The rich aren’t as wealthy as they once were. Why insects could be on the menu and how London could have a similar climate to Barcelona. Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities…
The rich are getting poorer
Spare a thought for the rich, who aren’t as wealthy as they once were. The world’s richest people saw their assets fall by $2trn last year. High net worth individuals in Asia-Pacific saw the biggest dip, accounting for half that loss. According to Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2019, the wealth of high net worth individuals declined by 3% for the first time in seven years. A slump in equity markets against a backdrop of international trade conflicts, a struggling global economy and concerns over rising interest rates were the main culprits.
Let’s eat insects
Edible insects could be a solution to avoiding a global food shortage if consumers can overcome the ‘ick factor’, a new study suggests. Researchers from the UK and Mexico found that insects are an environmentally friendly food source, with a much lower carbon footprint than meat, but attitudes – as well as farming techniques – need to change, the Ecologist reports.
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Cities ‘will get hotter’…
London could have a similar climate to Barcelona by 2050. But don’t rush to get out your sun-loungers and shades – that scenario is also likely to be accompanied by severe drought, the Guardian writes. It cites a new report showing that cities in temperate or cold zones in the northern hemisphere will see their climates change to be more similar to those of cities more than 600 miles closer to the equator, with damaging effects on health and infrastructure.
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… so plant trees – and not just for shade
Planting more trees really could be one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, according to a new study published in Science magazine. It says that restoring forests on a global scale could reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Researchers found that the earth could support an additional 0.9bn hectares of forest – a 25% increase, which in turn could cut carbon in the atmosphere by 25%.
A robotic sense of touch
Robotic hands could be given a greater sense of touch using an ‘electronic skin’ designed by a team from the University of Singapore. The skin can sense temperature, pressure or humidity and could potentially help robots understand their environment better, according to a study cited by the MIT Technology Review.
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