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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On average, Arctic sea ice has decreased by four percent per decade since the late 1970s.

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Sea Level Rise

The ocean never stops moving. When you visit the beach, waves roll in and recede and the tides rise and fall. These are...
Close-up photograph of translucent coral polyps, showing the symbiotic algae living inside.

Zooxanthellae and Coral Bleaching

Tiny plant-like organisms called zooxanthellae live in the tissues of many animals, including some corals , anemones, and jellyfish , sponges, flatworms, mollusks and foraminifera . These microscopic algae capture sunlight and convert it...
A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline.

How You Can Help the Ocean

The threats faced by our ocean planet may seem overwhelming. In the face of pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other daunting problems, what you can do on your own may seem like a drop...
A bluefin trevally swims in Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Two Views of Coral Reefs: Thriving and Threatened

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 vulnerable to...
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage.

Reef Rescue: Protect Coral Reefs with Your Actions

A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. Credit: Amos Nachoum 2005/Marine Photobank Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species...
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage.

Resolve to Protect the Ocean

A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. Credit: Amos Nachoum 2005/Marine Photobank Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to...
Foraminifera

Foraminifera

Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record that extends from today to more than 500 million years ago. Although each foram is just a single cell, they build complex shells around themselves...

Foraminifera on the Seafloor

Dr. Karen Bice studies the foraminifera in ocean sediment to better understand climate change. More about scientists studying world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .

Dr. Jan Backman, Marine Geologist

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 .

Smithsonian Paleobiologist Brian Huber

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 found...

Receding Ice Cover

See an animation showing over time, the receding of summer sea ice in the Arctic .

Sea Levels on the Move

Through the use of satellites and land survey tools, scientists are learning about the effects of climate change on our ocean. By combining data regarding sea level and land elevation, they can see how...

Arctic Exploration

New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can discover the...

Taking the Ocean’s Temperature

A fleet of underwater floats called Argo is deployed at more than 3,000 spots around the world. The floats transmit information about water temperature, salinity, and pressure which scientists use to understand trends in...
Map of the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers throughout North America

Teens Focus on Ocean & Climate Issues for National Summit

In 1996 the Coastal America Partnership established a network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers. High school students team up with experts from the Learning Centers to study issues affecting the ocean and present their...

Changing Tides - Brave New Ocean

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill , ocean acidification, and the decline of fish stocks are just three of the topics that renowned ocean scientist, Dr. Jeremy Jackson discusses in this talk, recorded on World...

Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay

Students are working with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md., to develop an informal education plan that will communicate information about Chesapeake Bay marsh restoration and explain the effects of climate change and sea-level...

2011 Student Summit on the Ocean & Coasts Webcast, Part 2

Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes public awareness and education presentations that were presented by delegations from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort...

2011 Student Summit on the Ocean & Coasts Webcast, Part 3

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 Aquarium (16:40), Texas...

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