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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 perspective—that of cultural anthropologists...
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The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of...
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Tiny plant-like organisms called zooxanthellae live in the tissues of many...
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Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of...

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What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the...
It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350...

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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...
What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary are bleached due to an increase in water temperatures, which causes corals to lose the...
A humboldt squid ( Dosidicus gigas )—also known as the jumbo squid—releases a cloud of ink at night in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. These large, carnivorous squids can reach more than 5 feet in length and...
What can students do to help the ocean? It turns out, a lot! These students from California are among dozens from the U.S. and Mexico who are developing action plans on ocean and climate-related...
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...
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 .
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...
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...
Brian Huber studies fossil organisms known as “ forams ” to learn about climate change in this video snippet from the Smithsonian Marine Collections video . More about world climate change can be...
This foraminifera was collected as it floated about 3 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Rico. The central dark area is the shell surrounded by spines. The tiny yellow dots are...
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...
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...
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...
Earth as seen from a satellite. More about climate change can be found in our climate change featured story .
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...
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.
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