Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of the oceans as ecological systems. In this section, learn about topics like currents, deep-sea research or how rogue waves work.

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You might be surprised at how little of the world's oceans scientists have investigated.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

The ocean is so deep, it puts the height of Mount Everest to shame.

By Mark Mancini

The SWOT satellite is a collaboration between NASA and the French space agency. Its mission is to measure how much water is on Earth and where the water is going.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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According to Guinness World Records, the waves in Nazaré, Portugal, are the biggest ever surfed. Scientists attribute the massive waves to an underwater canyon, but how does it work?

By Dylan Ris

The waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet at the tip of Cape Horn and never the two shall mix, right?

By Jesslyn Shields

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, plays an essential role in regulating ocean temperatures, but it looks as if it may be collapsing. What happens next?

By Joanna Thompson

The climate crisis is messing with the water cycle. Some places are getting way too much, while others aren't getting any water at all. We'll explain.

By Stephanie Parker

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The Southern Ocean has finally been officially recognized, though scientists have known about it for over a century.

By Jesslyn Shields

Pancake ice is fun and rare in some places, but it might be speeding up the warming of the ocean in the Arctic.

By Jesslyn Shields

In honor of World Oceans Day today, we're paying tribute to the vast and mighty Pacific Ocean, which covers 30 percent of our planet's surface.

By Mark Mancini

Anyone who's been to the ocean has probably seen the foamy white stuff that clings to the sand after a wave breaks and recedes, but what the heck causes that bubbly foam and is it dangerous?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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NOAA's Argo program distributes floating observatories across the globe. Why? They collect data about the world's oceans that is critical to understanding the planet.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

If it looks like a party is on, maybe they'll come back. Playing the sounds of a noisy, healthy coral reef can attract important fish species to devastated reef habitats.

By Jesslyn Shields

EXXpedition founder Emily Penn will captain the 300, all-female crew in its first Round the World sailing voyage.

By Patty Rasmussen

Cross seas may looks super cool. But you never want to get caught up in the grid-patterned waves they generate.

By John Perritano

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Sealab was a U.S. Navy program that allowed undersea divers to go deeper and stay underwater longer. So why did it disappear?

By Jesslyn Shields

The super-cool phenomenon of tidal bores happens in only a few places on the globe, and it takes a very specific set of conditions to occur.

By Mark Mancini

Around 90 percent of an iceberg is under the water, but changing weight distribution caused by melting can make it flip.

By Stell Simonton

All that seashell collecting you've been doing actually hurts the environment.

By Mark Mancini

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Harmful algal blooms wreak havoc in oceans around the world and occur nearly every summer along the coastline of Florida.

By Patrick J. Kiger

He might be the most important scientist you've never heard of, but the ocean current that bears his name helped shape the development of evolutionary theory.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Blue whales are the largest mammal ever known to exist on Earth. So what makes these creatures so huge?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Ocean water is not actually blue, but appears in different shades for many reasons.

By Amanda Onion

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Water covers about 71 percent of Earth's surface, but do you know the difference between an ocean and a sea? And which ocean is the smallest?

By Amanda Onion

Ever wondered what's the difference between a river, a stream, a brook and a tributary?

By Amanda Onion