More Human impacts

At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
Gulf Coast of Florida tidal flats exposed by an early morning low tide
Neptune grass ( Posidonia oceanica ) is an ancient seagrass that is unique to the Mediterranean Sea. It is incredibly slow-growing; so slow that scientists estimate one large meadow that is 9.3 miles...
Esther Horvath began documenting the efforts to protect Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles on the coasts of the United States three years ago. The work that goes into the recovery of this endangered species...
Tuna caught in the Indian Ocean show the huge scale of commercial fishing. More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable Seafood feature story.
Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are the highest they've been in 15 million years. It's the cumulative impact of an ever-expanding population―7 billion people and rising―and an...
The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of...
A dredge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be seen removing a sandbar off of Virginia Beach, VA. This type of removal occurs in order to clean up the seafloor or to allow for large ships to...
For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know that it’s an experience you are unlikely to forget. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent ecosystems. Their...
Home is where the hull is: Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with pesky creatures, such as barnacles, that “foul” ship hulls and boat propellers like this one. Find out more in...
Sometimes, a tragic event can become a powerful teaching opportunity. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to capture students’ attention and stimulate discussion...
Scientists predict that ocean acidification will impact communities around the world. One of them is the Suquamish Nation , an American Indian tribe on the Puget Sound, in the Pacific Northwest...
Carl Pellegrin (left) of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tim Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to net an oiled pelican in Barataria Bay, La., Saturday, June...
The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native to the Indo-Pacific, is invading Atlantic waters. The lionfish is a popular home aquarium species, and some were most...
Salmon are one of the most widely loved varieties of seafood in the world. A ubiquitous alternative to meat and poultry, salmon wear a halo of healthfulness, as they are rich in protein and omega-3...
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Turtles were cleaned and nursed back to health with...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it...
Workers contracted by BP load oily waste onto a trailer on Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle, La., May 21, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil spill featured story .
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