The Golden Gate, San Francisco Bay

The Golden Gate, San Francisco Bay

by | Dec 6, 2018

The Golden Gate is a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide strait on the west coast of North America that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. It is defined by the headlands of the San Francisco Peninsula to the south and the Marin Peninsula to the north. The Golden Gate is often shrouded in fog, especially during the summer when the heat generated in the California Central Valley creates a low-pressure area that draws cool humid air from the ocean through the strait.

The first recorded observation of the strait occurred nearly 200 years after Europeans first explored the coastline. In 1769, Sergeant José Francisco Ortega was sent with a scouting party, north along the San Francisco Peninsula by Don Gaspar de Portolá from their expedition encampment in San Pedro Valley to locate the Point Reyes headlands. He reported back to Portolá that he could not proceed further north because of his encounter with the strait. On August 5, 1775, Juan de Ayala and the crew of his ship San Carlos became the first Europeans known to have passed through the strait. John C. Frémont, an early explorer of the California territory, is credited for naming the strait “Golden Gate” on July 1, 1846.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge, completed in 1937, that links the city of San Francisco to Marin County. Joseph Baermann Strauss was the chief engineer in charge of the overall design and construction of the bridge project. However, the responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts, such as Charles Alton Ellis for the structural design. Read more here and here. Explore more the Golden Gate here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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