spikes of white coral under water
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

ocean health
Close-up of a fiber with brightly colored pathogens beside it
Microplastics in Seawater May Harbor Parasites
Christie Wilcox | Apr 26, 2022
Laboratory experiments find that Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia can congregate on microplastic beads and fibers, suggesting they might make their way into and around the world’s oceans by hitching rides on tiny bits of trash.
Marine scientist photographing bleached corals
Coral Deaths Spurred by Pollutants From Land
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 17, 2019
Runoff and waste may be more harmful to the animals than climate change.
Image of the Day: What We’ve Dumped
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 10, 2019
Researchers collected trash that washed up at Gulf Coast shoreline sites over two years. Most of it was plastic.
cod hanging to dry above snow next to the sea
Just 13 Percent of Ocean Is Wilderness: Study
Shawna Williams | Jul 26, 2018
An analysis of 15 types of stressors finds humans are heavily affecting most sea areas.
Climate Change Research Gets Closer to Nature
Ruth Williams | Jul 1, 2018
Researchers devise more-realistic means of forecasting the effects of climate change on complex marine ecosystems.
Infographic: Ocean Mesocosms
Ruth Williams | Jun 30, 2018
How one research team studies the effects of ocean conditions on marine life
Marine Biologist Susan Williams Dies
Diana Kwon | Apr 26, 2018
The UC Davis researcher was an advocate of ocean conservation and science communication.
Ocean Heat Wave Wreaked Havoc on Great Barrier Reef
Ashley Yeager | Apr 18, 2018
Not only did many corals die in recent years, but some were actually killed by the hotter temperatures themselves, rather than bleaching.
Image of the Day: Plastic Feast
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Oct 30, 2017
New research suggests that plastic might just “taste good” to hard corals.
Lubchenco on Conservation
The Scientist Staff | Jul 16, 2017
Former NOAA administrator and environmental scientist Jane Lunchenco discusses the importance of science in the face of climate change.
Study: Warming Waters Cause Deadly Bleaching in Great Barrier Reef
Diana Kwon | Mar 16, 2017
Once again, climate change is killing off masses of coral in Australia’s expansive reef system.
Ocean Viruses Cataloged
Jef Akst | Sep 21, 2016
An international research team triples the number of known virus types found in marine environments. 
Changing Oceans Breed Disease
Christie Wilcox | Jul 1, 2016
In the planet’s warming and acidifying oceans, species from corals to lobsters and fish are succumbing to pathogenic infection.
Identifying Resilient Reefs
Jef Akst | Jun 16, 2016
Researchers identify areas where marine ecosystems are faring better or worse than predicted in hopes of saving the world’s corals.
Ocean Sentinels
Elizabeth Fiedler | Oct 1, 2015
Researchers are struggling to understand shifts in the migratory patterns of penguins in the Southwest Atlantic.
An Ocean of Plastic
Jef Akst | Dec 15, 2014
A new study surveys the extent of the plastic problem in the world’s oceans, estimating more than 5 trillion pieces weighing nearly 250,000 tons.
La Bohème: A Portrait of Our Oceans in Peril
Graciela Flores | Mar 15, 2013
The sculptures of Mara G. Haseltine's new exhibition tell a tale of beautiful oceans ravaged by pollution.
Love Song for an Ailing Planet
Graciela Flores | Mar 15, 2013
Artist Mara G. Haseltine unveils her latest exhibition of science-inspired sculpture, a melancholy ode to marine plankton set to the music of Puccini.
Seals Reveal Ocean Secrets
Dan Cossins | Feb 26, 2013
Oceanographers deployed elephant seals to discover a new source of Antarctic bottom water, cold deep-ocean currents that play a key role in global ocean circulation.