The aquatic world presents the widest diversity of habitats, so it’s no surprise that fishes have come to present the widest diversity of vertebrate species.
From the darkest depths to tropical shores, there are more than 33,000 species of living fishes, accounting for more than half of the extant vertebrate diversity on Earth.
For years, Curator of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Marine Vertebrate collection, Phil Hastings, has been immersed in the systematics and phylogeny of fishes, their marine biogeography, and the ecology and behavioral evolution of fishes, and takes you on a tour of what makes this most diverse array of animals.
Watch The Amazing Diversity of Fishes.
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“If we went straight up from here to space, took every water vapor molecule, and condensed it into liquid, anybody hazard to guess how deep it might be?”
So queried Marty Ralph, atmospheric scientist and director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes early on in his fascinating exploration of the newest understanding of how precipitable moisture is transported in the atmosphere. The answer to his question is as surprising as what people like him have helped us come to understand about what scientists and meteorologists now call “ARs”, or atmospheric rivers.
Just ten years ago we didn’t have a clear understanding or a name for this phenomenon, but as Marty shows, the advent of new satellite technology made these atmospheric features “…stand out like a sore thumb.”
If the history of their discovery isn’t fascinating enough, what they mean for California, and anywhere else in the world affected by the influence of ARs is stunning in terms of what they can do in terms of damage, as well as ending droughts. Considering the current situation you might find yourself hoping for a bit of an “Arkstorm”. What’s that? You’ll have to watch and see, but I will say, like massive earthquakes, they have happened here before, and they will happen again.
Watch Atmospheric Rivers: California Rainmakers.
Browse more programs in Perspectives on Ocean Science.
Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is more than SCUBA diving and working with marine mammals.
Margaret Leinen, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dean of the School of Marine Sciences, reminds us that, in spite of the name, research at Scripps also includes the solid earth, the history of the planet and oceans, the atmosphere and even monitoring earth from space.
Take a look at how some of the latest research activities at Scripps are helping to shape worldwide conversations about the future of our planet. You will see through her presentation that the spirit of exploration that inspired the establishment of Scripps more than a century ago continues today.
Watch Understanding and Protecting the Planet.