A lot of wonderful things happened in 2017. For one, resources deemed threatened were given a new lease on life. These include the successful repopulation of the Great Barrier Reef, snow leopards being taken off the endangered list, and honey bee population being on the rise.
But not everything is looking good for 2018. Here are some things the world is running out of.
Celebrating with balloon ceilings may soon be a thing of the past. So if the world's running out of helium, why does the corner party shop still offer the balloon variety, you ask. Helium is experiencing a shortage as a natural non-renewable gas. Aside from making things float, helium is useful for modern technology: The light and cool wonder gas is used to keep MRI machines running. Scientists estimate, however, that there are about 1,169 billion cubic feet of helium reserves left on Earth—enough for more than 117 years.
Matchsticks, detergents, toothpaste, and food production are just some things that will be affected once phosphorus reaches its production limit. Though it is one of Earth’s natural resources, phosphorus rock has been increasingly difficult to find in recent years. In fact, in the late 2000s, phosphorus prices jumped almost 700 to 800 percent.
We’ve grown desensitized to news of oil’s impending disappearance, but with each passing year, we inch closer to losing one of our most used resources.
In 2010, over 50,000 goats and sheep, as well as those pregnant, were prevented from breeding after a major outbreak of Q fever disease. The outbreak greatly dwindled goat cheese production and we’re seeing the effects of it today. As demand grows, the
Sardines have become increasingly hard to come by since 2013 after sardine ships docked empty-handed. In the ‘90s, sardines reproduced less due to fluctuations in temperature. Heavy fishing also continued and we may soon feel the effects.
Fresh, clean water is one resource that many people take for granted. Water is all around us, but drinkable water is pretty hard to come by—especially since only three percent of water is drinkable. While it may seem that water is only scarce in third world continents, America’s water crisis should be enough to alarm us.
Millions of people rely on coffee to get them through the day, but climate change may end the very plant source. Scientists have estimated that climate change could take out 50 percent of farmland by 2050. Not only will the multi-billion industry affect drinkers, it will affect coffee farmers, conglomerates, and culinary markets.
The plant tequila comes from agave, which is one of the harder plants to cultivate. Aside from the general characteristics of the plant, it also costs more to grow agave compared to, say, corn. As such, farmers have been abandoning the plant which has worried producers as it takes over a decade to produce fructose to make tequila.
The world’s love for wine has been constant since ancient times. However, a deadly combination of increasing demand and bad weather will soon bring about a shortage. What’s more, climate change has been greatly affecting the production of grapes.
It was predicted in 2014 that chocolate would experience a shortage as soon as 2020. Climate change, according to experts, will soon make chocolate too expensive to farm. As we are nearing the predicted date, more stories about the sweet treat coming to an end are making chocoholics panic.