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Showing posts from August, 2023

A New Epoch in the Earth’s Timeline

Throughout the span of Earth's history, the planet has undergone profound transformations in its terrain, climate, and biodiversity, all of which are meticulously preserved beneath the surface. Layers within the Earth's crust serve as a repository of clues documenting pivotal junctures that have profoundly reshaped the Earth, encompassing episodes like the ice age and impacts by asteroids. Utilizing this geological time scale, scientists have recently designated the Anthropocene as the forthcoming significant epoch. In this visual representation, the Visual Capitalist team delves into the depths of Earth's geological timeline to unveil the transitions between epochs, shedding light on the specific occurrences that demarcate these distinct eras. Earth's geological past is categorized into numerous distinct units , spanning from expansive eons down to specific ages. The duration of each unit varies, shaped by significant occurrences, such as the disappearance and emerg

Antarctica' Shrinking Sea Ice

Researchers have been monitoring the expanse and density of Antarctic sea ice for numerous years, with the recent two years triggering worldwide concerns.  As temperatures set new records globally, the ice sheet covering the southernmost continent has noticeably diminished compared to previous decades.  The graphic created by the Visual Capitalist team employs tracking information sourced from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to illustrate the current sea ice extent in Antarctica, reflecting data up to August 2023. Based on satellite information monitored by the NSIDC, the expanse of sea ice in Antarctica has diminished to unprecedented levels.  A comparison with historical data dating back to 1979 reveals that 2023 has observed daily record lows in sea ice extent persistently throughout the year. On August 24, 2023, the sea ice extent in Antarctica had reduced by 1.42 million square kilometers (0.55 sq. mi

How the Human Population Reached to 8 billion in 300,000 years

Having come out less than 2 weeks ago, the video from the American Museum of Natural History encapsulates the most current data regarding Earth's human population . But what's intriguing here isn't so much the current global-population figure (which currently stands at a staggering 8 billion), as how we got it.   This narrative unfolds through a captivating animated visualization condensing 300,000 years – replete with migrations, the ebb and flow of empires, pivotal trade routes, technological advancements, pandemics, and conflicts – all compressed into a concise span of about four and a half minutes. The accompanying textual exposition of the video explains, "Our modern human lineage emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago ." It continues, "Around 100,000 years ago, humanity embarked on a global migratory trajectory," a trajectory that still continues unabated in the twenty-first century. The same can't be expressed for the course our numbers

World Record-Breaking Athletes Compared To Animals

On August 21st, Sha'Carri Richardson, a track and field sprinter field from the United States, secured the title of the fastest woman globally. She achieved this remarkable feat by clinching victory in the 100-meter event at the 2023 Track and Field World Championships. Throughout history, a select few exceptionally talented individuals have accomplished extraordinary athletic achievements that seem beyond the reach of us, ordinary people. However, how do these accomplishments compare to the incredible abilities of some of the world's most athletic animals? Usain Bolt , widely acknowledged as the swiftest human on Earth, set a world record for the 100-meter sprint by reaching a speed of 44.72 kilometers per hour (27.7 MPH) in 2009. Despite this impressive human achievement, it still pales in comparison to the cheetah, an animal capable of reaching speeds up to 114.50 km/h (71.1 MPH). In the realm of swimming, Michael Phelps , an iconic swimmer, attained a record-breaking top s

Death-Cap Mushrooms are Unstoppable and Terrifying

Mushrooms are rightfully hailed as versatile multitaskers, encompassing roles as sustenance , educators , silver screen luminaries, and muse for design innovations . Yet, within this diverse spectrum lies a darker truth—a truth familiar to those acquainted with The Last of Us , whether through gameplay or observation: some mushrooms are lethal. Hopefully, we have got some time before civilization is destroyed by zombie-inducing cordyceps . But for now, our attention should be directed towards a specific menace— amanita phalloides , also known as the death cap mushroom . The malevolent amatoxin they harbor is accountable for an astounding 90 percent of global mushroom-related fatalities. It orchestrates grievous harm to the liver, instigating hemorrhagic disorders, cerebral edema, and systemic organ failure for the fortunate few who endure its effects. Regrettably, the death cap's sinister grasp extends to innocents, like the three-year-old from British Columbia who, on a famili

