Birch Aquarium Lecture Series To Focus On Regional Climate Change Impacts

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is launching the next iteration of its renowned Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series with a three-part virtual series dedicated to Scripps Oceanography’s multifaceted work on our changing planet.

The series will focus on the regional impacts of climate change in California and the West including timely topics of atmospheric rivers, rising ocean temperatures, and natural disasters.

Each year the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science series brings engaging presentations on research conducted worldwide by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Traditionally hosted live at Birch Aquarium, the lectures have been online since May.

“The new virtual format for the Perspective Lectures has allowed us to reach audiences all over the country in a way we never have before,” said Harry Helling, Executive Director of Birch Aquarium. “This is an exciting opportunity for people to learn how Scripps researchers are tackling tough questions about the impacts of climate change in our own backyard, and how this research is helping inform adaptation and mitigation strategies. These talks make meaningful climate science accessible to our audience.”

Monday, February 8 at 6PM

The Art and Science of Atmospheric Rivers and the Changing Hydroclimate of the West
Meteorologist Alexander Gershunov

California’s precipitation regime is the most volatile in the country. These large natural swings between drought and extremely rainy years make water resource management in California notoriously difficult. Global climate change is expected to exacerbate the volatility by decreasing the frequency of regional precipitation while increasing its intensity. Join meteorologist Alexander Gershunov to learn about the mechanisms behind these projected changes, their anticipated impacts on California, as well as how art can help convey the science.

Monday, March 8 at 6 p.m.

Getting Warmer? Ocean Temperatures off the California Coast Oceanographer Katherine Zaba

Local fishermen, surfers, and beachgoers know that ocean temperatures off California’s coast vary, sometimes expectedly, but often unexpectedly. Join Scripps oceanographer Katherine Zaba to learn how scientists deploy innovative ocean technology to monitor and understand ocean warming phenomena, like marine heatwaves and El Niño events, that affect California’s coastline.

Monday, April 12 at 6 p.m.

Fire, Extreme Rainfall, and Debris Flows: Cascading Disasters in a Changing Climate
Meteorologist Nina Oakley

As the climate warms across the globe, California is faced with adapting to a range of climate-related challenges – from drought to increased wildfire activity, to more extreme rain events. Many of these climate change phenomena work in concert to trigger catastrophic events such as post-wildfire debris flows like the one that devastated Montecito, California in January 2018.  Join Scripps meteorologist Nina Oakley to learn how research is helping us understand, anticipate, and prepare for these cascading disasters in our new climate reality.

Lectures are free and available to the public through ZOOM, however registration is required. More information can be found on Birch Aquarium’s website. Registration is currently available here for the first lecture, and will soon be added for the others. For additional information, please e-mail [email protected].

About Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for Scripps Oceanography. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium features the groundbreaking work of Scripps Oceanography and UC San Diego scientists as well as conservation breeding programs, and interactive exhibits. Birch Aquarium’s mission is to connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet, which the aquarium achieves by engaging, hands-on learning opportunities for nearly 500,000 guests as well as more than 50,000 pre-K-12 students each year.

Due to Covid restrictions, Birch Aquarium is currently closed, offering a variety of virtual events and activities including Virtual School and Youth Group Programs, Virtual After School Series, Virtual Camps, Unique Virtual Experiences and Virtual Perspectives on Ocean Science Lectures.

Stay healthy, San Diego!

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