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CONTENTSOctober 2021 • Volume 93 • Issue 10

COVER STORY

30LIGHTANDPOWER While much of the world has improved when it comes to access to electricty, sub-Saharan Africa has fallen behind by a huge margin, a fact that touches every facet of people’s lives there. But change can happen with the right policies in place.

38

LAST DROPS IN BENGALARU As crucial groundwater gradually runs out, Bengaluru, India’s tech hub, is grappling with a set of chronic water problems.

20

UNCHARTED WATERS Tommy Trenchard joins a research expedition to the Saya de Malha Bank in the Indian Ocean.

46

THE BLUE WONDER Marine biologist Frauke Bagusche reveals the wondrous world of plankton.

56 Find out more about the benefits of joining at www.rgs.org/joinus

RGS panel

Find out more about the benefits of joining at www. rgs.org/joinus

A LIFELONG OBSESSION Carnivorous-plant expert Mateusz Wrazidlo fulfils an ambition by ascending South America’s Mount Roraima.

DEPARTMENTS WORLDWATCH 8 Social media conservation 10 Soil carbon credits; Climatewatch 11 Saildrone mapping 12 Hotspot: Escaping Afghanistan 14 Cartogram: Climate zones 16 Gallery: Sacred Nature 2 18 Research round-up

REGULARS 52 Geo-graphic: Urbanisation 54 Geo-photographer: Anastasia Taylor-Lind 62 Gallery: Earth Photo 68 Reviews 72 Where in the World? 73 Crossword 74 In Society 75 RGS–IBG events 76 Discovering Britain 78 RGS-IBG archive 82 Next month: COP 26

OCTOBER 2021 . 3

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