Warm ocean temperatures attract different species
November 3, 2014
Higher than usual ocean temperatures off the coast of California have attracted a menagerie of warm-water creatures that typically live in more tropical areas such as the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands. [Mercury News]
In mid-October, ocean temperatures off the Central Coast ran about 69 degrees attracting sea turtles and Hawaiian Ono. Most years, water temperatures along the Central Coast would be in the high 50s or low 60s.
Experts say the warm temperatures, not seen since 1997, are not caused by El Niño or global warming. Instead, rare changes in wind patterns this fall have led to the warmer temperatures.
Winds that normally blow from the north and trap warm water closer to the equator have slackened since the summer. These winds also churn cold water from below with warmer surface waters in a process known as upwelling, which is not happening.