Launched in the summer of 2008, Scripps Partnership for Hazards and Environmental Applied Research (SPHEAR) seeks cutting-edge research in weather phenomena, natural hazards, climate change, and ocean biology. SPHEAR is designed to provide member companies an opportunity to work directly with today’s leading scientific minds. Corporate partners expect a return-on-investment and academic partners expect to break new scientific ground. Both sides work closely together to set a research direction then, in return for their capital contribution, corporate partners interact directly with teams of earth, ocean, and atmospheric scientists throughout the entire scientific process. Corporate partners seek to enhance their risk management practices, investing strategies, product lines, product pipelines, and corporate governance practices by applying Scripps research findings.
In the first quarter of 2010, a group at SPHEAR completed a pilot project to deliver insights on weather extremes as applied to energy trading. Scripps worked with energy and investment firms on our first project that focused on cold weather outbreaks and their impact to the energy complex. Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Gershunov is the lead Scripps scientist for the project which:
(1) provided a long-term climate perspective on extreme cold weather events (2) identified synoptic precursors to cold outbreaks and (3) provided information that can be used operationally for improving medium-range forecasts of extreme weather. SPHEAR’s industry collaborators were pleased to discover certain atmospheric variables that can signal a severe cold outbreak at lead times up to 30 to 40-days.
SPHEAR’s existing industry partners have embarked on a new research cycle which will encompass 2010 and 2011 focusing on synoptic precursors for periods of extreme variability in weather patterns.
Scripps scientists work with researchers from within the University of California system and across the globe on projects of interest to partner businesses. This includes research in: