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

Why Saving the Oceans Is as Vital as Protecting Rain Forests

By Alex Williams  Photo: Karsten Moran for The New York Times   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.

This Fisherman Wants Us To Use The Oceans To Fight Climate Change

10/21/19  
If we care about a livable planet, commercial fisherman-turned-kelp farmer Bren Smith says we need a Blue New Deal. ...
PEW

America’s Coastal Habitats Are Beautiful, Vital, and Worth Protecting

By Holly Binns, Ted Morton  Photo by Vicki Jauron/Getty Images   10/16/19  
Increasingly vulnerable ecosystems sustain marine life, filter water, safeguard shorelines

East Siberian Sea Is Boiling With Methane

10/09/19  
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...

Fearing Devastation, Coral Scientists Begin Post-Dorian Reef Surveys

10/08/19  
Climate-fueled storms pose an increased threat to reefs already facing a slew of environmental challenges. ...

Grim Projections for the Ocean—and the Life Within It

10/08/19  
Sonya Dyhrman, a microbial oceanographer affiliated with Lamont's Center for Climate and Life, explains how human-caused climate change is harming ocean health. ...
PEW

‘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.

The Gulf of Maine is warming, and its whales are disappearing

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Peter Breslow and Avery Ellfeldt  Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images   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....

Successful Ocean-Monitoring Satellite Mission Ends

10/04/19  
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.

Science data struggles to keep up with climate change

10/01/19  
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....

Scientists Race to Stop ‘Ebola’ of Coral Diseases From Spreading in U.S. Virgin Islands

09/27/19  
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,...

Climate change is wreaking havoc on our oceans. Here’s how we save them.

By Lisa Speer  Photo by Adam Obaza   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…

The Oceans We Know Won’t Survive Climate Change

By Robinson Meyer  Photo by Sergio Moraes   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.

ISGP’s “The Forum” Podcast: Great barriers for the reefs

09/16/19  
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....

Warming Rivers Are Causing Die-Offs Among Alaska Salmon

09/06/19  
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. ...

Australia cuts outlook for Great Barrier Reef to ‘very poor’ for first time, citing climate change

09/01/19  
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure and has become a potent symbol of the damage wrought by global warming....

A Dwindling, Dying Dead Sea: A Call for Restorative Action

08/30/19  
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. ...

Scientists Have Discovered Pockets of Coral Reefs Surviving in Warmer Waters

By Zee Krstic  Photo: SOFT_LIGHT / GETTY IMAGES   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…

Ocean Heat Waves Kill Coral Instantly, Study Finds

08/09/19  
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...

‘Surprise’ Ocean Heat Waves Are Twice as Common as Previously Thought

08/07/19  
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,...

A year ago, toxic red tide took over Florida’s Gulf Coast. What would it take to stop it next time?

By Allison Eck  Photo: Vince Lovko , Mote Marine Laboratory   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…

Can Seaweed Help Curb Global Warming

07/01/19  
It's time for planetary-scale interventions to combat climate change -- and environmentalist Tim Flannery thinks seaweed can help.

Part of the Pacific Ocean Is Not Warming as Expected. Why?

06/24/19  
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. ...

The Next Wave of Climate Refugees

By Emily Buder  Video by Lisa Hornak and Erin Stone   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…

National Academies Study Offers Framework for Coral Reef Research and Recovery

06/10/19  
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…

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.

Guest post: How will climate change’s warming pattern look in the future?

04/24/19  
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…

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…

Bonaire: Where Coral and Cactus Thrive, and the Sea Soothes the Soul

By Nina Burleigh  Photo: CreditErik Freeland for The New York Times   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…

Scientists Single Out a Suspect in Starfish Carnage: Warming Oceans

By Kendra Pierre-Louis  Photo: Jennifer Idol/Stocktrek Images, via Science Source   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…

As Seas Warm, Galápagos Islands Face a Giant Evolutionary Test

By Nicholas Casey and Josh Haner  Photo: Jeremy White   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.

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…

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…

Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor. Here’s why we should be worried.

By Shoshana Wodinsky  Photo: maurizio siani / Getty   11/14/18  
"Even at places on our planet where we have never set foot... there is a trace of human activity."

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…

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.

California’s Underwater Forests Are Being Eaten by the ‘Cockroaches of the Ocean’

By Kendra Pierre-Louis  Photo: Gabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times   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…

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…

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…

An ocean ‘heat wave’ just drove temperatures off Maine to near-record highs

By Steven Mufson   08/31/18  
Sea surface temperatures in the vast Gulf of Maine hit a near-record high of 68.93 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 8, part of what scientists called a month-long "marine heat wave" in the normally chilly waters…
CNN

Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘massive death’

By Rebecca Wright and Ivan Watson   08/24/18  
The ‘Godfather of Coral’ predicts a ‘planetary catastrophe’

Half of the Great Barrier Reef Is Dead

By Lauren E. James   08/01/18  
Half of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached to death since 2016. Mass coral bleaching, a global problem triggered by climate change, occurs when unnaturally hot ocean water destroys a reef’s colorful algae, leaving…

Climate change is making Lake Tahoe warmer, adding stress to the ecosystem

By Daniel Rothberg   07/30/18  
In an annual report released this week, U.C. Davis researchers found that climate change is adding new pressure to the Lake Tahoe ecosystem. The “State of the Lake Report” found that surface temperatures in July…

Can you spot dead coral? – in pictures

07/28/18  
Climate change is the greatest global threat to coral reef ecosystems. It warms the ocean and causes thermal stress, leading to coral bleaching. This bleaching is affecting the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great…

Stopping global warming is only way to save Great Barrier Reef, scientists warn

By Joshua Robertson  Photo by Chris Jones   03/15/17  
Improvements to water quality or fishing controls don’t prevent underwater heatwaves damaging coral, studies of mass bleaching events reveal.

Ocean data upgrade confirms pace of recent warming

By Robert McSweeney   01/04/17  
Every day, thousands of measurements of the Earth’s temperature are taken across the world by weather stations, ships, satellites, floating buoys and weather balloons.

Global warming could mean fewer fish for sport fishing, more die-offs across US

By Elizabeth Weise   07/09/19  
Global warming is putting lake fish in hot water, with worrisome possibilities for many species, as well as the nation's fishermen and the $115 billion sport fishing industry that employs as many as 820,000 people.

New England Coastal Waters Warming More Than Anywhere Else in the US

By Lexi Peery   06/27/19  
Waters off the coast of New England have warmed up more than any other coastal areas in the United States — up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1901. That's according to a new analysis of…

State of the climate: Heat across Earth’s surface and oceans mark early 2019

By Zeke Hausfather   04/23/19  
Global surface temperatures in 2019 are on track to be either the second or third warmest since records began in the mid-1800s, behind only 2016 and possibly 2017.

Since 2016, Half of All Coral in the Great Barrier Reef Has Died

By Robinson Meyer  Photo by David Gray / Reuters   03/01/19  
A new study warns it has become a “highly altered, degraded system.”