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The Ocean Blog

Scripps scientist Gerald Kooyman's expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitat in Antarctica. Learn more about life at the poles or check out this emperor penguin...
For two months, Cassandra Brooks , a marine scientist with Stanford University, travelled on an ice-breaking ship through the Ross Sea in the Antarctica—and she filmed the whole thing. A camera...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
Seasons in the Ross Sea are marked by ice freezing and melting, and these processes mix the seawater and redistribute salt and nutrients. The influx of nutrients cause phytoplankton to bloom, forming...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
Antarctica is almost entirely covered by ice sheets up to two miles (3 km) thick, which contain roughly 70% of the world’s freshwater. The great ice sheets spill out to sea as floating ice-shelves...
Every year as the sun disappears for the winter, the surface waters around Antarctica freeze into a slab of ice 10-feet thick, which effectively doubles the size of the continent. In the summer, the...
The dark seafloor beneath the ice is covered with sea stars, urchins and ribbon worms looking for their next meal, which can come from sponges, dead animals that float to the sea floor, or even other...
Hedbergella sliteri - this specific specimen is the "holotype" for this species. That means it is the reference point for what all members of the species should look like. This specimen was...
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
On average, Arctic sea ice has decreased by four percent per decade since the late 1970s. But at the same time, Antarctic ice has increased by 1 percent. Scientists are investigating why . More about...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's legs to keep warm in the long Antarctic winter. Learn more about research on emperor penguins and other Antarctic...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
Small amphipods, the blue bug-like creatures, can be seen here catching a ride on this enormous sea spider as it makes its way across the bottom. Many Antarctic creatures, like the dinner-plate-sized...
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