Editor's note

Oceans of freshwater lie beneath the surface of the African continent – 20 times the amount that's stored above ground in lakes and rivers. And, despite the globe's changing climate, there's good news about this hidden stash: African groundwater reserves look surprisingly resilient despite rising temperatures and shifting weather norms, write Mark Cuthbert and Richard Taylor. Unfortunately, though, the news isn't as nearly as positive when it comes to how agriculture, forestry and land clearing are driving up greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Howden explains.

Jack Marley

Commissioning Editor

Top Stories

A woman draws water from a well in Wereta, Ethiopia. Milosk50/Shutterstock

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

Mark O. Cuthbert, Cardiff University; Richard Taylor, UCL

Good news – underground aquifers could be a reliable source of drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa even as the climate warms.

Farming emits greenhouse gases, but the land can also store them. Johny Goerend/Unsplash

UN climate change report: land clearing and farming contribute a third of the world’s greenhouse gases

Mark Howden, Australian National University

The world has no hope of reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement without seriously reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry and land clearing.

Science + Technology

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

Penny Pexman, University of Calgary; David Sidhu, University of Calgary

New research shows that there's much in a name: people will use the sounds in names to infer someone’s physical and personality traits.

Tardigrades: we’re now polluting the moon with near indestructible little creatures

Monica Grady, The Open University

An Israeli spacecraft carrying tardigrades crashed into the moon. Whether they will survive is irrelevant.

Politics + Society

5 reasons why Trump’s Venezuela embargo won’t end the Maduro regime

Marco Aponte-Moreno, St Mary's College of California

For one, you can't break an economy that's already broken.

Ghana hopes ‘Year of Return’ will boost tourism. But caution is needed

Frederick Dayour, University for Development Studies; Albert N. Kimbu, University of Surrey

Ghana is banking on a much needed boost to its tourism sector from its call to Africans in the diaspora.