Ocean Water Has Record Temperature Off San Diego Coast
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Photo by Erik Anderson
San Diego ocean temperatures hit record territory this past weekend, as a heatwave also baked the San Diego Region.
The record comes just weeks after the unseasonably cool ocean temperatures were recorded. Someone has taken the temperature at the end of Scripps Pier every day for more than 100 years.
Sunday’s reading tied for the hottest on record 79.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It tied the record that was set just two years ago.
Two years before that, a warm water "blob" kept nearshore temperatures above average for 24 months, and researchers find the trend concerning.
“You occasionally get hot spells,” said Art Miller, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher. “You occasionally get cold spells. But the hot spells are getting hotter and hotter as the decades pass.”
Miller worries longer spells of ocean warming will hurt the nearshore habitat that sustains fisheries and other marine life.
“We are seeing all along our coast typically warmer temperatures as the decades pass,” Miller said. “And we have to be concerned about that because the stratification of the ocean controls the upwelling of nutrients that feeds the base of our food web along our coast.”
Scientists are trying to gauge the impact of the warming trend as they study the long-term impacts of the changes.
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