Ranges of All Great Ape Species

Great apes are a group of large primates that share common ancestry with humans. This group includes orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans. Orangutans are found primarily in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia, with the Bornean and Sumatran species exhibiting slight differences. Gorillas , on the other hand, are divided into Western and Eastern species. The Western gorillas inhabit parts of west and central Africa, while the Eastern gorillas are found in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chimpanzees , known for their high level of intelligence and social behavior, are native to the forests and woodlands of West and Central Africa. Common chimpanzees and bonobos are the two species in this genus. The former are distributed across several countries, including Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, while the latter are confined to the dense forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Humans, the fifth member of the great ape fam

The World’s Largest Cities By Population

In the past century, the phenomenon of rapid urbanization has significantly reshaped our world. Presently, over 4.3 billion individuals, equivalent to 55% of the global populace, reside in urban environments. However, identifying the largest city is a complex task, heavily contingent on the delineation of city limits and the methodology employed to gauge their populations. Using data sourced from the most recent official censuses, the visualcapitatlist team arranged the most populated cities using the three prevailing metrics. The Largest Cities by City Proper As defined by the United Nations , a "city proper" refers to the singular political jurisdiction encompassing the historical nucleus of the city. Applying this criterion, the city of Chongqing in China emerges as the frontrunner, boasting an administrative boundary comparable in size to that of Austria and a thriving urban populace numbering 32.1 million. The Largest Cities by Urban Area This approach largely disrega

Deforestation Fronts

Deforestation is the process of intentionally clearing forests and removing trees from a particular area, often resulting in the conversion of forested land into other land uses . This practice has far-reaching environmental, social, and economic consequences that impact both local ecosystems and the global environment. The causes of deforestation are diverse and often interconnected. Agricultural expansion is a leading driver, as farmers clear forests to create space for cultivating crops or grazing livestock. Logging, both legal and illegal, for timber and other wood products contributes significantly to forest loss. Infrastructure development, such as road construction and urban expansion, demands the removal of trees. Mining activities also require large-scale land clearance, further contributing to deforestation. The environmental impact of deforestation is profound. Loss of biodiversity is a major concern, as forests are home to countless plant and animal species. The destructio

Map of Fox Species Distribution

Foxes are small to medium-sized members of the Canidae family, which also includes wolves, dogs, and other related animals. There are about 37 species of foxes distributed around the world, and they inhabit a wide range of environments, from forests and grasslands to deserts and urban areas. Below is the map of fox species distribution  created by Reddit user isaacSW Here are some of the most well-known fox species and their distribution: Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ): The red fox is one of the most widely distributed fox species and is found in North America, Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa. They are adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and urban areas. Arctic Fox ( Vulpes lagopus ): The Arctic fox is found in the Arctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. They have adaptations that help them survive in cold climates, such as a thick coat that changes color with the seasons. Gray Fox ( Urocyon cinereoargenteus ): The gray fox

The Global Population by Water Security Levels

Most of the global population lives in countries with critical water security issues. Water availability for a country's population can be influenced by various challenges, including declining freshwater, increasing demand due to population growth, inadequate infrastructure, and flawed water governance. When various factors combine, water security problems quickly become a reality. In a recent report , the United Nations University assessed the water security of different countries around the world. Methodology The study evaluates the water security of various countries through the analysis of ten different factors, including water quality, sanitation, availability, resource stability, and climate-related risks. Each factor is given a score out of 10, with a nation’s overall water security score computed from the sum. The assignment of water security levels is based on overall scores: 75 and above are classified as “water secure” 65‒74 is classified as “moderately secure” 41‒64 ind