Welcome to the Scripps Polar Center
Polar Ecosystems
High Latitude Ocean Processes
Ice Cores and Paleo
Ice Sheet & Ocean Interaction
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The Scripps Polar Center brings together scientists from the three research sections of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego who investigate everything from ocean physics to ice sheet and glacier dynamics to the ecology of the organisms that live at the poles. Formation of a Scripps Polar Center aims to greatly enhance and strengthen these activities, creating the conditions necessary to address the complex questions that we face today in the polar regions and to train a new generation of scientists capable of interdisciplinary research.

Rapid changes are taking place now in Earth’s polar regions. In the Arctic, sea ice cover is shrinking which affects the planet’s albedo, its capability to reflect sunlight back to space. The Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet are both losing ice to the ocean, causing sea levels to rise. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to understand polar regions in all their complexity at a time when climate change is destabilizing the Arctic and Antarctic regions faster than anywhere else on Earth.

The Scripps Polar Center facilitates interdisciplinary, collaborative investigations of the polar regions. The Center brings together Scripps scientists and visitors at all career stages through seminars and informal meetings, and it fosters the free exchange of information and ideas.

The physical location for the core of the Scripps Polar Center is in MESOM, 2nd floor.

There are four main themes in polar research being undertaken at Scripps:

A primary goal of Scripps Polar Center is Community Building:


Keep up with the latest events and stories

Cambridge University Press (June 3rd 2020)

A new paper written by Cyrille Mosbeux, Till J.W. Wagner, Maya K. Becker, and Helen A. Fricker describes the elastic and viscous driving forces of ice-shelf calving. Developing these effects allows for better modeling and prediction of future mass loss from the ice sheets.

NASA (April 30th 2020)

"Using the most advanced Earth-observing laser instrument NASA has ever flown in space, scientists have made precise, detailed measurements of how the elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have changed over 16 years." The new findings track the large-scale mass loss of ice sheets with the laser altimetry ICESat-2 satellite launched in 2018.


Tweets from the Polar Center and our members