Ocean

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A portion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, called Wilkes Land, flowing into the ocean. Michael Hambrey/Glaciers online net

How ice sheets collapse: a lesson from the past

The way ice sheets respond to global warming may be more predictable than previously thought
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.

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