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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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 .
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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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Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record...

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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 it with food. Corals can...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is...

DIVE DEEPER

Today, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are the highest they've been in 15 million years. It's the cumulative...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually...
We’re only two months into 2010, and climate change is shaping up to be one of the year’s big buzz topics. Our friends at NOAA have released a prototype of their new Climate Portal . The site offers...
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.
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...
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...
It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350 billion tons each year—and, as a result, sea level has risen 11.1 millimeters worldwide since 1992. This photo shows a...
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)...
Scientists document a direct relationship between the extent of sea ice and polar bear survival. Future projected reductions in the extent of annual sea-ice due to global warming may result in the...
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...
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...
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...
On World Oceans Day - June 8th, 2012 - the Living Oceans Foundation hosted a live web-based conversation between Sylvia Earle at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a team of...
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...
What is climate change, and how is it affecting coastal Carolina? That is the question that a group of teens from Isaac Bear Early College High School set out to answer for their Third National...
A stormy sea lashes the village of Shismaref, Alaska, where the coastline has eroded 30–90 m (100–300 ft) in the past 30 years.
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...
Brian Huber studies fossil organisms known as “ forams ” to learn about climate change in this video snippet from the Smithsonian Marine Collections video . More about world climate change can be...
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...
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