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New Research Finds Climate Models Mostly Get It Right

New climate research, which was done mostly in San Diego, finds that a study of land temperatures during the last ice age confirms some widely held thoughts about climate change.

Lead author Alan Seltzer, a paleoclimatologist at the Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute, studied ancient water as a way to gain insight into previously unrecorded planetary temperatures.

Water Year 2021 Characterized by Persistent Dry Weather and Worsening Drought in California

• Total precipitation has been well below normal throughout much of California during water year (WY) 2021
• In some regions, drier than normal conditions extend back to the start of WY 2020
• Drought has expanded and intensified across the state, and current water storage levels are below normal in many
reservoirs
• Below-normal snowpack in the Sierra Nevada may limit water resource availability as summer approaches
• The abnormally dry conditions were driven by a lack of landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs) and persistent
ridging/blocking over the Northeast Pacific Ocean
• Drought is expected to continue through spring 2021, thereby increasing the threat of significant wildfire activity in
summer 2021

Sewage-Handling Robots Help UCSD Team Predict Coronavirus Outbreaks in San Diego

In earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic, before diagnostic testing was widely available, it was difficult for public health officials to keep track of the infection’s spread or predict where outbreaks were likely to occur. Attempts to get ahead of the coronavirus that causes the disease are still complicated by the fact that people can be infected and spread the virus even without experiencing symptoms themselves.

Some San Diego Area Schools are Testing Wastewater, Floors for Coronavirus

UC San Diego has created a wastewater and surface coronavirus testing program designed specifically for schools in disadvantaged communities hard-hit by COVID.

The testing not only allows for faster results than traditional COVID testing, but UC San Diego researchers say it could be less costly and easier to implement in communities with families who may not want their children tested in schools, out of fear or a lack of trust.

Scripps Oceanography Gets Share of California Energy Commission Contract to Simulate Climate Change

The California Energy Commission has awarded a $1.5 million contract to three University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, that will work in tandem to better simulate climate change scenarios that can be used by utilities and others to anticipate the effects.

High-Tech Forecasting Model Scores Scientific Win at Lake Mendocino, Showing Promise for Western Reservoirs

Sandbars are spreading across rain-starved Lake Mendocino, the reservoir near Ukiah that is 35 feet lower than it was a year ago, a grim wintertime sight for the second major source of water for more than 655,000 people in Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties. But the situation would be considerably worse without the payoff from a six-year, $50 million project applying high-tech weather forecasting to management of the reservoir behind Coyote Valley Dam built on the East Fork of the Russian River in 1958.

UC San Diego Detects Coronavirus in Wastewater Samples From Five Areas of Campus

UC San Diego says it detected traces of the novel coronavirus in five areas of campus over the weekend after it greatly expanded its search for the pathogen in wastewater samples drawn from dozens of buildings.

The positive tests could involve as many as 14 residential halls and two laundries. But school officials also said Tuesday the findings also could represent only a small number of sites and very few infections.

UCSD Detects COVID-19-Causing Virus in Multiple Wastewater Samples on Campus

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla on Tuesday alerted students, faculty and staff that the university’s wastewater monitoring system detected SARS CoV-2 — the virus which causes COVID-19 — in multiple sites on Sunday and Monday.

“Our early detection system identified active virus in the wastewater outflow in the five campus areas from 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 22 to 1 p.m. on Monday, November 23,” Khosla said.

UCSD Gets $39 Million Grant for Renewable Energy Testbed

UC San Diego will receive a $39 million grant to build a testbed to allow universities, utilities and industry leaders to gain a better understanding of how to integrate renewable energy resources into the power grid, it was announced Monday.

Scripps Collaboration to Optimize Water Management & Supply

The San Diego County Water Authority is partnering with the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego to better predict atmospheric rivers and optimize water management before, during and after California’s ever-changing seasonal storms.

Atmospheric river storms produce 40%-60% of the West Coast’s annual precipitation and are responsible for the majority of flood damage in the region. Predicting and managing this is challenging due to unpredictable and changing snowmelt and rainfall.

To study this, Scripps’ Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) introduced the Water Affiliates Group, which brings together relevant science and water industry expertise to enhance reservoir operations along with California’s changing climate.