La Jolla News Nuggets


Ocean temp: Bad news from Scripps

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) reported a sea-surface temperature of 79.4 degrees at Scripps Pier on Aug. 5, the highest in all 102 years of measuring. It surpassed the previous record of 78.4°F set on July 30, 1931 during an unusually warm period that year.

The new record followed a string of days in which individual daily records of sea surface and seafloor temperatures were also broken. According to SIO, this is how global warming will play out: Records related to heat and intense weather will become easier to break thanks to man-made climate change adding about 1.8°F to ocean temperatures over the past century.

“Like other climate change trends, background warming enhances the probability and magnitude of extreme events,” said Scripps oceanographer Reinhard Flick.

The daily collection of data is still done by hand and is maintained by the Shore Stations program at Scripps. The program — funded by the California State Parks Department of Boating and Waterways — includes nine stations on the California coast that measure seawater temperature and salinity.

UCSD aids in Kawasaki Disease breakthrough

Thanks to research at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Imperial College London, a potential diagnostic test has been identified for Kawasaki Disease (KD), the most common acquired heart disease in children.

According to the research, published on Aug. 6 in “JAMA Pediatrics,” KD can be accurately diagnosed on the basis of a gene-signature pattern in the blood. The finding should lead to a diagnostic blood test to distinguish KD from other infectious and inflammatory conditions.

“We are already in discussions with a number of biotechnology companies that might help us turn our gene signature into a test,” said Imperial College professor Michael Levin. “An accurate test for KD could prevent many children worldwide from being diagnosed too late to prevent coronary artery damage.”

Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with KD will develop coronary artery aneurysms — balloon-like bulges of heart vessels — that may ultimately result in heart attacks, congestive heart failure or sudden death.

Woman’s Club to hold membership drive

The La Jolla Woman’s Club invites all full-time or part-time La Jollans to learn about the club, its founder Ellen Browning Scripps, and its role in assisting the women of La Jolla on the road toward responsible citizenship since 1901.

The club’s annual membership drive will take place 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the La Jolla Woman’s Club, 7791 Draper Ave. Admission and appetizers are complimentary, the bar is cash. RSVP to Dona Aumann at (858) 752-7531.

SDG&E charged up about new EV chargers

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) proposes to install 340 new electric vehicle (EV) chargers at schools, parks and beaches around San Diego.

The company recently applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to implement two pilot programs making EV charging stations more readily available.

“Our goal is to remove barriers for our customers when choosing an electric vehicle and incorporate charging into everyday life,” said SDG&E Chief Operating Officer Caroline Winn. “Imagine the convenience of having your car recharged while you enjoy a hike in a park, take a walk on the beach, or watch your children’s athletic event at their school.”

Range anxiety — concern that an EV will run out of power before reaching an available charging station — is a leading barrier to more people switching to clean transportation.

San Diego County Bar Foundation calls for grant submissions

The San Diego County Bar Foundation’s General Grant Fund is accepting applications through Sept. 1 to gift awards to organizations committed to the public understanding of the law and expansion of legal services.

“Whether it’s a matter of immigration, poverty, abuse or any form of discrimination, the Bar Foundation is dedicated to achieving justice in San Diego County,” said Neal Rockwood, president of the Bar Foundation board of directors.

The Bar Foundation’s annual fundraiser, “An Evening in La Jolla,” will take place Saturday, Oct. 6 at the La Valencia Hotel. For more information, call (619) 231-7015.