Before you do anything else, check here to see the amount of heat stored in the oceans…




Almost three-quarters of Earth’s surface is covered by ocean, and another 10% is covered by ice sheets and glaciers. Since the 1980s, the ocean has absorbed about 20-30% of humans’ carbon emissions, causing the ocean to become both warmer and more acidic. In addition, the ocean absorbs more than 90% of the heat that greenhouse gases trap in the atmosphere. And as the water warms, it expands: about half of the sea-level rise over the past 25 years is attributable to warmer oceans

The consequences are far reaching, and the 2019 UN IPCC report warns that we will see “unprecedented” changes to the oceans this century. Already since 2016, half of all the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died due to acidification, and Australia has downgraded its outlook to “very poor.” States are experiencing a host of other issues like  disappearing whales, millions of dying starfish, and threats to fish species and the fishing industry

Although the oceans are warming about 40% faster than the UN had previously predicted, another report imagines the ocean as a powerful source of solutions, including off-shore wind, if action is taken now. Another solution, championed by Bren Smith, co-founder of GreenWave, sees kelp farming as a way to both restore our oceans and feed the planet. He points out that Seaweed harvesting once was a major industry in the United States. In the early 1900s, 1,500 workers produced 52 different products from kelp on the docks of San Diego. The industry died after WWII (due to over harvesting), one recent study estimates the industry will grow to 85Bn by 2026 across a diverse range of markets.


Visualizing Coastal Ocean Acidification

Since the industrial revolution began a little over 200 years ago, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, cement production, and land use change.…
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Gulf of Maine sees second-hottest year on record, report shows, ‘getting to the edge of habitability’

By Sonel Cutler 02/24/23
Already one of the fastest-warming bodies of water in the world, the Gulf of Maine recorded its second-hottest year ever in 2022, another ominous indicator of how global warming threatens the rich marine world off…
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How to pull carbon dioxide out of seawater

By David M. Chandler 02/16/23
A new method for removing the greenhouse gas from the ocean could be far more efficient than existing systems for removing it from the air.
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Warming seas are carving into glacier that could trigger sea level rise

By Chris Mooney 02/15/23
Rapidly warming oceans are cutting into the underside of the Earth’s widest glacier, startling new data and images show, leaving the ice more prone to fracturing and ultimately heightening the risk for major sea level…
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Why helping whales to flourish can help fight climate change

By Corinne Purtill 02/07/23
The ocean is one of the planet’s great carbon sinks, absorbing nearly a third of the atmosphere’s greenhouse gas emissions. Swimming in its depths are the great whales, a population whose sheer physical mass allows…
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A Look Back: 2022’s Temperature Record

2022 effectively tied for Earth’s 5th warmest year since 1880, and the last 9 consecutive years have been the warmest 9 on record. NASA looks back at how heat was expressed in different ways around…
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2022’s Series of Disasters Could Be Linked to a New Ocean Record

By Lauren Leffer 01/11/23
California is in its third week of back-to-back-to-back extreme weather events. The Pacific coast has been drenched by consecutive atmospheric rivers spanning from the end of last year into the present, with precipitation totals 400%-600%…
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A Toxic Stew on Cape Cod: Human Waste and Warming Water

By Christopher Flavelle 01/01/23
Climate change is contributing to electric-green algae blooms. Massachusetts wants a cleanup of the antiquated septic systems feeding the mess, but it could cost billions....
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Want to save the planet? Saving whales could help, scientists say.

By Rachel Pannett 12/15/22
Restoring the population of whales — which are still being killed in high numbers — could help reduce carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere, according to a new study....
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Indigenous ‘sea gardens’ could protect shellfish in an acidifying ocean

By Jen Schmidt 12/08/22
It’s low tide in Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, California, and Hannah Hensel is squishing through thick mud, on the hunt for clams. The hinged mollusks are everywhere, burrowed into the sediment, filtering seawater…
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Where Walruses Go When Sea Ice Is Gone

By Carolyn Kormann 11/21/22
n 2018, in the Siberian Arctic, the filmmakers Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev, who are sister and brother, arrived on a strange beach. “The sand was of dark colour, full of bones, and smelled terrible,”…
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Climate risks for Gulf of Mexico coral reefs spelled out in study

Ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea are on pace to surpass critical thresholds for coral health by mid-century, but rapid action to significantly reduce emissions could slow warming, giving corals…
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What is Argo?

