Harsh Environments Foster Beliefs In Powerful And Judgmental Gods

An analysis of 583 cultures shows that challenging environmental conditions, such as floods and famines, lead cultures to adopt beliefs in moralizing, high gods. The research may help explain how and why certain religions emerged, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. » 11/11/14 9:00am 11/11/14 9:00am

One Map Showing Where the Water Shortages Will Hit

When we talk about a future of drought and water shortages, we're not just talking about the amount of water. We're also talking about how it's distributed — a feature that this world map of the per capita renewable water resources in each country illustrates nicely. » 4/04/14 11:20am 4/04/14 11:20am

Changes in global diet could make famines more likely

Over the past half-century, a few staple foods like rice and soybeans have come to dominate people's diets all over the world. And this could spell disaster. » 3/03/14 5:21pm 3/03/14 5:21pm

Our algorithms can predict future earthquakes -- now what?

New sensor technologies and computer algorithms that allow us to predict earthquakes, floods and famines before they happen. So now we're safe, right? Wrong. The big question is how we'll use this information, and whether we can warn people in time. » 5/13/13 12:20pm 5/13/13 12:20pm

The Year Without a Summer, and How It Spawned Frankenstein

The summer of 1816 brought unseasonably cold temperatures to the Northeastern United States, Canada, and Europe. Damaged crops and impeded trade caused widespread famine, leading to skyrocketing food prices, and the deaths of thousands. » 2/17/12 12:00pm 2/17/12 12:00pm

The food riots have started. What do you do now?

We live with the constant threat of famine. Many parts of the world, like Ethiopia, have seen their populations starve repeatedly over the past decades. What's the best way to deal with it? Now, you can decide. » 5/18/11 1:11pm 5/18/11 1:11pm