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

OCEAN WARMING & ACIDIFICATION

OCEAN WARMING & ACIDIFICATION

OCEAN WARMING & ACIDIFICATION

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.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

What is Argo?

10/07/22
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

10/04/22
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

07/12/22
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

06/20/22
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

10/31/21
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

07/05/21
“Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean.”

Climate Change Indicators: Ocean Heat

05/18/21
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

05/04/21
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

10/06/20
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

10/01/20
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

10/01/20
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

10/01/20
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

02/06/20
Get the facts about our ocean and coasts.

IPCC report: The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

09/24/19
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

09/10/19
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

09/10/19
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…

MORE NEWS

New Partnership Seeks to Protect 18 Million Square Kilometers of Ocean Over Next Five Years

04/20/21  
The ocean covers about 70% of Earth and provides a suite of vital services to humanity

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…

Scientists Find Underwater Plants Can Combat Ocean Acidification

By Liz Allen  Photo: Getty Images   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.…

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…

A Small Hint of Big Trouble in the Oceans

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White  Graphic: Jeremy White/The New York Times   03/03/21  
Some scientists fear that meltwater from Greenland may be affecting ocean currents that help regulate far-reaching weather patterns.

As Warming Oceans Bring Tough Times to California Crab Fishers, Scientists Say Diversifying is Key to Survival

By Liza Gross  Photo by Paul Morris   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…

Warming Seas Are Accelerating Greenland’s Glacier Retreat

01/25/21  
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.

Southern Ocean waters are warming faster than thought, threatening Antarctic ice

By Andrew Freedman  Photo by Andrea Sachs   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…

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…

Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather

By Damien Carrington  Photo by Allen J Schabel   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.

5 Environmental Stories That Could Dominate In 2021

By Laura Paddison  Photo: Carlos Osorio/POOL/AFP via Getty Images   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.

PRAIRIES OF THE SEA

By Katherine Harmon  Photo by Shane Gross   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…

US plans to protect thousands of miles of coral reefs in Pacific and Caribbean

By Rachel Fritts  Photo: Seaphotoart/Alamy Stock Photo   12/04/20  
Proposals cite climate change as most severe threat to US reefs, which may be in danger of disappearing in some places

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.

New Study Shows a Vicious Circle of Climate Change Building on Thickening Layers of Warm Ocean Water

By Bob Berwyn  Photo 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.

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…

Treasure and Turmoil in the Deep Sea

By Steven H.D. Haddock and C. Anela Choy  Photo by Mark Pernice   08/14/20  
The growing push to mine the seabed threatens the vast and rich ecosystem between the surface and the seafloor.

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…

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.

Capturing the green energy of the deep blue sea

By Craig Pittman  Photo: OceanBased Perpetual Energy   06/09/20  
Off the coast of Florida, testing whether the Gulf Stream can produce carbon-free electricity

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. ...

Oceans Likely to Heat up at Seven Times Their Current Rate, New Study Finds

By Jordon Davidson  Photo: share your experiences / Moment / Getty Images   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...

Climate change in deep oceans could be seven times faster by middle of century, report says

By Graham Readfearn  Photo: BBC/Jo Ruxton   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…

When Coral’s Colorful Show Is a Sign That It’s Sick

By David Waldstein  Photo: The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey   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…

A.I. Is Helping Scientists Understand an Ocean’s Worth of Data

By Tatiana Schlossberg  Photo: Francois Gohier/VW Pics/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images   04/08/20  
Machine-learning applications are proving to be especially useful to the scientific community studying the planet’s largest bodies of water.

‘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. ...

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…

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…

Climate Change Is Pushing Giant Ocean Currents Poleward

By Bob Berwyn  Photo by Fred Tanneau   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.

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...

Coral Reefs Could Be Completely Lost to the Climate Crisis by 2100, New Study Finds

By Jordan Davidson  Photo: Francois Gohier / VWPics / Universal Images Group via Getty Images   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...

Why were whales increasingly caught in crab lines? Because of the climate crisis

By Kathrine Gammon  Photo by Eric Risberg   02/01/20  
New study shows marine heat wave was causing marine life to cluster in an area that made feeding dangerous

Here’s an NFL Team You Can Join This Super Bowl to Help Save Coral Reefs

01/31/20  
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...

Pacific Ocean’s rising acidity causes Dungeness crabs’ shells to dissolve

01/28/20  
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....
CNN

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.

Coral in Crisis: Can replanting efforts halt reefs’ death spiral?

01/25/20  
Citizen scientists are helping speed up efforts to replant and regrow dying reefs, but is the labor-intensive process really the best answer?...

Report Details Climate Crisis Impacts on Coral Reefs, Warns of ‘Human Tragedy’

01/23/20  
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...

The World’s Oceans Were The Hottest In Recorded History In 2019

01/14/20  
Researchers found that the oceans are dramatically changing due to climate change, the latest evidence of a warming world. ...

As wildfires hit Australia, ocean warming from climate change endangers Tasmania

By Darryl Fears  Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount   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…

Changing Seas Bring ‘Turtle Stranding Season’ to Cape Cod

By Kendra Pierre-Louis  Photo: Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times   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.

California Coast Acidiying Twice as Fast as World’s Oceans, Study Shows

12/17/19  
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...

Waters Off California Acidifying Faster Than Rest of Oceans, Study Shows

Photo: NOAA   12/16/19  
The ocean off California is acidifying faster than the rest of the ocean, a new study shows. 

The Ocean Is Finally Getting The Attention It Deserves

12/10/19  
The planet’s largest carbon sink is a major focus at the United Nations climate summit in Madrid, Spain. ...

The Ocean Is Running Out of Oxygen, Largest Study of Its Kind Finds

12/09/19  
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...

World’s Oceans Are Losing Oxygen Rapidly, Study Finds

By Kendra Pierre-Louis  Photo by Noaki Schwartz   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.

NASA, French Space Laser Measures Massive Migration of Ocean Animals

12/02/19  
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…

Loudspeakers Can Help Bring Degraded Reefs Back to Life, Study Shows

12/02/19  
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...

Scientists used loudspeakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. Fish flocked to them

By Derek Hawkins  Photo by Pablo Cogollos   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.

How a small stretch of ocean stirred a conservation movement

11/27/19  
Off the Georgia coast, a decades-old marine sanctuary has emerged as a template for protection in the U.S. and around the world....

The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific

By Simon Denyer and Chris Mooney  Photo: Salwan Georges   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…