After a surprisingly rough summer for coral reefs in 2014, NOAA scientists are warning that warm ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans could set the stage for a global outbreak of coral bleaching—the loss of corals’ food-producing algae—in 2015.
Restoring a healthy balance between sea otters and their sea urchin prey comes with a modest but meaningful bonus: halting the overgrazing of kelp forests and increasing their ability to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Already a threat to fish, mussels, and other marine creatures, low-oxygen “dead zones” are expected to increase in both size and number as greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperatures continue to rise.
Fish nursery. Bird sanctuary. Storm surge blocker. Maryland’s Blackwater Marsh Wildlife Refuge is all those things and more. And it could be completely underwater by the end of this century. A team of ecologists and climate experts is determined to find and conserve migration corridors for the critical wetland ecosystem.
April snow extent was record low across Europe and Asia, and in June, the entire Northern Hemisphere was below average for the tenth year in a row. Spring snow is disappearing even more rapidly than Arctic sea ice in summer.
Warming ocean temperatures in the Atlantic may allow for the expansion of tropical fish species into areas formerly too cold for them to thrive. Observations from the past decade off North Carolina link warm years with denser populations of the destructive lionfish.
Florida's humid climate is a major headache for strawberry growers. An alert system that warns of fungus-friendly weather conditions has reduced costs and risks associated with unnecessary chemical spraying.
Alaska’s coastal waters are especially vulnerable to the drop in pH—acidification—that comes when excess carbon dioxide dissolves into the ocean from the atmosphere. These maps show relative risk levels for commerical and subsistence fisheries.