Argo is an international program that collects information from inside the ocean using a fleet of robotic instruments that drift with the ocean currents and move up and down between the surface and a mid-water…

OceanSITES 2022 meeting

The mission of OceanSITES is to collect, deliver and promote the use of high-quality data from long-term, high-frequency observations at fixed locations in the open ocean. OceanSITES typically aim to collect multidisciplinary data worldwide from…

Ocean Heat Content

Ninety percent of global warming is occurring in the ocean, causing the water’s internal heat to increase since modern record-keeping began in 1955, as shown in the upper chart. (The shaded blue region indicates the…

Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute is dedicated to securing permanent, strong protection for the oceans’ most important places – for us and future generations.

State Of The Beach Report

Greta is known for her famous speeches before world leaders. She recently spoke at COP 26 where delegates from around the world are charged with fulfilling goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework…

Igniting public support For a global network of Marine protected areas

“Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean.”

Climate Change Indicators: Ocean Heat

In four different data analyses, the long-term trend shows that the top 700 meters of the oceans have become warmer since 1955 (see Figure 1). All three analyses in Figure 2 show additional warming when…

Oceans | The Pew Charitable Trusts

Pew’s ocean work includes efforts to create large marine reserves; end illegal fishing; protect key species such as penguins, sharks, tuna and forage fish; and establish policies that protect, maintain, and restore the health of…

Global warming impairs stock–recruitment dynamics of corals

Changes in disturbance regimes due to climate change are increasingly challenging the capacity of ecosystems to absorb recurrent shocks and reassemble afterwards, escalating the risk of widespread ecological collapse of current ecosystems and the emergence…

Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Here we combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass…

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have threatened ocean…

Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records

Accurate sea surface temperature (SST) data are necessary for a wide range of applications, from providing boundary conditions for numerical weather prediction, to assessing the performance of climate modeling, to understanding drivers of marine ecosystem…

Ocean Facts

Get the facts about our ocean and coasts.

IPCC report: The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere.

Ocean Media Institute

The Ocean Media Institute is a global media collective that serves to create, educate, and advocate for the protection of the ocean. As a creative hub for individuals and organizations worldwide, our goal is to…

Ocean acidification education

The ocean absorbs about 30% of the CO2 that is released in the atmosphere, and as levels of atmospheric CO2 increase, so do the levels in the ocean. When CO2 is absorbed by seawater, a…


The Big Topic: What You Can Learn From An Ocean

By Robert Kunzig   06/08/21  
One of the most strangely exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a journalist happened in the spring of 2000, inside a shipping container on the deck of a ship in the Indian Ocean. The ship was…
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New global partnership to elevate marine protected areas as tool in climate response

Today, the United States, United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica, and France announced a new global partnership to advance the role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a nature-based solution in the fight against climate change.…
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Coral Reef and Coastal Wetlands Protections Can Help Communities Withstand Climate Impacts

By Emily Owen   06/01/21  
Coral reefs, among the ocean’s most vibrant and productive ecosystems, support tremendous biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services and other benefits for more than 500 million people around the world. Despite covering less than 1%…
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Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific reboots ‘Coral Reefs’ exhibits

By Harry Saltzgaver Grunion/SCNG   05/31/21  
An exhibit on coral reefs and how global climate change threatens them will be the focus of the Aquarium of the Pacific this summer — as it was supposed to be last year. “Coral Reefs:…
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What is ocean literacy and why do we need it?

By Douglas Broom   05/24/21  
The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface. It is the last and largest unexplored area on Earth. Yet too few of us really understand how it is inextricably connected to all aspects…
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Corals swap in heat-resistant algae to better cope with global warming

By Karina Shah   05/17/21  
Cheryl Logan at California State University in Monterey Bay and her colleagues have developed a model to simulate how these corals – and other coral species – will respond to global warming and ocean acidification.…
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$1 million study races to save oysters from acidification in Bay

By Jeremy Cox   05/17/21  
When Bruce Vogt launched his oyster farm a decade ago, he opted to raise his bivalves in a creek near the mouth of the York River because of its exceptionally clean water. But he worries…
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Watching a coral reef die in a warming ocean

By Sam Purkis   04/29/21  
The Chagos Archipelago is one of the most remote, seemingly idyllic places on Earth. Coconut-covered sandy beaches with incredible bird life rim tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, hundreds of miles from any continent. Just…
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Bizarre Marine Life Movement Might be Indicating Future Mass Extinction

By Charles Stephen   04/26/21  
Science has long acknowledged the wonder of Earth’s tropical waters. Perhaps this is because it offers the richest marine life diversity anywhere on our planet. These range from the fantastic coral reefs to the running…
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UC Davis researchers find that seagrasses can reduce the impact of ocean acidification

By Francheska Torres   04/23/21  
The study was started by UC Davis researchers including Tessa Hill, a UC Davis professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. When it was proposed that seagrasses were a way to buffer ocean…
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Satellites highlight a 30-year rise in ocean acidification

