The Accelerating Frequency of Extreme Weather Events
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The Accelerating Frequency of Extreme Weather

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Extreme Weather Events

The Briefing

  • We’re already seeing the impact of climate change—today, droughts, heatwaves, and extreme rainstorms are 2x more frequent than they were a century ago
  • In less than a decade, Earth’s climate is expected to warm another 0.5°C
  • If this happens, heatwaves will be 4.1x more frequent than they were in the 1850-1900s

The Accelerating Frequency of Extreme Weather

The world is already witnessing the effects of climate change.

A few months ago, the western U.S. experienced one of the worst droughts it’s seen in the last 20 years. At the same time, southern Europe roasted in an extreme heatwave, with temperatures reaching 45°C in some parts.

But things are only expected to get worse in the near future. Here’s a look at how much extreme climate events have changed over the last 200 years, and what’s to come if global temperatures keep rising.

A Century of Warming

The global surface temperature has increased by about 1°C since the 1850s. And according to the IPCC, this warming has been indisputably caused by human influence.

As the global temperatures have risen, the frequency of extreme weather events have increased along with it. Heatwaves, droughts and extreme rainstorms used to happen once in a decade on average, but now:

  • Heatwaves are 2.8x more frequent
  • Droughts are 1.7x more frequent
  • Extreme rainstorms are 1.3x more frequent

By 2030, the global surface temperature is expected to rise 1.5°C above the Earth’s baseline temperature, which means that:

  • Heatwaves would be 4.1x more frequent
  • Droughts would be 2x more frequent
  • Extreme rainstorms would be 1.5x more frequent

The Ripple Effects of Extreme Weather

Extreme weather events have far-reaching impacts on communities, especially when they cause critical system failures.

Mass infrastructure breakdowns during Hurricane Ida this year caused widespread power outages in the state of Louisiana that lasted for several days. In 2020, wildfires in Syria devastated hundreds of villages and injured dozens of civilians with skin burns and breathing complications.

As extreme weather events continue to increase in frequency, and communities become increasingly more at risk, sound infrastructure is becoming more important than ever.

Where does this data come from?

Source: IPCC
Details: The data used in this graphic is from the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which provides a high-level summary of the state of the climate, how it’s changing, and the role of human influence.

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Blockchain Applications: Tokenization of Real Assets

Tokenization is a future application of blockchain technology, and it could make investing in physical assets much easier. (Sponsored Content)

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The Briefing

  • Tokenization is a solution that divides the ownership of an asset into digital tokens
  • This process could democratize investment in physical assets

Blockchain Applications: Tokenization of Real Assets

Did you know that blockchain has the potential to transform the way we invest in physical assets?

Tokenization is a solution that divides the ownership of an asset (such as a building) into digital tokens. These tokens act as “shares”, and are similar to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The difference here, however, is that the tokens are fungible and they are actually tied to the value of the asset.

In this graphic sponsored by Global X ETFs, we visualize how tokenization could be used in real estate.

Tokenization in Real Estate

Blockchain has strong potential in real estate investing because it mitigates many of the asset class’ hurdles. Here’s a brief round-up of its theoretical advantages:

Liquidity

Buying and selling real estate is normally a tedious process. If a property were to be tokenized, it would essentially cut out the middleman and allow buyers and sellers to transfer ownership directly.

These transfers would be as easy as buying and selling cryptocurrency.

Removing barriers to entry

Because properties are expensive, real estate investing is typically limited to institutional investors with large amounts of capital. Individuals can gain exposure through a real estate investment trust (REIT), but these vehicles can carry high minimums and fees.

Tokenization could enable individuals to buy and sell real estate in small denominations (even fractions of a token) and without traditional fees.

Transparency and security

Blockchains are decentralized, digital ledgers known for their security. Tampering with a blockchain’s data is incredibly difficult because the ledger is shared and verified by all of its users.

This provides investors with full transparency into the past transactions of a property, as well as an undeniable proof of ownership.

Democratizing Investment

If tokenization proves to be effective, it could be extended to a whole range of other physical assets—most of which have their own unique barriers. Consider the following table, which lists the 12-month and 10-year return of various luxury goods.

Category12-month return10-year return
Handbags+17%+108%
Wine+13%+127%
Collector cars+6%+193%
Watches+5%+89%
Rare whisky-4%+478%
Art-11%+71%

Source: Knight Frank (Dec 2020)

Rare luxury goods have historically been sold through live auctions, where the highest bidder is awarded ownership. Thanks to blockchain technology, this could change in the future. In fact, Sotheby’s (a 277-year-old auction house) recently began to accept cryptocurrency as a payment option in its auctions.

In short, tokenization has the potential to greatly reduce the barriers around alternative and physical assets. For investors, this means a much wider set of opportunities to pursue.

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What’s Faster, Nature or Machine?

Ever wondered if an animal could outrun a modern car? This infographic puts the top speed of the world’s fastest animals into context.

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The Briefing

  • The race between animals and cars is surprisingly close
  • The peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal, capable of speeds beyond many modern sports cars

Comparing Top Speeds of Animals and Cars

Did you know that the world’s fastest animals can actually keep up with, or even beat most modern cars?

In this graphic, we’ve visualized the top speeds of several animals and cars to show you how close the race really is. The data we used is also listed below in tabular format.

NameTop Speed (mph) Top speed (km/h) 
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ (2019)304 mph489 km/h
Peregrine Falcon242 mph389 km/h
Porsche 911 Turbo S (2021) 205 mph330 km/h
Golden Eagle 200 mph322 km/h
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (2020) 194 mph312 km/h
Honda Civic (2021) 137 mph220 km/h
Toyota RAV4 (2021)120 mph193 km/h
Ford F-150 Raptor (2020) 107 mph172 km/h
Mexican free-tailed bat101 mph163 km/h
Cheetah 75 mph121 km/h
Sailfish68 mph109 km/h
Honda Ruckus (2020) 40 mph64 km/h

At the top of this list is the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, the first production car to reach a top speed of over 300 mph (482 km/h). The Super Sport 300+ is a limited edition variant of the regular Chiron, and only 30 examples (with a price tag of $4 million) are being built for the entire world.

At 300 mph, the Chiron’s specially designed tires rotate up to 4,100 times per minute, and are subjected to a centrifugal force of over 5,000 G. Here’s another interesting fact: when the Chiron is driving at a constant top speed, its 22 gallon (100L) fuel tank will completely drain in less than 10 minutes.

What’s That in the Sky?

The peregrine falcon surpasses most sports cars by reaching a top speed of 242 mph (389 km/h) while diving. This feat was achieved in 2005 by a falcon named “Frightful”, and verified by Guinness World Records.

The peregrine falcon is found in nearly every corner of the world, and hunts other, medium-sized birds by dropping down on them from above.

Further down the list is the Mexican free-tailed bat, which only weighs between 11 to 12 grams. For context, a wooden pencil weighs about 7 grams. These bats are considered the world’s fastest mammals, and unlike the peregrine falcon, reach their top speed purely through wing power (without diving).

Where does this data come from?

Source: Britannica, Car and Driver, Guinness World Records, Honda

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