Category: Tech

Agent Orange, exposed: How U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster

In the end, the military campaign was called Operation Ranch Hand, but it originally went by a more appropriately hellish appellation: Operation Hades. As part of this Vietnam War effort, from 1961 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 73 million liters of chemical agents on the country to strip away the vegetation that provided cover for Vietcong troops in “enemy territory.”

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Baby naming time? Here’s how people judge what’s in a name

There has always been an interest in how the name of a thing affects our interpretation of it. Does it matter what something or someone is called? Imagine that you are going to meet either “Anne” or “Kate” (or “Owen” or “Kirk”). Would you expect different kinds of people, based on their names? Who would you expect to be kinder? Who would you expect to be more outgoing?

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Groundwater reserves in Africa may be more resilient to climate change than first thought

Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground. These are the freshwater stores that flow in rocks and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface. They are a vital source of drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa, where groundwater is often the only year-round supply of fresh water in rural areas. Increasingly it is being used in towns and cities as well.

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Heatwave: think it’s hot in Europe? The human body is already close to thermal limits elsewhere

I am a scientist who researches climate hazards. This week I have published research on the potential for a catastrophic cyclone-heatwave combo in the global south. Yet over the past few days I have been approached by various media outlets to talk not about that hazard, but about the unfolding UK heatwave and climate change. It is always satisfying to respond to public interest around weather extremes, but there is a danger that key messages about extreme heat globally are not receiving enough airtime.

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