Articles on Water

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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite makes precise measurements of Earth’s carbon dioxide levels from space. NASA/JPL

Why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate

Carbon dioxide makes up less than one-twentieth of 1% of Earth's atmosphere. How does this relatively scarce gas control Earth's thermostat?
Visualization of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite in space over a tropical cyclone. NASA

We use satellites to measure water scarcity

Climate change threatens the water supply of nations around the world. But it's difficult to measure whether a region has sufficient water to satisfy the people who live there. Could satellites help?
Micha Berry of the city of Fresno, Calif., which relies heavily on groundwater for its drinking water supply, repairs a groundwater well pump in 2013. AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka

Drilling deeper wells is a band-aid solution to US groundwater woes

Millions of Americans rely on groundwater for their lives and livelihoods, but regulation is piecemeal. A new study maps groundwater wells nationwide and finds that they are drilling steadily deeper.
Sunburnt Victorian fields are set to become more common under climate change. Fir0002/Flagstaffotos/Wikimedia Commons

2℃ of global warming would put pressure on Melbourne’s water supply

Hitting the Paris targets will go a long way to securing Melbourne's water supply against future pressure.
The white “bathtub ring” around Arizona’s Lake Mead (shown on May 31, 2018), which indicates falling water levels, is about 140 feet high. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future

Western states adopted a 7-year plan in May 2019 to manage low water levels in the Colorado River. Now they need to look farther ahead and accept that there will be less water far into the future.
The global water crisis means scientists face urgent decisions on how to foster water managers’ care. Here, the North Saskatchewan River with the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park. (Shutterstock)

Water-sharing experiment suggests people put their own survival first

Imagining how to increase water managers’ empathy for others in a holistic way is critical for our human and planetary future.
Everything in an animal’s body is made out of cells. And these cells need chemicals, such as salt, in and around them to work properly. The chemical balance needs to be just right. Alyse & Remi/flickr

Curious Kids: how do sea creatures drink sea water and not get sick?

Some animals, such as ghost shrimps can even cope with water that is saltier than normal seawater. It's all down to evolution.
How long has that water already been in the system? mike.irwin/Shutterstock.com

Water stays in the pipes longer in shrinking cities – a challenge for public health

In many municipalities, aging water infrastructure is serving fewer people than it was built to accommodate. Out of sight has meant out of mind – but resulting changes in water quality may affect safety.
The more fuel there is for the fire to burn, the bigger the fire. Leaves, trees and grass fuel the fire. Flickr/bertknot

Curious Kids: how do bushfires start?

Bushfires require three key ingredients to ignite: heat, fuel and oxygen.

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