Fears that progress towards some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may undermine achievements in others are largely unfounded, a science-based analysis of their interactions has concluded.

The Ocean Atlas illustrates the important role played by the seas and the global maritime ecosystems – not just for people living on the coasts but for all of us. The Atlas provides up-to-date insights into the state of the seas that form a basis of human livelihood and into the factors threatening them.

As world leaders criticise the United States for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, scientists are trying to work out exactly what a warmer world will mean.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba announced to the UN Ocean Conference that the government of Gabon has created a network of marine protected areas the size of Costa Rica.

On World Oceans Day, 8 June, UNESCO will present the first ever global stock-taking of the oceanographic sciences at the United Nations' Ocean Conference, at the UN in New York from 5 to 9 June.

Global average temperatures could pass 1.5C above pre-industrial levels within the next decade, new projections suggest.

Fungi have recently been found to comprise a significant part of the deep biosphere in oceanic sediments and crustal rocks. Fossils occupying fractures and pores in Phanerozoic volcanics indicate that this habitat is at least 400 million years old, but its origin may be considerably older. A 2.4-billion-year-old basalt from the Palaeoproterozoic Ongeluk Formation in South Africa contains filamentous fossils in vesicles and fractures. The filaments form mycelium-like structures growing from a basal film attached to the internal rock surfaces.

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment.

A new study on how ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how garbage patches form in the world’s oceans.

The legacy and reach of anthropogenic influence is most clearly evidenced by its impact on the most remote and inaccessible habitats on Earth. Here we identify extraordinary levels of persistent organic pollutants in the endemic amphipod fauna from two of the deepest ocean trenches (>10,000 metres). Contaminant levels were considerably higher than documented for nearby regions of heavy industrialization, indicating bioaccumulation of anthropogenic contamination and inferring that these pollutants are pervasive across the world’s oceans and to full ocean depth.

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