Ocean

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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…
Coral reef ecosystem off Palmyra Atoll part of newly expanded Marine National Monument. Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Pacific Remote Islands protection not just a drop in the ocean

This fall, President Obama signed a proclamation that created the biggest marine reserve in the world. By extending the protective boundaries around Wake Island, Jarvis Island and Johnston Atoll from 50…
Bet you wouldn’t find this on Mars. EPA

Just how little do we know about the ocean floor?

As ships resume the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the depths of the Indian Ocean this week, we often hear that the oceans are “95% unexplored” and that we know more about the surface…
Diseases can devastate coral reefs. Jorge H. Pinzón C.

Older coral species are hardier than newer ones

The incredible diversity of coral reef ecosystems is being threatened by factors associated with global climate change and local pollution. Today diseases have increased and are killing more corals. Seeing…
The AAL Fremantle, borne along by a meteotsunami, hits the rail bridge next to Fremantle Harbour. ‏@Mattiegeesu via Twitter

Explainer: how weather can trigger dangerous tsunamis

At around 10pm on Sunday 17 August 2014, the container ship AAL Fremantle was being unloaded after arriving in Western Australia’s Fremantle Harbour, when it broke away from its mooring and collided with…
Rubbish strewn on beaches eventually ends up in one of the world’s giant ocean garbage patches. Vberger/Wikimedia Commons

Redrawing the map could reveal ocean garbage patch culprits

Most of us have littered at one time or another, and in the process we probably contributed to the enormous of amounts of plastic that enter the ocean every year, eventually ending up in one of the five…

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