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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...
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Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of...
Dr. Karen Bice studies the foraminifera in ocean sediment to better understand...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the...

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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 melted ice travels through...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the...

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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...
It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land, clad in their tuxedo-like plumage. In their crowded breeding colonies, they squabble with and show off to their neighbors...
Chapter 3: Fragile Fauna Jelly Critters Grade Level: 5-6 Focus: Life Science- Gelatinous zooplankton in the Canada Basin Description: In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Keeping your car tires properly inflated can trim your carbon footprint, reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, and save yourself some cash at the same time. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy...
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...
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...
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...
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)...
From left to right, Dr. Ian MacDonald, Dr. Russ Hopcroft, Dr. Kathleen Crane, and Dr. Mike Vecchione , members of the 2002 Hidden Ocean Arctic expedition. Part of their mission – to reconstruct 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...
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...
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...
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 .
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