Scripps Pier Shore Station
1916 – 2016

100 Years of Ocean Observations

The Shore Stations Program collects and provides access to current and historical data records of sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS) measurements observed at shoreline stations along the coast of California. The Scripps Pier temperature time series ranks as one of the world’s longest ocean time series, and the longest on the Pacific Rim.

The long record of coastal data provided by the Shore Stations program has provided a detailed understanding of ocean seasonality for the entire coast of California, and continues to contribute to our understanding of warming caused by El Niño conditions and global climate change.

The Scripps Pier Temperature Time Series

Scripps Pier Surface Temperature and Salinty
Scripps Pier Surface Temperature Trend
Scripps Pier annual Means Ranked
Scripps Pier annual Means Ranked
Concrete pier with building on end

The Shore Stations Program

Initiated at Scripps in 1916, the Shore Stations program began expanding with new sampling locations in 1919. The program now collects data for oceanographic and climate research from nine sites along the California coast.

Man taking sample from sampling tool

Scripps Pier:
Then & Now

The original pier was a 1000-foot-long wooden structure used for manual observations. Rebuilt in 1987-88, it is now one of the most active research piers in the world.

Red-lined chart of ocean temperatures

Explore the Data

Temperature and salinity data from Scripps and other stations can be viewed online or downloaded. Present-day observations include surface and bottom samples collected once per day. Temperature is measured with an electronic thermometer on the pier, while water samples are collected for salinity analysis in the lab.