Arctic Ocean

Mapping out where these RNA viruses are found globally can help scientists understand how they interact with organisms driving the planet's ecological processes.

Virologists Identify More Than 5,000 New Viruses in the Ocean

The new study focused on under-researched RNA viruses, which often infect animals and humans

Researchers discovered the wreck of Ernest Shackleton's Endurance, the team announced this week. The ship was last seen by Shackleton's crew in 1915 before it slipped under the icy surface. 

Cool Finds

Wreck of Shackleton's 'Endurance' Discovered in Icy Antarctic Depths

Researchers captured stunning photographs of the century-old wreck, still intact almost two miles beneath the waters of the Weddell Sea

Researchers suspect that breeding is a possibility because of how close the narwhal is to the pod of belugas.

Adopted Lone Narwhal Traveling Among Belugas Could Produce Narluga Calves

The mammal, now reaching sexual maturity, could mate soon, giving researchers more insight into the previously elusive hybrid animals

Four different audio recorders placed in different regions of the north-western Arctic collected eight years' worth of acoustic data, providing a sneak peek into the lives of cetaceans.

As Arctic Sea Ice Retreats, Orcas Are on the Move, Spurring Changes in the Food Chain

Acoustic recordings reveal the marine behemoths are moving into once icy areas, which causes competition for resources with other species

Researchers predict the Last Ice Area will survive the longest in a warming world—but how long the ice will last is unclear. Some estimates suggest the ice will be gone entirely by 2100.

The 'Last Ice Area' May Provide a Final Refuge for Arctic Life in a Warming World

The Arctic Ocean region may provide a sanctuary to animals who need the summertime frozen habitat for survival

Hammerhead sharks have are considered critically endangered.

More Than a Third of Shark Species Are Now Threatened With Extinction

Overfishing, habitat loss and climate change are behind the 'desperate' decline

The yet-to-be-named island was likely formed when ice bulldozed seabed mud up above the water's surface during a storm.

Scientists Discover What May Be the World's Northernmost Island

Researchers thought they had set foot on a known island, but island hunters pointed out that reported coordinates revealed a special find

There are many reasons to be worried about the state of the world’s oceans. But some scientists say it’s important to point to successes, in order to motivate people to take further, evidence-based action.

Seven Reasons to Be Optimistic About the World's Oceans

The health of the ocean is under threat, but these good-news stories deserve attention too

Permafrost covers 65 percent of Russian lands, but it’s melting fast.

Permafrost Thaw in Siberia Creates a Ticking 'Methane Bomb' of Greenhouse Gases, Scientists Warn

In 2020, temperatures in the region rose nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, causing the limestone to release ancient methane deposits

The Southern Ocean is defined by a swift undertow called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that flows from West to East around Antarctica.

National Geographic Officially Recognizes the Southern Ocean as World's Fifth Ocean

The organization's cartographers will now label a total of five oceans on their maps and atlases

A study of ten narwhal tusks reveals how the animals are responding to a swiftly changing Arctic.

New Research

Study of Narwhal Tusks Reveals a Swiftly Changing Arctic

Chemical analysis of ten tusks shows shifting diets and increasing levels of mercury as climate change warms the polar region

“There’s all sorts of reasons they shouldn’t be there,” says British Antarctic Survey biologist Huw Griffiths

New Research

Mysterious Sponges Live on a Boulder Under 3,000 Feet of Antarctic Ice

When scientists aiming to collect a sediment sample were stopped by a boulder, they found unexpected life instead

A stream of meltwater cuts through the Greenland ice sheet.

New Research

Earth Loses 1.2 Trillion Tons of Ice Per Year, a Nearly 60% Increase From 1994

A pair of studies paint a worrying picture of accelerating ice loss around the world, with serious consequences for projections of sea level rise

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to an abundance of wildlife such as polar bears and caribou, which the region's Indigenous communities rely on and hold sacred.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Will Not Face Mass Oil Drilling—for Now

Large oil companies skipped out on the auction, but environmentalists say a worrisome precedent has been set

More ships are cruising through Arctic waters but when disaster strikes, there is little information on how it might affect the environment, and little preparation for quick action.

The Race to Study Arctic Waters

In the far north, researchers are scrambling to record baseline environmental data as communities brace for future shipping disasters

Satellite records show a 13 percent decrease in sea ice per decade since the 1980s.

Arctic Sea Ice Fails to Refreeze by Late October, Setting a New Record

At this rate, the Arctic will experience its first ice-free summer as early as 2035

The German Research Vessel Polarstern conducting research near to the North Pole.

Largest Arctic Expedition Ever Comes to a Close

The German Research Vessel Polarstern came back into port after more than a year floating amid the diminishing Arctic sea ice

Alvin, a remotely operated submersible, drills for samples of the deep sea floor in 2014.

Deep-Sea Microbes Exert the Least Amount of Energy Possible to Survive

Giving a whole new meaning to doing the “bare minimum”

A deep-sea starfish attached to what is called a polymetallic nodule. These nodules are being targeted by the burgeoning deep-sea mining industry for their mixture of valuable metals including manganese, cobalt, copper and nickel.

Deep-Sea Mining’s Environmental Toll Could Last Decades

A study of microbial communities at the site of a 1989 deep-sea mining test suggests the fragile ecosystem may take half a century to fully recover

A rock samples collected during a 2010 drilling expedition in the South Pacific that found microbes in the sea floor.

Microbes Living in Deep Sea Rocks Spawn More Hope for Life on Mars

Starved of resources, these hardy bacteria still eke out a living, suggesting life forms could survive in the harsh habitats on other planets

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