Arctic Ocean

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

According to NASA: "The latest false-color view of total ozone over the Arctic pole. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone, and the yellows and reds are where there is more ozone."

Why This Rare, Huge Ozone Hole Over the Arctic Is Puzzling Scientists

The new wound further diminishes Earth’s protective shield against damaging solar radiation

Grey seals will clap their forelimbs together underwater, generating a sharp sound that communicates to others around them.

In a First, Scientists Film Wild Grey Seals Clapping to Show Their Strength

The behavior is believed to scare off competitors while wooing potential mates

Thousands of brooding octopuses were discovered in 2018 on the ocean floor off the coast of California.

Eighteen Things We've Learned About the Oceans in the Last Decade

In the past 10 years, the world's oceans have faced new challenges, revealed new wonders, and provided a roadmap for future conservation

A two-month-old filefish collected in the survey surrounded by plastic bits.

New Research

Newly Identified Fish Nurseries Are Choked With Plastic

Larval fish congregate in surface slicks, which contain plankton—and 126 times more plastic than surrounding waters

Cool Finds

These Newly Discovered Shrimp Call a Whale Shark's Mouth Home

Found in a whale shark off Okinawa, hundred of amphipods were living it up in the giant fish's gills