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…


Changing Seas Bring ‘Turtle Stranding Season’ to Cape Cod

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   12/19/19  
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, among the rarest and most endangered of the seven species of sea turtles, was found motionless shortly after high tide on Cape Cod’s Skaket Beach. It was in dire straits.
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California Coast Acidiying Twice as Fast as World’s Oceans, Study Shows

Ocean waters off the coast of California are acidifying twice as fast as the rest of the world's oceans, new research shows.NoneA study published Monday in...
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Waters Off California Acidifying Faster Than Rest of Oceans, Study Shows

The ocean off California is acidifying faster than the rest of the ocean, a new study shows. 
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The Ocean Is Finally Getting The Attention It Deserves

The planet’s largest carbon sink is a major focus at the United Nations climate summit in Madrid, Spain. ...
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The Ocean Is Running Out of Oxygen, Largest Study of Its Kind Finds

Human activity is smothering the ocean, the largest study of its kind has found, and it poses a major threat to marine life.NoneThe International Union for...
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World’s Oceans Are Losing Oxygen Rapidly, Study Finds

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   12/07/19  
The world’s oceans are gasping for breath, a report issued Saturday at the annual global climate talks in Madrid has concluded.
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NASA, French Space Laser Measures Massive Migration of Ocean Animals

Every night, under the cover of darkness, countless small sea creatures – from squid to krill – swim from the ocean depths to near the surface to feed. This vast animal migration – the largest…
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Loudspeakers Can Help Bring Degraded Reefs Back to Life, Study Shows

A team of British and Australian scientists have discovered an innovative way to help coral reefs recover from the climate crisis and other human-caused damage: loudspeakers.A...
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Scientists used loudspeakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. Fish flocked to them

By Derek Hawkins   12/01/19  
The desperate search for ways to help the world’s coral reefs rebound from the devastating effects of climate change has given rise to some radical solutions.
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How a small stretch of ocean stirred a conservation movement

Off the Georgia coast, a decades-old marine sanctuary has emerged as a template for protection in the U.S. and around the world....
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The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific

By Simon Denyer and Chris Mooney   11/12/19  
The salmon catch is collapsing off Japan’s northern coast, plummeting by about 70 percent in the past 15 years. The disappearance of the fish coincides with another striking development: the loss of a unique blanket of…
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Why Saving the Oceans Is as Vital as Protecting Rain Forests

By Alex Williams   10/23/19  
Saving the oceans is key to fighting the climate crisis, according to Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a Brooklyn-born marine biologist and activist, who is a rising figure in the climate movement.
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This Fisherman Wants Us To Use The Oceans To Fight Climate Change

If we care about a livable planet, commercial fisherman-turned-kelp farmer Bren Smith says we need a Blue New Deal. ...
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America’s Coastal Habitats Are Beautiful, Vital, and Worth Protecting

By Holly Binns, Ted Morton   10/16/19  
Increasingly vulnerable ecosystems sustain marine life, filter water, safeguard shorelines
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East Siberian Sea Is Boiling With Methane

Russian scientists on an Arctic expedition have discovered, for the first time, methane "boiling" on the surface of the water that is visible to the naked...
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Fearing Devastation, Coral Scientists Begin Post-Dorian Reef Surveys

Climate-fueled storms pose an increased threat to reefs already facing a slew of environmental challenges. ...
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Grim Projections for the Ocean—and the Life Within It

Sonya Dyhrman, a microbial oceanographer affiliated with Lamont's Center for Climate and Life, explains how human-caused climate change is harming ocean health. ...
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‘Renewed Sense of Urgency’ Driving Action on Ocean Conservation

By Amanda Nickson   10/07/19  
Video details Pew's global effort to address a range of threats to marine environment.
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The Gulf of Maine is warming, and its whales are disappearing

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Peter Breslow and Avery Ellfeldt   10/06/19  
Waters off the coast of Maine are warming faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans. That's forcing whales northward in pursuit of prey, threatening some of their already dwindling populations....
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Successful Ocean-Monitoring Satellite Mission Ends

The Jason-2/Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), the third in a U.S.-European series of satellite missions designed to measure sea surface height, successfully ended its science mission on Oct. 1.
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Science data struggles to keep up with climate change

Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara say a fundamental gap in understanding how humanity is affecting oceans is limiting knowledge about the pace of change in cumulative impacts on ocean ecosystem....
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Scientists Race to Stop ‘Ebola’ of Coral Diseases From Spreading in U.S. Virgin Islands

Scientists are racing to save coral reefs off the coast of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands from a virulent, deadly disease, Reuters reported Thursday,...
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Climate change is wreaking havoc on our oceans. Here’s how we save them.

By Lisa Speer   09/25/19  
The fate of our oceans and climate are inextricably linked. That’s now clearer than ever with the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), titled The Oceans and Cryosphere…
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The Oceans We Know Won’t Survive Climate Change

By Robinson Meyer   09/25/19  
According to a new report from the UN climate panel, if carbon emissions continue, “sea-level rise will become unmanageable and life will flee the world’s tropical oceans.
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ISGP’s “The Forum” Podcast: Great barriers for the reefs

Learn about the laundry list of challenges currently facing corals and coral reefs, as well as why (and how) we might want to conserve and protect them....
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Warming Rivers Are Causing Die-Offs Among Alaska Salmon

As salmon suffer in Alaska’s warming snow- and rain-fed rivers, some scientists are looking to glaciers to predict the future of these fish. ...
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Australia cuts outlook for Great Barrier Reef to ‘very poor’ for first time, citing climate change

