All about the humble water shrew

Water shrew

Photo: Water shrew Erni Shutterstock

The water shrew is well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle: they have a dark brown (almost black), waterproof coat of short fur, and ears (visible as white tufts) that can close in the water. A fringe of stiff silvery hairs runs the length of the underside of the tail, which they use as a rudder, and their hind feet have similar fringes. They can dive … [more…]

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

Photo: The dam at Lake McQueeny, near Seguin, is one of four remaining in the Guadalupe River Valley in Central Texas that are at risk of failure. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, … [more…]

With nowhere to hide from rising seas, Boston prepares for a wetter future

With nowhere to hide from rising seas, Boston prepares for a wetter future

Photo: ON THE RISE Bostonians are getting used to flooding. Morrissey Boulevard (shown), near the campus of University of Massachusetts Boston, gets hit several times a year during high tides. DAVID L. RYAN/BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

The coastal city is taking the hint from recent storms and floods

Boston dodged a disaster in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York, the superstorm hit Boston near low … [more…]

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

About 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, and most of that is ocean. Only 2.5 percent is fresh water, and only a fraction of that—1 percent—is easily accessible. The world’s population of 7.6 billion is expected to grow to 9.8 billion by the year 2050, which means by that year, more than half the people on Earth will live in water-stressed areas. The demand for potable and … [more…]

First Clip: Ellen Page’s New Documentary About Environmental Racism

Watch the First Clip From Ellen Page's New Documentary About Environmental Racism

In There’s Something In the Water, a new documentary premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, co-directors and producers Ellen Page and Ian Daniel introduce viewers to several women who are taking a stand against environmental racism in Page’s home province of Nova Scotia, Canada. In a first clip from the movie, above, we meet one such woman, Michelle Francis-Denny.

The granddaughter of a former Pictou Landing … [more…]