Year that Was
Global Sherpa’s year in review page covers the top international world news stories in the year that was. Click on the links to the Year in Review for each year to view the full article on that year’s noteworthy events and development milestones.
Top world news stories for 2012 include the globalization of extreme environmental events, a string of high profile elections, the largest power blackout in world history, tension in the South China Sea, development milestones, inspiring inventions and the drama and spectacle of the London Olympic Games.
Hurricane Sandy left a path of devastation stretching from Haiti and the Dominican Republic to New York City and the Jersey shore. November 2012 marked the 333rd consecutive month – more than 27 straight years – of global temperatures above the 20th century average. A provocative new World Bank report Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4C Warmer World Must be Avoided examined the sobering risks posed by global warming scenarios of 2 to 4 degrees Celcius.
While most advanced economies continued to struggle through another difficult year and even the BRIC countries of China, India and Brazil showed signs of slowing, a host of emerging markets maintained a healthy pace of economic growth and development.
Global life expectancies for men and women improved significantly since 1970 according to a massive public health study of 187 countries – the Global Burden of Disease report – published in The Lancet and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. On the flip side, aging and improvements in healthcare shifted the global burden of disease from infectious to chronic diseases.
The year also two remarkable innovations that could transform lives and address long-standing challenges. Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni created a sustainable cardboard bicycle with a frame stronger than carbon fiber that is designed to be mass-produced for as little as $9-12 per unit ($5 for a kid’s model). Massoud Hassani invented a minesweeper made of biodegradable plastic and bamboo with a materials cost of $53 that can safely detonate the active land mines that still remain littered across old battle fields.
Honorable mentions include London Mayor Boris Johnson’s infamous zip line incident, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s TIME Person of the Year internet selection and South Korean pop sensation Psy’s international smash-hit Gangnam style.
Read more about the top international world news stories of 2012 in the full year in review.
A host of remarkable events and development milestones highlighted the year 2010. China passed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy. France decided to work more, and the UNDP published its 20th Human Development Report.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by the worst earthquake to hit the region in 200 years. The disastrous event cost more than 250,000 lives and an estimated $7.2 to $13.2 billion. The quake killed 17 percent of the government’s workforce, and more than 1.5 million Haitians were displaced from their homes or left homeless.
In Russia, the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of Russian oil giant Yukos, offered a glaring illustration of the government’s utter contempt for justice and the rule of law.
2010 was also the International Year of Biodiversity. At the United Nation Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, a report released by the Group of 8’s Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project put the annual value contributed by global wetlands at $3.4 billion and the annual loss of natural capital from ecosystems like forests at $2 – $4.5 trillion.
Read more about the top international world news stories of 2010 in the full year in review.
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