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Drilling near the North Pole, Dr. Jan Backman reveals a brief moment in time when the Arctic was subtropical. More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .
The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was...
It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land,...
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Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record...

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What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the...
It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350...

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Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are the highest they've been in 15 million years. It's the cumulative...

The Ocean Blog

The nation of the Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. Most of their land is barely above sea level and could literally disappear if sea level rises...
The bright, brilliant swirls of blue and green seen from space are a phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea. Phytoplankton can bloom like this, rapidly growing and reproducing, because of a sudden...
Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes presentations that were given by delegations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (2:30), Oregon Coast...
In December 2009, thousands of leaders and activists from across the planet converged in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Summit. Debate rages as to whether the summit achieved any...
A humboldt squid ( Dosidicus gigas )—also known as the jumbo squid—releases a cloud of ink at night in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. These large, carnivorous squids can reach more than 5 feet in length and...
CREDIT: Flickr User Fabi Fliervoet 1. Bring Your Own The trash we "throw away" doesn't disappear. Plastic bags, disposable food containers, snack wrappers, and other loose garbage can be washed into...
Ultraviolet light illuminates the growth rings in a cross-section of a 44-year-old deep-sea coral ( Primnoa resedaeformis ) collected off the coast of Newfoundland at about 1,300 feet (400 meters)...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores this phenomenon first hand in Greenland, where she studies how the...
Eighty high-school students from across the United States and Mexico are teaming up with educators and experts to develop action plans that will address an ocean/climate-related issue in their local...
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Rico. The central dark area is the shell surrounded by spines. The tiny yellow dots are...
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
Global climate change is a complex issue. Think you're in the know about the ins and outs of this critical environmental issue? Test your knowledge in this quiz from National Geographic. More about...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
Warmer water is causing an outbreak of giant mucus blobs in the Mediterranean. These blobs are more than just unpleasant, they can harbor bacteria and viruses. Learn more about climate change.
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the world that they are unexciting, ordinary and quite frankly, boring. However, if ever a misnomer existed, this is it. More...
Fossil fuels that power our cars, homes, and businesses add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. The ocean absorbs large portions of this CO2 and acts as a buffer against climate change . But, Dr...
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...
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