Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Ocean Water Has Record Temperature Off San Diego Coast

Scripps Pier, where the ocean temperature has been taken daily for more than ...

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: Scripps Pier, where the ocean temperature has been taken daily for more than 100 years, on Aug. 25, 2020

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

A stretch of high temperatures in the 80s and 90s for San Diego is not that unusual in August - but with humidities also near 80-percent? That is not typical ... Read more →

Aired: August 26, 2020 | Transcript

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.

RELATED: Researchers Warn A Warming Ocean Threatens Giant Kelp Forests

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.

Reported by Erik Anderson , Video by Mike Damron

“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.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.