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure and has become a potent symbol of the damage wrought by global warming....
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A Dwindling, Dying Dead Sea: A Call for Restorative Action

Saving the Dead Sea will require political will, changes in industry best practices, and coordinated restoration efforts in a region that is notorious for its lack of cooperation. ...
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Scientists Have Discovered Pockets of Coral Reefs Surviving in Warmer Waters

By Zee Krstic   08/13/19  
Due to a prolonged marine heat wave over the last few years, many coral reefs across the globe have become bleached—but the good news is that all is not lost. Here's what experts are doing…
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Ocean Heat Waves Kill Coral Instantly, Study Finds

Marine heat waves are increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, which spell trouble for corals, according to new research from scientists working at the Great Barrier...
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‘Surprise’ Ocean Heat Waves Are Twice as Common as Previously Thought

Heat waves have had people sweltering all summer, but they are not just on land. It turns out that ocean heat waves, which can threaten corals,...
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A year ago, toxic red tide took over Florida’s Gulf Coast. What would it take to stop it next time?

By Allison Eck   07/19/19  
Rapid growths, or blooms, of microscopic algae occur in waters all over the world, but red tide refers to the explosive growth of one species, Karenia brevis, which calls the Gulf of Mexico home. Such…
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Can Seaweed Help Curb Global Warming

It's time for planetary-scale interventions to combat climate change -- and environmentalist Tim Flannery thinks seaweed can help.
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Part of the Pacific Ocean Is Not Warming as Expected. Why?

Climate models predict that as a result of human-induced climate change, the surface of the Pacific Ocean should be warming. But one key part is not. ...
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The Next Wave of Climate Refugees

By Emily Buder   06/17/19  
“We were so terrified with the water coming into the house and the sound of the storm. In front of my eyes, the walls of our house collapsed.” That’s Geeta Maiti, a resident of Mousuni…
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National Academies Study Offers Framework for Coral Reef Research and Recovery

Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the second and final report for their study on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral. The report, entitled A Decision Framework for Interventions to…
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Dying Oceans with Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson   05/02/19  
Scientists have discovered the oceans are warming 40% faster than previously thought. Joshua Jackson heads to Australia to learn what climate change means for the future of coral reefs.
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Guest post: How will climate change’s warming pattern look in the future?

Dr Andrew King is lecturer in climate science at the School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at the University of Melbourne. The world has not warmed evenly as the…
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Lawmakers propose new funding to study Oregon’s warming ocean, threats to fishing industry

By Tracy Loew   04/09/19  
The Pacific Ocean off Oregon has been ground zero for the impacts of climate change, beginning with a 2007 crisis in the state’s oyster industry. Since then, acidification and hypoxia events off Oregon’s coast have…
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Bonaire: Where Coral and Cactus Thrive, and the Sea Soothes the Soul

By Nina Burleigh   02/18/19  
As the polar vortex bore down on the United States a couple of weeks ago, we left our home in New York via an ice-encrusted front door. We were lucky enough to have tickets to…
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Scientists Single Out a Suspect in Starfish Carnage: Warming Oceans

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   01/30/19  
In 2013, starfish — including the morning sun star, the richly hued ochre star and the sunflower star, whose limbs can span four feet across — started dying by the millions along the Pacific Coast…
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As Seas Warm, Galápagos Islands Face a Giant Evolutionary Test

By Nicholas Casey and Josh Haner   12/18/18  
Nicholas Casey, a New York Times correspondent based in Colombia, and Josh Haner, a Times photographer, traveled 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador to see how ocean warming is affecting Darwin’s first laboratory.
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How Ruth Gates used social design to protect the coral reefs

By Cheryl Heller   12/08/18  
With more species per square yard than the most robust tropical rain forests, coral reefs take up less than 1 percent of ocean floor but support more than 25 percent of marine life. They are…
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Climate change report predicts drastic changes in US marine economy

By Cliff White   11/30/18  
Increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation are the outcomes from climate change that will cause the most damage the world’s marine economy, according to National Climate Assessment report released by the U.S. Global Change Research…
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Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor. Here’s why we should be worried.

By Shoshana Wodinsky   11/14/18  
"Even at places on our planet where we have never set foot... there is a trace of human activity."
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Oceans warming faster than anticipated

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis   10/31/18  
A scientific study published today in Nature indicates that our rapidly warming oceans mean that seas will rise faster and that more heat will be delivered to critical locations that already are facing the effects…
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Great Barrier Reef forecast warns entire system at risk of bleaching and coral death this summer

By Lisa Cox   10/25/18  
US oceanographic agency forecasts 60% chance of extreme heat stress and bleaching.
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California’s Underwater Forests Are Being Eaten by the ‘Cockroaches of the Ocean’

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   10/22/18  
Underwater forests — huge, sprawling tangles of brown seaweed — are in many ways just as important to the oceans as trees are to the land. Like trees, they absorb carbon emissions and they provide…
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What’s Causing Antarctica’s Ocean to Heat Up? New Study Points to 2 Human Sources

By Sabrina Shankman   09/24/18  
In a new study, researchers used climate models, the past observations that did exist and data flowing in from new ocean-going sensors to show how greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of ozone in the…
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Warming seas are robbing some fish of their vital sense of smell

By Marlene Cimons   08/31/18  
There have been numerous wake-up calls about the effects of climate change on marine life. As ocean waters heat up, they are bleaching corals. Growing levels of carbon dioxide are acidifying seawater, which is degrading…
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