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...

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...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Taking the Temperature of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! Credit: Terry Ross ( Flickr ) The...

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...

Watching Rising Seas From Space

Sea level rise will hit the coasts the hardest. Over the coming centuries, land that is today home to between 470 and 760 million coastal residents will be inundated by sea level rise associated...

Vanishing Islands

The people of each island nation face their own unique challenges, but some common themes emerge. As sea level rises, they face increased flooding and erosion of their shorelines, and sources of fresh water...

Two Minutes on Oceans With Jim Toomey: The Climate Change Connection

Our climate is steadily getting warmer. Through cars and factories—among other things—people emit greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, and these gases go into the atmosphere where they trap heat and warm...

Adaptation to Sea Level

Over the past century, global sea level has risen an average of 19 cm. Though sea level naturally fluctuates, this rapid-rise poses a threat to both marine life and people. Fortunately, nature has some...

Climate Change Effects on Glaciers and Ice Sheets

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...

Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop

Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin...
Wind Turbines off of Block Island

An Ocean of Energy: Bringing Offshore Wind to America

The Block Island wind farm is the first operational offshore wind farm in the United States. It consists of five wind turbines which powered up in December 2016 and were connected to the mainland...
Tiny organisms found on ARMS

Traveling Around the World to Study the Future of the Ocean

By Dulce It takes three days of traveling to reach the islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Laetitia Plaisance , a researcher at...

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