By European Space Agency   04/21/21  
Oceans play a vital role in taking the heat out of climate change, but at a cost. New research supported by ESA and using different satellite measurements of various aspects of seawater along with measurements…
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New Partnership Seeks to Protect 18 Million Square Kilometers of Ocean Over Next Five Years

The ocean covers about 70% of Earth and provides a suite of vital services to humanity
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Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator

By Chhaya Chaudhary , Anthony J. Richardson , David S. Schoeman and Mark J. Costello   04/13/21  
The latitudinal gradient in species richness, with more species in the tropics and richness declining with latitude, is widely known and has been assumed to be stable over recent centuries. We analyzed data on 48,661…
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Scientists Find Underwater Plants Can Combat Ocean Acidification

By Liz Allen   04/12/21  
Human-generated carbon emissions are causing the world’s oceans to become more acidic. Since the start of the industrial revolution, when mankind’s emissions began ramping up, the world’s oceans have already become about 30% more acidic.…
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Marine life is fleeing the equator to cooler waters. History tells us this could trigger a mass extinction event

By Anthony Richardson , Chhaya Chaudhary , David Schoeman , Mark John Costello   04/08/21  
The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The…
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A Small Hint of Big Trouble in the Oceans

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White   03/03/21  
Some scientists fear that meltwater from Greenland may be affecting ocean currents that help regulate far-reaching weather patterns.
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As Warming Oceans Bring Tough Times to California Crab Fishers, Scientists Say Diversifying is Key to Survival

By Liza Gross   02/01/21  
California’s Dungeness crab fishermen have had a rough year. Poor meat quality, endangered whales migrating too close to shore and price disputes with wholesalers kept crab pots on boats for nearly two months. The delays…
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Warming Seas Are Accelerating Greenland’s Glacier Retreat

Greenland’s melting glaciers, which plunge into Arctic waters via steep-sided inlets, or fjords, are among the main contributors to global sea level rise in response to climate change.
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Southern Ocean waters are warming faster than thought, threatening Antarctic ice

By Andrew Freedman   01/22/21  
The Southern Ocean is one of the most important yet least explored and understood regions of the planet when it comes to determining how global warming may affect the future of humanity, thanks to its…
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Ocean 100: Profits from world’s seas dominated by 100 companies

By Umberto Bacchi   01/13/21  
Just 100 companies account for most of the profits from the world's seas, researchers said on Wednesday, calling on them to help save the oceans from over-fishing, rising temperatures and pollution. Together, the companies generated…
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Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather

By Damien Carrington   01/13/21  
The world’s oceans reached their hottest level in recorded history in 2020, supercharging the extreme weather impacts of the climate emergency, scientists have reported.
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5 Environmental Stories That Could Dominate In 2021

By Laura Paddison   12/30/20  
As the climate crisis worsens, the coronavirus pandemic rages, and Joe Biden prepares to take office, a look at big environmental stories that could define the next year.
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By Katherine Harmon   12/11/20  
Bright sunlight filters down through the clear Mediterranean waters off the coast of Spain, illuminating a lush meadow just below the surface. Blades of strikingly green grass undulate in the currents. Painted comber fish dart…
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US plans to protect thousands of miles of coral reefs in Pacific and Caribbean

By Rachel Fritts   12/04/20  
Proposals cite climate change as most severe threat to US reefs, which may be in danger of disappearing in some places
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How investors are coming up with the green to save the ocean blue

By Saqib Rahim   10/28/20  
Rob Weary led a seemingly glamorous life for almost a decade, traveling to remote island paradises known for picture-perfect beaches and technicolor corals.
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New Study Shows a Vicious Circle of Climate Change Building on Thickening Layers of Warm Ocean Water

By Bob Berwyn   09/28/20  
Global warming is deepening blankets of warmer water that alter ocean currents, hinder absorption of carbon, intensify storms and disrupt biological cycles.
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Why Whales Are Important For Carbon Sequestration

By Francesco Bassetti   08/22/20  
Killing the world’s largest animal grew into a global trade in the sixteenth century when Basque whalers developed important technological improvements that allowed for commercial whaling. Since then whales have been driven to the brink…
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Treasure and Turmoil in the Deep Sea

By Steven H.D. Haddock and C. Anela Choy   08/14/20  
The growing push to mine the seabed threatens the vast and rich ecosystem between the surface and the seafloor.
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Great Barrier Reef is in the Fight of Its Life

By David Montalvo   08/14/20  
Off the shores of northeastern Australia, the surface waters of the Coral Sea periodically get unusually warm, sometimes triggered by the natural climate effect of El Niño. But most recently, scientists are finding, it’s being…
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Map of world’s uncharted ocean beds takes shape despite crisis

