Climate Change

Humans are releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of coal, oil and gas. These gases trap heat in, warming the planet and causing a litany of changes.

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Since summer 2013, starfish along both coasts of the United States have been dying in large numbers—and not gracefully. As their tissues collapse, the starfish (also called sea stars) start to look stretched and...
Drilling near the North Pole, Dr. Jan Backman reveals a brief moment in time...
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The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was...
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It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land,...

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Remember playing Tetris? Originally developed in 1984, the video game in which blocks of various shapes rain down and the player needs to find a way to fit them together is now ubiquitous. This TED ED video compares Tetris blocks...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah...

DIVE DEEPER

The ocean never stops moving. When you visit the beach, waves roll in and recede and the tides rise and fall. These are...
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
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...
Many household electronics, such as video game consoles, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances, continue drawing power after they are switched off. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide...
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...
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.
What can students do to help the ocean? It turns out, a lot! These students from California are among dozens from the U.S. and Mexico who are developing action plans on ocean and climate-related...
Over a 10-year period, NOAA scientists have collected 72,000 seawater samples, and their data show that the ocean is becoming more acidic because of climate change . That small change in acidity is...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different...
Will sea level rise affect your home? Your street? Your neighborhood? Your city? This illustration, made by the non-profit Architecture 2030, shows what Boston would look like if sea level rises by 3...
Earth as seen from a satellite. More about climate change can be found in our climate change featured story .
Swimmers brave the waters in the shadow of a coal-fired power plant. Coal plants like this one emit CO2 into our atmosphere which is warming the planet and altering the chemistry of the ocean. Learn...
What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary are bleached due to an increase in water temperatures, which causes corals to lose the...
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...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
What is climate change, and how is it affecting coastal Carolina? That is the question that a group teens from Isaac Bear Early College High School set out to answer for their Third National Student...
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 ocean never stops moving. When you visit the beach, waves roll in and recede and the tides rise and fall. These are small daily changes that balance out over time. But over the past century, the...
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