Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  44 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 8-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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The Changing Sea

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Decodes the signals that the ocean is sending us. Is the ocean's chemistry being compromised by increased acidity, less oxygen and warming temperatures?

The Changing Sea

Strange days are dawning in the global sea. Creatures are on the move. Dead zones are expanding. The foundation of life is slowly eroding. It's hard to imagine that humans could ever alter something as vast as the ocean, but that's exactly what we're doing. Over the past 200 years, we've poured more than two trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

As THE CHANGING SEA vividly illustrates, that carbon dioxide isn't just changing the climate on land. It's transforming the ocean in ways that haven't been seen for millions of years. Scientists around the world are in a race to understand these changes and what they'll mean for thousands of species - including ours.

'Very impressive! One Ocean is an exceptional series of videos focused on some of the most pressing problems threatening the health and future of the oceans. Accompanying highly respected scientists on research cruises and underwater dives, Footprints in the Sand and The Changing Sea present a powerful set of interviews and images that clearly explain the science behind the complex issues of hypoxia, ocean acidification, and overfishing. The geographic diversity of the areas covered, the superb quality and high definition videos, and the lucid explanations of the science provide a powerful and credible set of stories...These are moving and compelling stories of ocean researchers investigating the problems humans have created in the sea and explaining why our one ocean needs our help now.' Dr. Gary Griggs, Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Author, Living with the Changing California Coast and Introduction to California Beaches and Coast
'There are a lot of DVDs available on topics relating to the ocean, but these are some of the best I have seen. I enjoyed the way in which information was conveyed and was pleased to learn things I had not seen in previous videos... I highly recommend this series to public, high-school, and college libraries.' Barbara Butler, University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Educational Media Reviews Online

'Puts viewers in the passenger seat along-side scientists, fishermen and explorers on numerous ocean-going expeditions...Most impressive is the ample footage from deep-sea explorations--courtesy of research submersibles. These give us a window into alien worlds...Appropriate for audiences from grade school students to adults.' Timothy Oleson, EARTH Magazine

'The Changing Sea is a compelling introduction to a series of modern ocean mysteries and troubling trends that scientists are investigating. Each is explained with a combination of stunning video close-ups and landscape views and interviews with fishermen and scientists who are on the front lines and on the case. The stories provide reason for grave concern but ultimately invite and encourage each of us to participate in envisioning new ways to relate to the ocean world.' John C. Anderson, Director of Education, New England Aquarium

'Very well done. The subjects chosen in The Changing Sea, the systems used to illustrate them, and the scientists interviewed were just right. The footage and dialogue were terrific.' Dr. Joseph Torres, Professor, Biological Oceanography, University of South Florida

'The Changing Sea makes convincing connections that illuminate additive and maybe synergistic negative human impacts on marine systems that are often so subtle as to be overlooked. Minor changes in ocean temperatures, pH, salinity and species composition may go unnoticed by casual observers. Taken together, these seemingly minor changes are likely to lead to unintended negative consequences of major magnitude. I will use it in the classroom to inform a discussion of how feedback loops at any level in a food web can lead to unintended consequences.' Dr. Donald Baltz, Professor and Chair, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

'I have finally found a film series that thoroughly covers all of the current marine topics that I teach in the classroom which includes MPAs, marine ecosystems, sustainability, international coastal culture, climate change and the formation of ocean life. It is presented in a sense of urgency and at the same time provides essential background information peaking the viewer's interest with animations and interviews with seasoned marine scientists and beautiful cinematography! One Ocean should be an integral part of any environmental studies course.' Michelle Ashley, Environmental Science teacher, South Aiken High School

'The Changing Sea presents fascinating case studies of the looming threats of the evil twins of ocean warming and acidification...Ocean warming is already disrupting ocean ecosystems. Also caused by carbon emissions, ocean acidification [is] a global problem that will worsen unless society finally addresses the dangers of unlimited burning of fossil fuels and forests.' Dr. Mark Hixon, Professor of Marine Conservation and Biology, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University

'[The Changing Sea is] a classroom friendly program that will enhance general science and environmental science classes studying oceanography.' Patricia Ann Owens, School Library Journal

'All the videos in this series are visually stimulating, and [The Changing Sea] is no exception...These videos should become an integral part of any library or multi-media part of a teacher's arsenal. Both informative and awakening, they were expertly produced, and it shows on all levels.' Marc Zucker, Assistant Professor, NSTA Recommends


Best Marine Conservation Message, International Wildlife Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Best Marine and Earth Sciences, Blue Ocean Film Festival


Main credits

Suzuki, David T. (narrator)
Buffie, Erna (film director)
Jensen-Carr, Merit (film producer)
Moore, Sandra (film producer)

Other credits

Editor, David McGunigal; cinematography, Barry Lank, Keith Eidse, Ian Kerr; music, Shawn Pierce.

Distributor credits

Merit Jensen Carr, Sandra Moore

Merit Jensen Carr, Sandra Moore
Erna Buffie
Executive Producer: Michael Allder
Series Producer: Caroline Underwood
Writer: Erna Buffie
Editor: David McGunigal
Director of Photography: Barry Lank, CSC, Keith Eidse, Ian Kerr, CSC
Original Music: Shawn Pierce
Narrator: David Suzuki
A Merit Motion Pictures Production

Docuseek2 subjects

Oceans and Coasts
Physical Geography

Distributor subjects

Climate Change/Global Warming
Earth Science
Global Issues
Marine Biology
Oceans and Coasts
Pacific Studies


ocean's chemistry compromised, increased acidity, less oxygen, warming temperatures, dead zones, carbon dioxide, Bruce Robison, Chris Langdon, Dave Mackas, Debby Ianson, Francis Chan, Frank Whitney, Graham Gillespie, Jack Barth, Jason Hall-Spencer, Ken Cooke, Maria Cristina Buia, Richard Feely, Steve Palumbi,"The Changing Sea",Bullfrog Films

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