San Diego Weather - Sea Level History


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Published by Katie Stokes

Environment - San Diego Sea Level History (from NOAA)
John S. Stokes III
john.s.stokes3@gmail.com
https://www.instagram.com/johnstokesiii/

San Diego average sea level by month
1906 through 2019
sea monthly
San Diego average sea level by month: 1906 through 2019
Information obtained from the National Weather Service station 9410170 and derived - http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=9410170
Scale in inches, with zero being the "National Tidal Datum Epoch", converted from meters
Note: data is missing for the first six months of 1926 and has been interpolated
I update this chart annually soon after the yearly data is in (usually late January).


sea annual

San Diego average sea level by year using the same data set as in the first chart: 1906 through 2019


San Diego average sea level by decade
The 2020's column won't be updated until 3 years of data are available
sea decade
San Diego average sea level by decade using the same data set as in the first chart: 1906 through 2019 with ending year labeled
First decade 1906-1909, last decade 2010-2019


Analysis

The overall presentation shows a fairly linear increase at about 3/4" per decade with the latest decade jumping more then 2"

January 29, 2021: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2020 is out! Although the century long trend remains up, San Diego experienced the lowest average sea level in six years. This regression to the trend line reinforces the idea that the overall long term increase is linear and that the slight increase in the rate of increase mentioned in 2019 regarding the 2018 data has not continued to develop. Of course the situation will continue to be monitored.

I won't be updating the sea level by decade chart for the 2020's until at least three years of decade data is available.

February 3, 2020: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2019 is out! The trend remains up. For the sixth consecutive year, the level remains above 3". 2019 was lower than 2018, but streak of more than 3" readings continues. Impressively were no yearly averages above 3" before the streak started. The 2019 level only slightly backs off a suggestion of acceleration. Meanwhile, with the end of year 2019, the decade has ended, and the average sea level figure for the full decade computed. The decade jump is the biggest of the series.

February 1, 2019: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2018 is out! The trend remains up. For the fifth consecutive year, the level remains above 3". 2018 was almost exactly the same as 2017, a tiny bit lower but rounded to the same pixel height in the chart as 2017. The chart suggests a slight increase in the rate of increase over the longer run. Next year will reveal more about this suggestion.

January 27, 2018: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2017 is out! The trend remains up. This is the fourth year in a row with the level above 3", the only four times in the history since 1906 that the level has been above 3". 2017 saw a slight increase over 2016, but below the 2014 and 2015 record levels. FWIW the latest four year local average annual temperatures are also in a record streak.

January 26, 2017: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2016 is out! My guess last year that sea levels would drop locally this year was correct. However the 2016 level is the third highest on record!

May 18, 2016: The April sea level data is out and as I guessed on Feb 1, the levels have continued to drop towards the long term up trend line with the April level at about 2.6".

February 22, 2016: The New York Times published an article on their website saying the oceans are rising faster than any point in the last 28 centuries: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/science/sea-level-rise-global-warming-climate-change.html

February 1, 2016: The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2015 is out! Again the collective data flashes a warning for global warming. The levels for 2015 set a new record, although levels did pull back a bit in November and December. Current thought is the increase is due to a persistent area of warm water off the immediate coast and the 2015-2016 El Niño. Chances are the sea will fall back in 2016, although maintaining the long term trend of gradual increases. Also, on January 29 Arctic Sea Ice was at the lowest levels for that date since recording began around 1980.


Further research:

Is the sea level rise accelerating? - http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=365

Other areas of possible ocean research:
- Ocean acidity
- Coral health
- Dead zones
- Ocean Temperature