surveys of sand levels in a specially outfitted all-terrain vehicle.
In a separate presentation, Scripps graduate student researcher Marissa Yates will describe research employing airborne LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology as well as ground-based GPS surveys to help explain why two San Diego beaches only 10 miles away exhibit vastly different sand profiles. Yates will contrast the beach at Camp Pendleton, which shows significant shoreline changes from season to season, against the stable characteristics displayed at San Onofre Beach. In addition to the surveys, Yates will discuss how the effects of cobbles, bedrock, input from cliffs and offshore sand may contribute to the composite beach sand picture.
"We're exploring the effects of sand grain size and other geologic beach features to explain why some beaches are very stable while others show large changes," said Yates.
PRESENTATION TITLES: "WAVE-DRIVEN LITTORAL SUBCELLS IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT" AND "ALONGSHORE VARIABILITY OF SHORELINE CHANGE AND GEOLOGIC FACTORS"
New Seismometer Offers New Tool for Earthquake Research
S43D-1920 · Thursday, Dec. 18, 1:40 p.m. · Moscone North Hall D
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are developing the next generation of seismometers using fiber optic technology. The new smaller, quieter design offers several improvements to rival the current observatory-based instruments that have monitored ground movements for nearly half a century.
Modern seismometers, which are the foundation of earthquake research and monitoring worldwide, have not changed much since the 1960s. Scripps researchers Jose Otero, Mark Zumberge and Jon Berger recently designed and built a prototype instrument that provides a continuous record of the subtle ground motion from seismic events without the heat-producing electrical connections that limit existing instruments' operations.
The fiber optic seismometer developed by the Scripps research team offers several improvements over the instruments currently monitoring earthquakes.
Otero will present the new prototype design and results from tests conducted at Scripps' Piñon Flat Observatory. The removal of a direct electrical connection enhances the quality of data retrieved by eliminating feedback noise derived from electrical components and enhances opportunities for remote deployment. The new optical design is ideal for operation in underground boreholes, which are key components to monitoring ground motions to improve scientists' understanding of earthquakes.
PRESENTATION TITLE: "AN OPTICAL SEISMOMETER WITHOUT FEEDBACK"
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Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
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