By Jonathan Saul   06/21/20  
Plans to map the entire ocean floor by 2030 are going ahead despite the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, officials leading the project said, with almost a fifth covered so far.
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Capturing the green energy of the deep blue sea

By Craig Pittman   06/09/20  
Off the coast of Florida, testing whether the Gulf Stream can produce carbon-free electricity
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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Suffers Its Most Extensive Coral Bleaching Event

By Stefica Nicol Bikes   06/04/20  
If global warming trends continue, the Great Barrier Reef will be destroyed. ...
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Oceans Likely to Heat up at Seven Times Their Current Rate, New Study Finds

By Jordon Davidson   05/26/20  
The depths of the oceans are heating up more slowly than the surface and the air, but that will undergo a dramatic shift in the second...
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Climate change in deep oceans could be seven times faster by middle of century, report says

By Graham Readfearn   05/25/20  
Uneven heating could have major impact on marine wildlife, as species that rely on each other for survival are forced to moveRates of climate change in the world’s ocean depths could be seven times higher…
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When Coral’s Colorful Show Is a Sign That It’s Sick

By David Waldstein   05/22/20  
Breaking up is hard to do, and the measures some take to get their partners back can be colorful at times. Coral reefs are that way, too, but for them, it’s a matter of life…
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A.I. Is Helping Scientists Understand an Ocean’s Worth of Data

By Tatiana Schlossberg   04/08/20  
Machine-learning applications are proving to be especially useful to the scientific community studying the planet’s largest bodies of water.
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‘An Utter Tragedy’: Great Barrier Reef Hit With Third Mass Bleaching Event In 5 Years

By Nick Visser   04/07/20  
“I’m not sure I have the fortitude to do this again,” one of Australia's top scientists wrote. ...
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We just spent two weeks surveying the Great Barrier Reef. What we saw was an utter tragedy

By Terry Hughes and Morgan Pratchett   04/07/20  
The Australian summer just gone will be remembered as the moment when human-caused climate change struck hard. First came drought, then deadly bushfires, and now a bout of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef…
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The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its most widespread bleaching ever recorded

By John Pickrell   04/07/20  
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is currently experiencing its third mass bleaching in just five years — and it is the most widespread bleaching event ever recorded. Results from aerial surveys conducted along the 2,000-kilometer-long reef…
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Climate Change Is Pushing Giant Ocean Currents Poleward

By Bob Berwyn   02/26/20  
A new study identifies fundamental changes in ocean circulation, with potentially dire effects on food supplies, sea level and weather in densely populated areas.
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Alaska’s Marine Ecosystem Is Changing ‘Decades Too Early’ Due to Climate Crisis

By Jordan Davidson   02/25/20  
The climate crisis is accelerating the rate of change in Alaska's marine ecosystem far faster than scientists had previously thought, causing possibly irreversible changes, according to...
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Coral Reefs Could Be Completely Lost to the Climate Crisis by 2100, New Study Finds

By Jordan Davidson   02/20/20  
Researchers released a sobering study this week showing that all of the world's coral reefs may be lost to the climate crisis by 2100.The bleak outlook...
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Why were whales increasingly caught in crab lines? Because of the climate crisis

By Kathrine Gammon   02/01/20  
New study shows marine heat wave was causing marine life to cluster in an area that made feeding dangerous
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Here’s an NFL Team You Can Join This Super Bowl to Help Save Coral Reefs

Only the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will get to play in Super Bowl 54 in Miami Sunday. But anyone can make a...
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Pacific Ocean’s rising acidity causes Dungeness crabs’ shells to dissolve

The Pacific Ocean is becoming so acidic it is starting to dissolve the shells of a key species of crab, according to a new US study....
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The Pacific Ocean is so acidic that it’s dissolving Dungeness crabs’ shells

By Scottie Andrew   01/27/20  
The Pacific Ocean is becoming more acidic, and the cash-crabs that live in its coastal waters are some of its first inhabitants to feel its effects.
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Coral in Crisis: Can replanting efforts halt reefs’ death spiral?

Citizen scientists are helping speed up efforts to replant and regrow dying reefs, but is the labor-intensive process really the best answer?...
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Report Details Climate Crisis Impacts on Coral Reefs, Warns of ‘Human Tragedy’

By Jessica CorbettIn a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future...
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The World’s Oceans Were The Hottest In Recorded History In 2019

Researchers found that the oceans are dramatically changing due to climate change, the latest evidence of a warming world. ...
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As wildfires hit Australia, ocean warming from climate change endangers Tasmania

By Darryl Fears   12/27/19  
Even before the ocean caught fever and reached temperatures no one had ever seen, Australia’s ancient giant kelp was cooked. Rodney Dillon noticed the day he squeezed into a wet suit several years ago and…
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