UN Projects Worldwide Populations to Approach 9.8 Billion by 2050

Rapid and numerous advances in medical science have kept alive longer and helping people deliver the next generation of healthy babies. A new report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs projects that the world’s population is going to continue to boom, with the worldwide population projected to reach 8.6 B in 2030, 9.8 B in 2050 and surpass 11.2 B in 2100.

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47 least developed countries with fertility rate of 4.3 births/PW expected to reach 1.9 billion people in 2050.
Africa fertility rate – 4.7 births/PW (from 5.1)

UN POP2

The lower fertility rates result in ageing population, expected to 2X by 2050 and 3X by 2100, from the current 962 B to 3.1 B.

UN POP3

In 2013, famed British naturalist David Attenborough scathingly expressed his feelings on the population boom, telling The Radio Times that ‘humans are a plague’. Adding the warning that “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us.” He cites climate change as one such factor that will limit humanity’s time on Earth if trends are not changed. Other experts have echoed these thoughts in different terms: Stephen Hawking has even gone so far as to say that humanity only has 100 years left on the planet.

Regardless if the situation is as dire as Attenborough and Hawking believe, increasing Earth’s population while refusing to focus on better sustainability practices is a recipe for catastrophic global disaster.

Sources: UN & FUTURISM

Icelandic Eruption Mimics Industrial Emissions

The largest Icelandic eruption in 230 years offers a unique look into how aerosols affect the atmosphere and an international team of researchers says it could sharpen the way scientists model climate change.

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Scientists studied this lava field eruption in Iceland to see how aerosols produced by climate change can alter clouds. Credit: peterhartree Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Holuhraun lava field explosion of 2014 and 2015 released enormous amounts of sulfur dioxide. SO2 is one of the most significant aerosols from industrial sources and is a key factor in cloud formation, creating the nucleus around which water vapor can condense. The researcher believe that clouds are well buffered against changes in the atmosphere caused by aerosols.

Between 40000 and 100000 tons of SO2 was released into the atmosphere each day during the six month Holuhraun eruption more than the daily emission from all 28 countries in the European Union. And unlike explosive volcanic eruption that shoot aerosols miles into the stratosphere, the Holuhraun event released aerosols at altitudes similar to human caused emission creating the perfect natural experiment for studying how aerosols interact with clouds.

Source: climatewire

 

IKEA: Instructions for a Sustainable Garden

This could possibly be the most amazing indoor gardening structure have ever seen, and people all over the world are being encouraged to build one.

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A Danish design lab supported by IKEA, has officially open sourced The Growroom an artistic exploration of the incredible potential of urban farming. The pavilion is sliced to provide optimal light and water flow for the weeks’ worth of herbs and vegetables it’s capable of growing, but also to create a serene shelter for anyone who steps inside.

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The innovation structure was tailored by architects Mads Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm, and is made with nothing more than plywood and screws.

Source: boredpanda

“Lab-on-a-Chip” Wearable Technology Help to Detect Disease

The Rutgers engineers have invented a new kind of “lab-on-a-chip,” a biosensor that fits multiple functions that have traditionally required the use of a laboratory into one electrical chip. This device, which the engineers described in detail in the journal Lab on a Chip, can analyze sweat or blood in order to detect multiple biomarkers linked to several diseases.

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One biomarker is often insufficient to pinpoint a specific disease because of the heterogeneous nature of various types of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory disease. To get an accurate diagnosis and accurate management of various health conditions, you need to be able to analyze multiple biomarkers at the same time.

“Lab on a chip” devices are innovative because they compress a number of functions typically tasked to larger, bulkier instruments into much smaller technology. The invention by engineers at Rutgers took the capabilities of current state of the art lab technology and transplanted them onto a chip that can be affixed to wearable devices.

Source: FUTURISM

Saving the ‘god of ugly things’

New Zealand has plenty of invasive predators to keep out of the reserve. A 2.3-meter-high fence of mesh netting, a metal rim, and fine chicken wire the wire also extends underground blocks the rats, mice, cats, and weasels that would otherwise devastate the vulnerable native flora and fauna within. The reserve offers a glimpse of New Zealand’s past. Lush with kauri, tree ferns, and five-finger bushes that shelter iconic kiwi, it is a striking contrast from the surrounding pastureland. But one creature the reserve is designed to shelter keeps getting free: the massive, and endangered, a native insect known as the Mahoenui giant weta (Deinacrida mahoenui).

In other countries, insect conservation might be an afterthought. But New Zealand’s weta, particularly the Mahoenui, are hard to overlook. In size and lifestyle, the giant weta is a mouse in cricket’s clothing. To be sure, it lacks the crowd appeal of other indigenous species, such as the kiwi: More than once, neighbors of Warrenheip have called to demand that escapees be removed from their homes. But weta, which means “god of ugly things” in the language of the indigenous Maori, likely played key roles in New Zealand’s original ecosystem. The mahogany-colored, fist-sized Mahoenui giant weta, for example, spends its nights foraging on leaves and hides from predators during the day, much like a mouse. Even its droppings are small and round like a mouse’s. But it and other weta have been losing ground to invasive mammal predators until recently. Flightless and stingless, the odorous weta are easy prey for rats and even mice.

The ultimate goal is to establish multiple self-sustaining populations of the weta species most devastated by predators. In a world where insects are generally shrinking in number and diversity, these New Zealand giants are a hopeful exception.

Source: Science