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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...
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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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 summertime channel created by the...
Over a 10-year period NOAA scientists have collected 72,000 seawater samples...
Ultraviolet light illuminates the growth rings in a cross-section of a 44-...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

“Let’s talk about the Earth, really talk about survival. We can talk about the Poles where the cold is unrivaled.” Rappers wrap their heads around climate change in this music video. More about...
Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
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...
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...
On World Oceans Day - June 8th, 2012 - the Living Oceans Foundation hosted a live web-based conversation between Sylvia Earle at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a team of...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, 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...
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...
"This World of Ours, Does not feel steady, We keep rotating, Oi! What will happen to us?" This is one of the questions that a group of performers from the Pacific island of Tuvalu is posed to...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different...
What is climate change, and how is it affecting coastal Carolina? That is the question that a group teens from Isaac Bear Early College High School set out to answer for their Third National Student...
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...
Globotruncana falsostuarti -- a foram that lived about 75 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, from southeastern Tanzania. By measuring the chemistry in the shell, scientists can estimate...
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...
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...
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 .
Global climate change is a complex issue. Think you're in the know about the ins and outs of this critical environmental issue? Test your knowledge in this quiz from National Geographic. More about...
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
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