California MOCI

(Multivariate Ocean Climate Index) 

MOCI is an indicator that synthesizes a number of local and regional ocean and atmospheric conditions that represent, in a holistic manner, the state of the California coastal ocean.  MOCI includes data that is readily available from the Internet so the indicator can be updated and shared regularly via this website.


MOCI captures ENSO events across decades, as well as the intensity and phasing of the most recent North Pacific marine heat wave, dubbed 'The Blob'.  It also shows differences in the magnitude and timing of ocean climate variability in different regions off California.  MOCI has skill relative to marine ecosystem dynamics from zooplankton to top predators, and therefore may be important to ecosystem-based fisheries and wildlife management. 

This season’s MOCI values were mostly within one standard deviation in 2018, but central and southern California coast have experienced a warmer fall (October to December). Southern California has experienced the longest period (5 years) with only positive MOCI values, from 2014 through 2018 (see figure).  To access the current MOCI data (December, 2018), plots and references, click in the box below.