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.
U.S. & World
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.
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.