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Microbes can act as canaries in the coalmine for ocean pollutants such as sewage. Ne0Freedom/Wikimedia Commons

Microbes: the tiny sentinels that can help us diagnose sick oceans

There are more bacteria in the ocean than stars in the known universe. New genetic techniques are letting us use microbes as early warning systems for oceans in trouble from pollution and other stresses.
Too many fish in our seas, like this Pacific bluefin tuna, are being lost to over-fishing – but better management can help. Issei Kato/Reuters

If we want to keep eating tuna, the world needs to learn how to share

Over-fishing is a massive environmental and economic challenge. Fortunately, there are new solutions being trialled – including in a tuna hotspot in the Pacific.
Expect to see more ships on the horizon, as global shipping booms. But how well are we measuring and governing what happens at sea? Chris Phutully/Flickr

The challenge of managing Earth’s new economic frontier: our oceans

As the world's land-based economies struggle with around 2% GDP growth, the global marine economy – often talked about as "the blue economy" – is a bright light on the horizon.
Satellite image showing clouds over the Greenland Sea downstream of the ice edge during conditions where there was a large transfer of heat and moisture from the ocean to the atmosphere. NASA

Declining winter sea ice near Greenland spells cooler climate for Europe

Loss of sea ice near Greenland and Iceland portend a colder future for Europe.
OK, but which sea’s level? And how do you know what it is? Wally Gobetz

Explainer: how do you measure a sea’s level, anyway?

The tides come in, the tides come out. But what is a sea's level? Technology has evolved since we first started gauging the height of the ocean in comparison to the land.
A huge float called an ‘actuator’ is lowered into the water off the Perth coast. AAP Image/Carnegie Wave Energy

Surf’s up – can wave energy rise to the challenge in Australia?

Australia's first large-scale wave energy project is online off the coast of Perth. As Hugh Wolgamot writes, it's a promising development, but technological challenges remain.
Kelp covered landscape in Western Australia. Dan Smale

Marine heatwaves threaten the future of underwater forests

Western Australia’s marine environment is unique. Two world heritage areas, the largest fringing coral reef in Australia, and more than a thousand kilometres of underwater forests, supporting incredible…
RV Investigator at sea – It will be formally commissioned in Hobart today. CSIRO

Explainer: the RV Investigator’s role in marine science

We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our deepest oceans, and only 12% of the ocean floor within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone has so far been mapped. The reason for this is…
Warmer waters heading south – here’s sunrise off Manly in New South Wales. Flickr/Jeff Turner

Things warm up as the East Australian Current heads south

Occasional erratic bursts southward of the East Australian Current (EAC) are thought to have moderated the weather of south-east Australia this autumn and winter and they continue to introduce tropical…
Marine parks need to be big enough to safeguard wide-ranging species, like the sharks being studied here. Manu San Felix/National Geographic Pristine Seas Expedition

Now is our chance to deliver on the 30% ocean protection target

Top scientists, senior government managers, industry representatives, conservationists and even some nations’ presidents are currently in Sydney for the World Parks Congress. This major international meeting…

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