Fracking

Fracking

Classroom Activity Page: Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a high-pressure technique for cracking rocks and allowing natural gas to reach wells. Amid a boom in U.S. natural gas production, industry promises that fracking will bring Americans jobs and low-cost energy for decades. Opponents warn that the drilling-and-fracking process threatens to pollute air, surface water, and most importantly, groundwater. Will these concerns stymie an ongoing boom in natural gas production? Should they? More »

Fracking fracas

Fracking fracas

A high-pressure rock-buster caused natural gas production to explode. How does fracking work? What’s up with groundwater pollution? More »

Cholera: Haiti’s latest scourge

Cholera: Haiti’s latest scourge

Cholera can kill with record speed. The bacterium is easy to control — if wastewater and drinking water are treated. Haiti — chronically corrupt, painfully poor, and wasted by the January quake, is paradise for the cholera bug. How is cholera prevented, and what are the enduring gifts of this deadly bug? More »

River health: Finding fixes

River health: Finding fixes

Can we fix rivers? Dams, levees, and locks can harm rivers and wetlands. So can draining rivers dry, or encasing them in concrete. In a few places, conservationists are finding smarter ways to manage rivers and wetlands. Is a win-win solution possible for our wicked water woes? More »

State of the rivers: Ruinous?

State of the rivers: Ruinous?

Rivers bring water. They house amazing biodiversity. And they are being polluted, tapped, dammed and diverted at a frightening rate. What does a new study of global rivers tell us about something we can’t afford to lose?
More »

Fish prove: The eyes have it!

The color, vision and genetics of an African fish all vary depending on the clarity of its home waters. A new study suggests how species can form without geographic barriers. More »