California Sea Grant College Program
Nearshore Temperature Variability
- Author(s): Largier, John
- et al.
Near-surface ocean temperatures off California vary from cold upwelling values as low as 8oC to warm El Nino summer values greater than 23oC (and even higher values in enclosed bays, over 26oC). Temperature varies from place to place, with colder waters typical along upwelling shores north of Pt Conception, and temperature varies in time, with the seasons and in response to upwelling events. This project set out to explore the patterns of temperature variability across different time and space scales, to explain the causes of these patterns, and to identify the relationships with key ecological or environmental concerns. Primarily based on several existing data sets, new data were collected to describe notable temperature pattern at small alongshore scales associated with coastal headlands and embayments.