High temperatures throughout the county are bringing big crowds to the beaches where swimmers are also enjoying record-breaking water temperatures.
This week, the ocean temperature off Torrey Pines was measured at 81.3 degrees, breaking a 17-year-record for water temperature along the California coast.
Last week, researchers measured the water temperature at Scripps Pier at 78.6 degrees which set a regional temperature record.
You won't hear any complaints from beachgoers there -- it’s perfect for swimming and great for fishing – but Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Clarissa Anderson says the water temperatures are a cause for concern.
Anderson told NBC 7 the warm water brings some sea life closer to shore, including anchovies and yellow and bluefin tuna, “but overall, I would say a lot of these animals and plants, if you will, are not adapted to these warm temperatures.”
NBC 7 Meteorologist Dagmar Midcap said warmer waters are a problem because they prevent cooler, nutrient-rich waters from reaching the coastline. Those nutrients are essential for all marine life.
Day after day, week after week, the warm water takes a toll on our kelp beds that provide food for marine life. Warm oceans can also disrupt migration patterns for sea life.
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Anderson said ocean temperatures could cool very soon as winds and waves pick up and pull deeper cold water to the surface in a process known as upwelling.
Another real concern, Anderson said, is that there have been more and more warm water days in recent years. That's a troubling trend for the health of the Pacific Ocean and all the plants and sea life that depend on, she said.