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Daily Business Report-Jan. 5, 2018

Daily Business Report-Jan. 5, 2018

Ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core borehole in West Antarctica drilled in 2012. (Photo: Jay Johnson/IDDO)

New Study Identifies

Thermometer for Global Ocean

There is a new way to measure the average temperature of the ocean thanks to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

In an article published in the Jan. 4, 2018, issue of the journal Nature, geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus and colleagues at Scripps Oceanography and institutions in Switzerland and Japan detailed their ground-breaking approach.

Determining changes in the average temperature of the entire world’s ocean has proven to be a nearly impossible task due to the distribution of different water masses. Each layer of water can have drastically different temperatures, so determining the average over the entirety of the ocean’s surface and depths presents a challenge.

Severinghaus and colleagues were able to bypass these obstacles by determining the value indirectly. Instead of measuring water temperature, they determined the ratio of noble gases in the atmosphere, which are in direct relation to the ocean’s temperature.

“This method is a radically new way to measure change in total ocean heat,” said Severinghaus. “It takes advantage of the fact that the atmosphere is well-mixed, so a single measurement anywhere in the world can give you the answer.”

In the study, the scientists measured values of the noble gases argon, krypton, and xenon in air bubbles captured inside ice in Antarctica. As the oceans warm, krypton and xenon are released into the atmosphere in known quantities. The ratio of these gases in the atmosphere therefore allows for the calculation of average global ocean temperature.

Measurements were taken from ice samples collected during the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide coring project, of which Severinghaus is a leader. Over the course of six field seasons in Antarctica, a drill removed ice in cylindrical samples 3.7 meters (just under 9 feet) in length. The final sample was taken at a depth of 3,405 meters (over 11,000 feet) in 2011. This record spans nearly 100,000 years and the age of the layers can be determined to within 50 years. Earth’s atmosphere mixes on a scale of weeks to months, so a measurement of these air bubbles gives what is essentially a global average. For this study, scientists focused on samples 8,000 to 22,000 years old, and collected data in increments averaging 250 years in resolution.

New insights into the glaciation cycles that occurred on Earth long before humans began affecting the temperature of the atmosphere and oceans are now possible using the technique of measuring noble gas quantities. The study determined that the average global ocean temperature at the peak of the most recent ice age was 0.9 ºC (33.6 ºF). The modern ocean’s average temperature is 3.5 ºC (38.3 ºF). The incremental measurements between these data points provide an understanding of the global climate never before possible.

“The reason this study is so exciting is that previous methods of reconstructing ocean heat content have very large age uncertainties, [which] smooths out the more subtle features of the record,” said co-author Sarah Shackleton, a graduate student in the Severinghaus lab at Scripps. “Because WAIS Divide is so well dated, this is the first time that we’ve been able to see these subtle features in the record of the deglaciation. This helps us better understand the processes that control changes in ocean heat content.”

This paper is the result of fifteen years of work for Severinghaus, along with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in his lab. Discussions with another professor at Scripps, atmospheric scientist Ralph Keeling, brought about the idea. Keeling studies the argon levels in the atmosphere to get a similar record of ocean heat going back a few decades. However, air bubbles trapped in ice don’t preserve argon levels accurately. Severinghaus discovered that xenon and krypton are well preserved in ice cores, which provides the temperature information that can then be used by scientists studying many other aspects of the earth’s oceans and atmosphere over hundreds of thousands of years.

Going forward, the ratios of these same noble gases can be determined from atmospheric samples taken anywhere in the world. For example, a measurement from the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier in La Jolla represents a global average of ocean temperature. Severinghaus hopes to fine tune the procedure.

“Our precision is about 0.2 ºC (0.4 ºF) now, and the warming of the past 50 years is only about 0.1 ºC,” he said, adding that advanced equipment can provide more precise measurements, allowing scientists to use this technique to track the current warming trend in the world’s oceans.

Up to this point, the best estimates have come from the Argo program, a network of more than 3,800 robotic floats distributed around the world’s oceans that measures temperature and other properties and reports the data via satellite.

Scripps operates the Argo Project Office and is one of dozens of institutions worldwide participating since its inception in 2000. The floats, however, are primarily limited to ice-free areas and only descend to a depth of 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), leaving large key areas unstudied in the quest to obtain a global ocean temperature average.

With this study, Severinghaus and colleagues have shown that measurements of noble gases in the atmosphere provide the historical record long sought by the scientific community, and can be further optimized to gain insights into modern ocean temperature changes as well



Cubic to Develop Mobile App for LA

County’s Contactless Fare Payment System


A business unit of Cubic has received a contract of an undisclosed value to develop an integrated mobile application for commuters who use the the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s contactless fare payment system.

Cubic Transportation Systems will build the application to help TAP card users manage their account balances, load value or passes and receive service alerts through smartphones, the company said.

David Sutton, executive officer of LA Metro, said that adding apps and connecting features to the county’s smart card system will help customers “get the latest commute information, make a fare purchase, use their mobile device as a TAP card and complete their journey using transit, bikeshare or other multi-modal programs.”

The TAP app will leverage the application programming interface portal used on Cubic’s software-as-a-service platform and link with an existing back office and a new account management platform.

Cubic’s SaaS is designed to operate in Microsoft Azure cloud environment.

The app will also work to help users receive push notifications and in-app alerts for TAP and transit-related information, travel-driven promotion and incentives and access to fare subsidy programs.

Cubic also seeks to build an app for merchants to sell passes and stored value amounts via near field communication reader/writer interface, as well as provide discounts or rewards to eligible enrollment category members.


General Atomics Awarded Contract

from Office of Naval Research

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems has been awarded a contract from the Office of Naval Research to design and deliver an advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor intended for use in large displacement unmanned undersea vehicles (LDUUVs).

