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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...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured...
Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species...
Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,”...

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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

What can students do to help the ocean? It turns out, a lot! These students from Alaska are among dozens from the U.S. and Mexico who are developing action plans on ocean and climate-related issues...
Hantkenina mexicana -- a foram with elongated shell chambers that lived between 45-49 million years ago, during the Eocene Epoch. This specimen is from marine sediments that were drilled in the...
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...
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...
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.
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 .
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...
Earth as seen from a satellite. More about climate change can be found in our climate change featured story .
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...
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...
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...
Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, spews almost 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Industries are looking for ways to offset their emissions...
Worldwide, installations of solar energy doubled from 2007 to 2008. China is leading the way in solar cell production. More about climate change can be found in our climate change featured story .
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...
“Let’s talk about the Earth, really talk about survival. We can talk about the Poles where the cold is unrivaled.” Rappers wrap their heads around climate change in this music video. More about...
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...
Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are both beautiful—the jellyfish with their pulsating bells and long, trailing...
Lenticulina secans -- this foram lives on the seafloor. This specimen was collected from ocean sediments in southeast Tanzania. It comes from a time over 92 million years ago when both the polar...
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