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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, spews almost 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Industries are looking for ways to offset their emissions...
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...
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 .
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
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...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
Warmer water is causing an outbreak of giant mucus blobs in the Mediterranean. These blobs are more than just unpleasant, they can harbor bacteria and viruses. Learn more about climate change.
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...
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