Central Coast CA is refuge from climate change, study says
In an otherwise warming planet, new research shows that the ocean off California’s Central Coast may be a thermal refuge for marine wildlife. Cal Poly associate professor Ryan Walter, who teaches physics, and fourth-year physics student Michael Dalsin analyzed temperature data gathered from 1978 through 2020 at a site just north of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. They found that while other areas of the world see sharp rises in ocean temperatures and more frequent and more intense heatwaves, the Central Coast hasn’t seen such intense trends. The region still experiences marine heatwaves and cold spells brought on by factors such as the ocean-wide climactic patterns of El Niño and La Niña, but cold current upwelling brought on by strong local winds helps maintain the marine ecosystem along the Central Coast, according to a study by Walter and Dalsin published on July 31.