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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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 occur, in places that historically...
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At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured...
CREDIT: Flickr User Fabi Fliervoet 1. Bring Your Own The trash we "throw away"...

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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...

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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...
In December 2009, thousands of leaders and activists from across the planet converged in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Summit. Debate rages as to whether the summit achieved any...
Newly established black mangrove ( Avicennia germinans ) in a field of salt marsh ( Spartina alterniflora and Batis maritima ) in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Earth as seen from a satellite. More about climate change can be found in our climate change featured story .
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Sponsored by the United Nations, the Global Ocean Observing System is committed to sharing observations about the ocean to all nations. Some of the data they collect comes from buoys like the one...
Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study -- and celebrate -- the...
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.
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 Mystic Aquarium (01:00), Gulf Coast Research...
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