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...

Webcast: 'We Sea Change,' a Climate Change Education Video

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...

World Oceans Day 2012 - Live Webcast

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 scientists...
Swimmers brave the waters in the shadow of a coal-fired power plant.  Coal plants like this one emit CO2 into our atmosphere which is warming the planet and altering the chemistry of the ocean.

Climate Change

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 ever-increasing thirst for energy,...
Chrysaora melanaster is a jellyfish found in the Arctic.

Jellyfish and Comb Jellies

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 tentacles, and the comb jellies...

Ocean Acidification Excites Boring Sponges

This orange boring sponge ( Cliona varians ) overgrows several coral species at Panama's Smithsonian Tropical Studies Institute. Credit: Amber Stubler Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to...

Ice-Loving Seals and the Loss of Sea Ice

In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal...
A puffin with a mouthful of fish.

Watching for Fish in the Puffin's Beak

Atlantic puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more small forage fish at once without losing any along the way. Credit: Steve Garvie, Flickr...
A decomposing sea star loses its grip on a rock.

Sickly Starfish: A Q&A with Dr. Chris Mah

A morning sun star ( Solaster dawsoni ) loses its grip on a rock surface as its body slowly decomposes from starfish wasting syndrome off the coast of Vancouver in September 2013. Credit: Jonathan...
A shell placed in seawater with increased acidity slowly dissolves over 45 days.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't see or feel because...

Finding Mangroves In Unexpected Places

A newly established black mangrove sits in a field of salt marsh near the northern limit of mangroves in Florida. Mangroves have been expanding near their northern limit in Florida and the expansion is...
A walrus sits on top of ice.

The Cultural Icescapes of the Arctic

The Inupiaq people of Alaska have more than 100 words for different kinds of sea ice, illustrated here. A female walrus and her calf ( isavgalik ) rest on ice ( nunavait ) in...

Penguin Health Equals Ocean Health

Magellanic penguin parents typically lay two eggs under a bush or in a burrow, taking turns swimming out to sea to catch food for their chicks. Credit: Dietmar Temps ( Flickr ) It’s hard...

Up Close and Personal With the Fastest Glacier in the World

The Greenland glacier Jakobshavn Isbrae is massive, at around 40 miles long and more than a mile thick. Credit: Nik Gaffney, <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/zzkt/14379937167">Flickr</a> . by Hannah Waters To really see a glacier move,...

In the Arctic, the Times, They Are a-Changin: You Can Pitch in to Understand How

This 1874 illustration of California gray whales ( Eschrichtius robustus ) shows a group of individuals at the edge of their modern day range in the North Pacific Ocean, blocked from traveling further east...

Coral Under Pressure: Monitoring Bleaching In Real Time

A coral head in the Mesoamerican Reef has both bleached and living coral. The white sections are bleached and the brown parts still contain zooxanthellae, the symbiotic algae that provide food to their coral...
On average, Arctic sea ice has decreased by four percent per decade since the late 1970s.

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 small daily changes that balance out over time. But over the...

Nature’s Secret Weapon Against Climate Change

These schools of colorful reef fish call Raja Ampat, the global centre of fish diversity, home. Credit: © Rick Stuart-Smith Whether it’s the stock market or a vibrant coral reef , it usually pays...
A large red research vessel among icy waters and snowy mountains

Shipboard Life in the Antarctic

The R/V Laurence M. Gould amid icy waters in Antarctica Credit: Danielle Hall Strapped in to a harness on the back deck of a 230-foot research vessel off the coast of Antarctica , I...

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