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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Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
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Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,”...
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Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing...
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At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his...

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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...
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...
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...
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...
"This World of Ours, Does not feel steady, We keep rotating, Oi! What will happen to us?" This is one of the questions that a group of performers from the Pacific island of Tuvalu is posed to...
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...
by Hannah Waters To really see a glacier move, you first have to speed up the passage of time. What appears to be an unmoving frozen expanse, as solid as the ground beneath your feet, is in fact a...
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...
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. Learn...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
“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...
Many household electronics, such as video game consoles, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances, continue drawing power after they are switched off. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that...
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...
Invasive species are often in the news these days, with human-transported organisms popping up in unexpected places. But in this era of climate change, there is a whole new kind of invasive species,...
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 .
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