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Quick Studies


How to Battle Ocean Acidification

It’s a fearsome problem. But we’re not just watching helplessly.

Quick Studies


How More Rain Will Worsen Water Woes

As snow becomes history, a smaller proportion of the planet’s precipitation will reach the streams that feed water reservoirs.

Quick Studies


To Haul Pyramid Stones Over Egyptian Sands, Just Add Water

A clue from an Egyptian tomb has provided scientists with a new explanation of how stones were transported for the construction of pyramids.



What Life Is Like When Having Your Period Means You Are Shunned by Society

Rose George reports from Nepal and Bangladesh on menstrual taboos.

Quick Studies


Is There a Solution to America’s Obsession With Lawn Care?

Irrigation and fertilization use varies across and even within cities. Sustainable management plans must rely on a more targeted approach.

Go Outside


Trial by Water: West Virginia’s Elk River

The recent contamination illuminates just how tenuous and vital the safety of our water is.



Another Name for the Bermuda Triangle: The Ocean

Ships disappear everywhere, not just in the western North Atlantic Ocean.



Will Seltzer Hydrate Me?

An in-depth investigation into the replenishing powers of carbonated water.



How NASA Hopes to Better Monitor and Control Our Water Supply in the West

Flying high with the new Airborne Snow Observatory.



The New Bronze Age

Worries about oil and gas hog the airwaves. But copper is also essential to keep the world running: It threads through your house, your computer, your eco-correct hybrid car. And it’s getting just as difficult, expensive, and environmentally menacing as oil to extract. We have entered the era of tough ore.



The City of the Future: Can Los Angeles Reinvent Itself All Over Again?

Three bold plans to turn L.A. into a better, more sustainable version of itself, one that will be able to meet the formidable water, air, and climate challenges of the 21st century.


Consider the Crawdad

What lessons can we learn from an enterprising decapod?


GRACE satellites, artist view

Texas, Tom and Jerry, and a Thirsty Planet

How scientists at Austin’s Center for Space Research are measuring the loss of water around the world with a pair of aging satellites.



Could Water Bring Jobs Back to the U.S.?

There is a coming jobs exodus from China, and back to the Rust Belt and other water rich regions. Or so says one principal at a water hedge fund.


California Farms Get Testy Over Water Quality

Update: California Central Coast row-crop farmers are now required to test their private wells for nitrate, a widespread groundwater contaminant linked to over-fertilization.



How Rube Goldberg Would Have Watered the West

Who needs pipelines when massive hydro-cannons could blast water across California’s deserts?


San Francisco Bay Model Is Flush With Life

After being retired in 2009, the scientific San Francisco Bay Model that replicates the nearby estuary has water flowing through it once again.


The Fitness of Physical Models

How a 1950s-era, 1.5-acre mock-up of the hydrology of the Bay Area might still be able to complement real science in the age of computer modeling.


Texas’ Thirst for Dams Bucks National Trend

North Texas, the fastest-growing region in the fastest-growing state in the nation, has a growing demand for water. While the rest of the U.S. is tearing down decaying dams, Texas wants some dam water.


Solutions to Water Supply Issues Surface in the West

In the quarter-century since Marc Reisner issued a grim prognosis for water in the American West, various entities have made efforts to reverse what once seemed inevitable.


Water Shortages Threaten the American West Lifestyle

While not every dire prediction has come true, amid swimming pools and thirsty crops, the hard truth remains that the American West cannot maintain its spendthrift ways of using fresh water.


Greening the Desert? Not So Fast!

On The 25th anniversary of the book “Cadillac Desert,” we look at the work of an earlier Cassandra of Western water shortages, explorer John Wesley Powell.


The Torpedo

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Bdellovibrio


Rocky Mountain Dust-up: Runoff’s Dirty Secret

The dust on high peaks, blown in from Southwestern pastures, farms, mining roads and off-road vehicle parks, is hastening snowmelt and reducing the runoff into the Colorado River, scientists say.


The Real Revenge of Montezuma: Voyage Conclusions

Our blogger looks back at his voyage through coastal Mexico and sees that the problems, and solutions, there are mirrored throughout the globe.

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Big Government, Happy Citizens?

You may like to talk about how much happier you'd be if the government didn't interfere with your life, but that's not what the research shows.

Give Yourself a Present for the Future

Psychologists discover that we underestimate the value of looking back.

In Soccer as in Art, Motifs Matter

A new study suggests a way to quantitatively measure a team’s style through its pass flow. It may become another metric used to evaluate potential recruits.

Searching for Everyday Morality

Experimenters use text messages to study morality beyond the lab.

Is Back Pain Ruining Your Sex Life?

You might be doing it wrong.

The Big One

One country—Turkey—produces more than 70 percent of the world's hazelnuts. September/October 2014 new-big-one-2

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