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Encyclopedia Smithsonian

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TOPICS: Global Climate Change

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Activities & Games

Prehistoric Climate Change Prehistoric Climate Change

Use fossils as a thermometer to read temperatures 55 million years ago. You can also watch a video of a fossil digger at work. 

Online Exhibition

Amazonia Amazonia

Animals and plants of the New World are included in this rain forest habitat featuring a re-created microcosm of the world's largest rain forest and the Amazon River.

Blast from the Past Blast from the Past

This showcase features a 11.5-meter tubular core sample that shows physical and biological effects of Earth's collision with a giant asteroid 65 million years ago, which resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Forces of Change: Atmosphere: Change is in the Air Forces of Change: Atmosphere: Change is in the Air

This exhibition explains the important role the atmosphere plays in our lives and in the environment by examining its evolution and properties and its effects on plants, animals, and people.

Forces of Change: Global Links: El Nino's Powerful Reach Forces of Change: Global Links: El Nino's Powerful Reach

This exhibition uses the El Nino weather phenomenon to demonstrate the dynamic interrelations among the Earth's 4 components.

Forces of Change: The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely Forces of Change: The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely

Explore the Arctic’s changing climate. Discover what these changes mean for the Arctic, its wildlife, its people—and the rest of the planet.

Invertebrates Invertebrates

This exhibition is home to dozens of invertebrate species -- the most abundant creatures on earth -- from sea stars to spiny lobsters, to giant African millipedes, to tarantulas, to a giant Pacific octopus.

The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human? The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human?

This major exhibition hall focuses on the story of human origins and probes the ecological and genetic connections that human beings have had with the natural world over time.

The Sant Ocean Hall The Sant Ocean Hall

Dive in with Phoenix—a model of an actual North Atlantic right whale—and discover how the ocean is a global system essential to all life in this exhibition featuring hundreds of preserved marine specimens, a living coral reef, and many interactive displays. 

Online Feature

Geologic Time - The Story of a Changing Earth Geologic Time - The Story of a Changing Earth

Web feature presented by the Natural History Museum's Department of Paleobiolgy.

Ocean Portal Ocean Portal

The Ocean Portal is a unique, interactive online experience that inspires awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the world’s Ocean, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and more than 20 collaborating organizations.

Science Highlights at the Smithsonian Science Highlights at the Smithsonian

Explore science at the Smithsonian through video, feature article, photos and more.

Research Program

Air and Space Museum Research Air and Space Museum Research

The Department of Collections and Research at the National Air and Space Museum consists of five research and curatorial divisions: Archives Division, Collections Division, Aeronautics and Space History Divisions, and the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.

Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program

The Carrie-Bow Marine Field Station studies coral reefs and mangroves of coastal Belize, Natural History Museum.

Center for Earth and Planetary Studies Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Performs original research on planetary science, terrestrial geophysics, environmental change.

Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI)

Preserves threatened species and habitats through research, professional training and environmental education. National Zoo

Conservation Geographic Information Lab Conservation Geographic Information Lab

The Zoo's GIS Lab is using satellite imagery and GIS to identify, monitor and fight habitat loss and species extinction globally.

Environmental Research Center (SERC) Environmental Research Center (SERC)

Examines linked ecosystems at the land-sea interface, especially those impacted by human activities.

Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program

Investigates Earth's land biotas throughout their 400 million year history. The goal is to understand how terrestrial ecosystems have been structured and how they change over geologic time.

Marine Station at Fort Pierce Marine Station at Fort Pierce

The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) at Fort Pierce, Florida is a research center specializing in marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida.