Factfile - Environment

December 21, 2000

  • Some 56 per cent of children aged under five are malnourished in Bangladesh, compared with just 6 per cent in Brazil.
    - Oxford Handbook of the World
  • Two-thirds of the world's population will be living in severe drought conditions by 2025.
    - Metro, 24 August 2000
  • Some 60 per cent of all oceanic fisheries are now being fished at or beyond capacity. In 1998, the last year for which data are available, the catch dropped from 93 million tons to 86 million tons. El Ni–o warmed the eastern Pacific waters, sharply reducing fish stocks there.
    - Vital Signs 2000-2001
  • The aveage temperature of the atmosphere at Earth's surface jumped dramatically to a new high of 14.57C in 1998.
    - Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • About 20 per cent of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water.
    - Global Environment Outlook 2000
  • Arctic sea ice has thinned by 40 per cent in the past 30 years.
    - Vital Signs 2000-2001
  • In 1995, the high-income countries, home to 20 per cent of the world's population, accounted for about 60 per cent of commercial energy use.
    - UNSTAT
  • A recent United Nations survey found that farmers in at least 130 countries, on all continents, produce organic food commercially. Total organic area is now estimated at more than 7 million hectares, while the market for organic food has grown to an estimated $22 billion a year.
    - Vital Signs 2000-2001
  • Deforestation continues at high rates in developing countries. Some 65 million hectares were lost between 1990 and 1995, out of a total of 3.5 billion hectares. An increase of 9 million hectares in the developed world offset this loss only slightly .
    - Global Environment Outlook 2000
  • Each year since systematic air sampling began, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have moved to a new high, climbing from 317 parts per million in 1959 to 368 in 1999. 
    - Vital Signs 2000-2001

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