Temperature & Chemistry

How and why do ocean temperatures fluctuate throughout the ocean? Not only are there massive temperature changes in the ocean (called a thermocline), but also swift changes in salt, oxygen and other chemicals that can tell scientists a lot.

LATEST POSTS

DIVE DEEPER

Taking the Ocean’s Temperature

A fleet of underwater floats called Argo is deployed at more than 3,000 spots around the world. The floats transmit...

Dr. Jan Backman, Marine Geologist

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 .

The Gulf Oil Spill: Effects on Marine Life

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has imperiled the ecosystem along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Most oil spills have occurred at the ocean surface. This one, originating at the ocean floor and rising up through the...

Underwater Robots Explore the Ocean

A Rutgers freshman Engineering student prepares the Scarlet Knight’s internal electronics for sea trials. Undergraduates worked on the project through the Coastal Ocean Observation Lab—known to students as the COOL room. Credit: Provided by...
A team of scientists explore the Arctic ocean.

Under Arctic Ice

Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.

Receding Ice Cover

See an animation showing over time, the receding of summer sea ice in the Arctic .

Taking an Ice Sample

Using a drill, a team removes a chunk from the thick Arctic ice. Small samples are taken from where the ice meets liquid seawater. The ice is then melted for analysis.

Sea Levels on the Move

Through the use of satellites and land survey tools, scientists are learning about the effects of climate change on our ocean. By combining data regarding sea level and land elevation, they can see how...

Arctic Exploration

New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can discover the...

National Ice Center Monitors the Arctic and Antarctic

The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient navigation, but it also supports scientific research and provides crucial information used by scientists to better monitor and understand climate change ...

Taking the Ocean’s Temperature

A fleet of underwater floats called Argo is deployed at more than 3,000 spots around the world. The floats transmit information about water temperature, salinity, and pressure which scientists use to understand trends in...

Lecture: One Year After the Gulf Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest spill in U.S. history. In...
An algal bloom, also known as a red tide, has converted the ocean's surf to a red color

Scientists Work to Predict and Prevent Algae Blooms

Harmful algal blooms are dangerous, producing toxins that can kill marine organisms, taint shellfish, cause skin irritations, and even foul the air Credit: Flickr User AJC1 Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance...
A graph of arctic ice coverage from 2011, showing data through September 7, 2011.

Arctic Sea Ice: A New Low?

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low. The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center...
two men each hold a ceramic vessel at the archaeological ex

Archaeologists Study Early Whaling Community in Quebec, Canada

For over a decade, Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center archaeologist, William Fitzhugh, has been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Québec, Canada . The site has revealed important contact and trading...
Polar bears are threatened by a lack of sea ice.

Climate Change at the Poles

Polar bears are threatened by the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Credit: K. Elliott, NOAA, Hidden Ocean 2005 At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic...
Polar bears are threatened by a lack of sea ice.

The Sant Ocean Hall: Life at the Poles Exhibit

Human activity is increasing in the Arctic marine environment due to climate change. To help the most vulnerable areas, the Global Marine Program of IUCN, along with partners, is convening a series of workshops...

Line W: A 10-Year Portrait of Our Planet

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Line W" program is conducting research to better understand how the oceans and the atmosphere work together to cause, and are affected by, climate variability on the earth. Since...

Exploring Ocean Life with an Underwater Vehicle

Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from continental shelf to slope- by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Rutgers University are revealing connections between physical processes in the ocean...

Pages