Humans are changing the oceans at a global scale and the changes are disrupting ecosystems and food webs. Since we all are connected to the oceans, we have a responsibility to act together to find solutions based on the best available information. It matters not only because of the direct benefits ocean resources provide for humanity but because just as the oceans affect weather around the world, so do our actions around the world affect the oceans.

One of the major changes affecting oceans is often referred to as climate change. Global climate change is real and it’s happening now. From diminishing sea ice in the Arctic to New England’s low-lying coastal areas to the Great Barrier Reef, the planet has heated up over the past century. Carbon dioxide levels are rising, and sea levels are too. Animals and plants are disappearing from some places and appearing in others. The oceans are a leading indicator of climate change. Studying changes in the ocean helps us understand the causes and effects of a changing climate. As an ocean steward, the Aquarium supports important research on climate change that focuses on the oceans as a key source of climate information. Please join us in helping to protect our blue planet.

Climate change and the oceans

Climate change and the oceans

The oceans have a central role in protecting Earth. But rising sea levels, melting ice caps and ocean acidification are endangering our planet.

The effects on ocean animals

The effects on ocean animals

Find out about the impact of climate change on polar bears, sea turtles, right whales, penguins, seals, lobsters and cod.

Climate change in New England

Climate change in New England

Will Boston's climate become like that of Charlotte, North Carolina, or Atlanta, Georgia? Learn how our geography may determine our destiny.

The Aquarium gets involved

The Aquarium gets involved

We work on ways to reduce climate impacts by supporting right whale research, promoting sustainable seafood and creating pristine marine protected sanctuaries.

Live blue: What you can do

live blue™: What you can do

You can make a difference to the health of the planet. Here are simple, practical things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Policies that can stem the tide

Policies that tackle the issues of global climate change

Many solutions are being proposed to change the trajectory of climate change. Here are some you should know about. 

Special thanks to Dr. Steven Katona, whose 2008 paper "Scientific overview of global climate change and the marine environment" was prepared for the Aquarium and was the source material for much of this page. Other major sources are indicated in their respective sections.