Science: Mighty Monsoon

Tracking those Asian winds

It has all the bustle of a wartime staff room. Poring over charts and maps, officials plot their strategy, barking orders into a battery of phones. On the seas and in the skies, the enemy is tracked by an armada of instrument-laden ships, balloons and buoys, aircraft and weather satellites that feeds intelligence into a support force of computers. But this is a bloodless war. The only object is to study the foe: Asia's mighty monsoon, the great seasonal winds that annually bring life or death to hundreds of millions of people.

Launched a few weeks ago to coincide...

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