Human systems—like energy production, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing—are interdependent with the ecosystems and habitats that support life, including the oceans.
Just as human systems affect the oceans, the oceans affect life on land.
Perhaps the most serious stress on the oceans today comes from society’s use of fossil fuel for energy, which releases rampant levels of carbon dioxide. This gas builds up in the atmosphere, trapping in excess heat around the globe, and is absorbed by the oceans, changing the chemistry of the water that surrounds and supports marine life. Rampant carbon dioxide is disrupting ecosystems and weakening food webs, changing the oceans at a global scale.
The New England Aquarium knows that we all have a responsibility to protect the oceans and work vigilantly to address the threats to aquatic stability and health. Through a series of projects since 2007, we have been working to find more effective ways to engage the public in climate science and to support constructive dialogue about global change.
Our science education team has partnered with social scientists, oceanographers, climate scientists, and other aquariums to develop and teach strategies for having more productive conversations about climate change—interactions that are engaging, grounded in science, and oriented to solutions and hope. These strategies have been adopted by science educators from hundreds of zoos and aquariums across the nation.
We are proud of this contribution to engaging the public, so that citizens can use the best available science to guide the critical decision-making that lies ahead for our communities and the nation. Currently, thanks to major federal grants, we are leading two national collaborative projects. Follow the links below to learn more.