The Shore Stations Program collects and provides access to current
and historical data records of sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity
(SSS) measurements observed at shoreline stations along the west coast
of the United States. Historically, stations ranged from the southern
most station in La Jolla, California, up to the northern most point
on the western coast, Neah Bay, Washington, which sits at the entrance
of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Currently, all active stations are
located in California.
This program ranks as one of the world's longest ocean time-series
and the longest on the Pacific Rim. From this time-series we can accurately
pin down the nature of ocean seasonality for the entire coast of California,
and have begun to understand the anomalies caused by recurring equatorial
El Nino conditions. There have been large cold anomalies too, but,
as yet, we do not understand their cause.
In addition to these episodic anomalies, there has been a long-term
trend for a warmer California Current beginning around 1977. These
warm and cold anomalies, and the long-term warming trend have significant
biological effects on plankton production, fish catch and seabirds.
They also are associated with changes in sea level, wave heights and
beach erosion. We are only beginning to learn the details of the linkages
between all these processes.
This growing databank provides us with one of the first opportunities
to separate natural from anthropogenic changes in our coastal zone.
These data consist of daily temperature and salinity values when available,
and is updated throughout the year.
on Station Below for Data and Description