Yellow-bellied sea snake (
Coleman M. Sheehy III, Florida Museum of Natural History
Sea snakes spend their lives in the water, giving birth to live young at sea, so why are they only found in some of the world’s oceans? The answer lies in a combination of climate and geography.
Sockeye salmon need strong hearts to migrate long distances. An oil spill could hurt their survival.
(AP Photo/Gary Stewart, File)
Pacific salmon are ingrained in the culture and economy of Canada. They are also a key link between ocean and land. But what happens if a pipeline failure contaminates their habitat?
The graceful Dugong.
It can fill in the scientific gaps.
Laiap, to the west of the site of the now-disappeared Nahlapenlohd.
In 1850, the Micronesian island of Nahlapenlohd was the scene of Pohnpei state’s first battle involving cannons and muskets. Less than two centuries later, it has sunk beneath the waves.
BlueOrange Studio / shutterstock
Palau has banned commercial fishing in most of its waters – while encouraging more foreign visitors.
Like big waves? Thanks to surf forecasting, you’ll know when and where to find them.
Shalom Jacobovitz/Wikimedia Commons
Walter Munk might be the most under-appreciated man in surfing, but he is a big deal in ocean science. If you’ve ever checked a surf forecast before paddling out, you have him to thank.
The same beach on Henderson Island, in 1992 and 2015.
After making worldwide headlines with the story of the Pacific “garbage island”, researchers were sent a photo of the same beach, white sand free of litter, as recently as 1992.
The tropical Pacific has a large say in how fast the world warms.
If the Pacific Ocean enters an ‘El Tio’ phase, it could speed the world towards 1.5 degrees of global warming, one of the crucial benchmarks of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Cyclone Debbie looms over Queensland on Monday afternoon March 27.
The category 4 cyclone - the fifth storm of this year’s season, and the strongest so far - has buffeted the Queensland coast across a wide area centred on Airlie Beach.
Firefighters fight forest fire in Indonesia, triggered in part by El Nino.
We’re due to cop a hiding from the Pacific Ocean, but we don’t know when.
Things got very wet, very quickly, in Brisbane in 2011.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Since 1999, Australia has swung between drought and deluge with surprising speed, because El Niño has fallen into sync with similar patterns in the Indian and Southern Oceans.
The site of the hillfort of Vugala, northern Viti Levu island (Fiji). This was one of many hillforts in the area – home to a few hundred people according to reports from the 1840s – that were probably established around AD 1400 in response to conflict resulting from a food crisis that had come about as a result of an enduring fall in sea level.
Rising seas are one of the major concerns of Pacific Island nations, and looking at past sea-level change can help understand the future.
Tropical Cyclone Winston nears Fiji on February 20, 2016.
NASA Goddard Rapid Response/NOAA
Cyclone Winston produced wind speeds of around 300 km per hour, making it one of the strongest storms to make landfall.
A Japanese fish found in Washington after hitching a ride in a boat sent across the Pacific Ocean by the 2011 tsunami.
The 2011 Japan tsunami illustrates how more marine creatures are crossing the oceans than ever before - and not all of them are friendly travellers.
The low-lying islands of the Pacific such as Kiribati are vulnerable to sea level rise.
AAP Image/Elise Scott
Australia need to take responsibility for the consequences of its fossil fuel consumption and exports.
Soon the oceans will be too warm to support thriving coral reefs.
USFWS - Pacific Region/Flickr
Corals are experiencing only the third global bleaching event in recorded history, caused by warming seas. But worse is yet to come.
El Nino brings drought to Indonesia, and warmer weather to almost the entire globe.
El Niño has a hugely pervasive effect on global temperatures - for every degree the tropical Pacific warms, land temperatures warm by 1.5 degrees. How? Because the tropical ocean is a very good heater.
More frequent disasters – such as Cyclone Pam which struck Vanuatu this year – will leave Pacific islands struggling to recover.
As Prime Minister Tony Abbott attends the Pacific Island Forum summit today, attention has again turned to how the low-lying islands will deal with global warming.
People in the Philippines have been warned to brace for wet and wild weather, as this year’s El Nino shapes up to be the strongest since 1998.
EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO/AAP
The seesaw between El Niño and La Niña is set to get stronger with global warming. Signs are that this year and next will deliver a big swing from one to the other, prompting fires and floods across the world.
The large 1982 El Niño contributed to the Ash Wednesday bushfires that killed 75 people in south east Australia.
El Niño has arrived, it’s getting stronger, and it’s not about to go away soon. And already there are rumblings that this could be a big one.