“After completing a review of our motor’s capabilities and the applicability for undersea operations, we are very excited to take the next step to design and deliver a second-generation propulsion motor to ONR for further evaluation and eventual on-vehicle testing,” said Rolf Ziesing, vice president of programs at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.

Over the next 18 to 20 months, the company will design, build, and test the advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor and deliver a complete motor system to ONR. Characterization and testing of the motor system will be conducted by the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory.


Top SDSU Research Stories of 2017

San Diego State University’s faculty and staff researchers are pioneers in the critical fields of science, engineering and health. Last year, university researchers brought in $134 million in research grants and contracts —  an 11 percent uptick over the previous year. Their breakthroughs and contributions to their fields are the driving force behind SDSU’s mission to become a top public research university.

Click here for a look at some of the top SDSU science and research stories from 2017.


San Diego Attorney Named Liaison

Counsel for Wells Fargo MDL Litigation

David S. Casey Jr.

David S. Casey Jr.

CaseyGerry’s managing partner David S. Casey Jr. has been appointed as liaison counsel for the Wells Fargo Multi-District Litigation now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Casey, appointed by U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, who is presiding over the case, is the only San Diego attorney named to help oversee the litigation. As liaison counsel, his responsibility is to facilitate communication with all attorneys and the court.

The Wells Fargo MDL consists of national federal class action lawsuits that were consolidated earlier this year following mounting reports that the banking giant had forced its car loan customers to buy unnecessary auto “Collateral Protection Insurance” policies. CaseyGerry represents multiple consumers in the lawsuit, which alleges Wells Fargo knowingly participated in the fraudulent insurance scheme, working with an insurance underwriter to charge thousands of customers for unnecessary and duplicative insurance without their authorization. In July, Wells Fargo admitted it had forced auto insurance on as many as 570,000 borrowers who didn’t need it.


SENTRE Acquires Portland Apartments

San Diego-based commercial real estate investment firm SENTRE  has acquired The Thornton, a 123-unit urban apartment community in Portland, Ore., for $25.5 million, or $207,000 per unit. This purchase marks SENTRE’s expansion into the Pacific Northwest and will include a re-brand and estimated $1 million renovation of common areas and unit interiors to enhance residents’ urban living experience.

Renovations are slated to begin this month with completion by fall 2018.


Sprouts to Open New Store in San Diego

A Sprouts Farmers Market will open at 8142 Mira Mesa Blvd. in San Diego in the second quarter of 2018 as part of an expansion by the retailer. Six new locations were announced.

Each store will bring approximately 120 new career opportunities to its local neighborhood. To learn more about immediate opportunities or to apply, visit or call 866-925-2396 for non-managerial roles.

Grand opening dates will be announced later.


Rendering of 6902 La Jolla Blvd.

Rendering of 6902 La Jolla Blvd.

La Jolla Office & Retail Mixed-Use

Properties Sold for $9,150,000

Two office and retail properties located at 6902 and 6980 La Jolla Blvd., in La Jolla, have been sold for $9.15 million to Hillcrest Veritas LP. The seller was LSREF4 Dual LLC. The adjacent propertiesw total 25,000 square feet

Derek Hulse of Cushman & Wakefield and Victor Krebs of Colliers International represented the seller.

6902 La Jolla Blvd is a four-story, 18,330 square foot building constructed in 1964. 6980 La Jolla Blvd is a two-story, 6,758 square foot property constructed in 1970.

The new ownership plans to extensively renovate both properties. The top three floors of office space at 6902 La Jolla Blvd will be converted into 15 upscale apartments with ocean views. The ground-floor will be updated with new retail and restaurant uses.”


Mark Sherman, M.D., Elected Chief of Staff

at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla

Mark Sherman, M.D.

Mark Sherman, M.D.

The physicians at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla  have elected general surgeon Mark Sherman, M.D., as the new chief of staff of the 432-bed campus, which includes the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Sherman took over as head of the 1,046-member physician team on Jan. 1.

During his two-year term, Sherman will serve as medical staff liaison to Scripps La Jolla’s administrative staff and Scripps Health’s board of directors. He will play a key role in driving continuous quality improvement in the delivery of health care services to the more than 117,000 patients cared for each year at the hospital.

He succeeds outgoing Chief of Staff Richard Unger, M.D.


Library’s top 15 Book Checkouts for 2017

The San Diego County Library has released its top 15 book checkout list for 2017.



Personnel Appointments

Zachariah Rowland Joins Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick

Zachariah Rowland

Zachariah Rowland

The law firm of Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick announce the addition of Zachariah Rowland as partner of the firm.

Rowland joined the growing firm in 2017.  For more than 10 years, he has litigated all types of commercial, employment, personal injury and construction matters on behalf of design professionals, product manufacturers, and general contractors. He also counsels clients in the areas of contract review, drafting and negotiation.



Benjamin Fox Promoted

at Realty Income Corporation

Realty Income Corporation announced Benjamin N. Fox has been promoted to executive vice president, portfolio and asset management, from his prior role as senior vice president, portfolio and asset management.

In his new role, Fox remains responsible for the execution of the company’s real estate portfolio strategy, now overseeing all leasing, dispositions, development, and property management activities. Additionally, Fox continues to be a member of the company’s Investment Committee, a role he has held since 2016, and report to the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Sumit Roy.

Fox has been with Realty Income since 2007 working in various capacities, including vice president, strategic initiatives in the company’s Acquisitions Department where he focused on sourcing and evaluating strategic investment opportunities. In 2013, Fox was promoted to lead the company’s asset management function with the goal of further maximizing value and promoting growth within the existing real estate portfolio.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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