Oil reserves are the amount of oil that can be technically and economically recovered from the ground.
Nations with the world’s largest oil reserves include Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Libya. Saudi Arabia, holds an approximate 234.5 billion barrels of oil reserves, and it has the largest market share for oil production after Russia. Saudi Arabia is followed by Venezuela, with an estimated 211.0 billion barrels of oil reserves, although its current oil production market share is only 3.2%.
By comparison, the United States has an estimated 30.9 billion barrels in oil reserves, and 8.7% market share in oil production.
This map shows drought severity, measured as the product of the average length of a drought occurrence and how dry it was the drought. This visualization is based on data collected for the period between 1901 and 2008.
The red areas in the map show the regions most severely affected by droughts. The northern region of the African continent stands out as the largest area being affected by severe droughts. Southwestern Africa (Namibia and Botswana) has also been severely affected by droughts in the same period.
Some areas in the Andean region in South America (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) have also suffered the effects of severe droughts during the past century.
Parts of Australia and Russia have also been affected by extreme drought conditions.
As of 2012, 71% of global stockpiles of chemical weapons have been destroyed, 46% of the total amount of chemical munitions have been eliminated, and 100% of the chemical plants producing chemical weapons have been decommissioned.
Fossil fuel subsidies are very common in developing nations. Subsidies cover the difference between the price at which fossil fuels are sold inside the country and their actual price in international markets, creating a huge fiscal burden (an estimated $400 billion annually) for the countries that provide them. Developing nations with fossil fuel subsidies include: Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, etc.
Developed nations also provide subsidies in the form of tax breaks to the oil industry and other measures (estimated at a cost of $45 to $75 billion per year). Nations in this group include many OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) members.
The expected years of schooling for females varies from country to country.
Developed nations such as the United States, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, etc., show the highest number of expected years of schooling (15 to 21 years) for girls. Other nations in this group include Argentina, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Libya, and South Korea.
On the other hand, countries with the lowest number of expected years of schooling (0 to 8 years) for females include most African countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea.
2011 and 2012 have been years full of changes in the level of political rights and civil liberties around the world, primarily due to the Arab uprisings. Freedom House, an organization that supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights around the world, has identified which countries have improved and which countries have declined in their level of freedom. The Freedom House Index (FHI) designates countries and territories included in the index as “free”, “partly free”, and “not free”.
As shown in the map above, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Burma are among the countries that have improved the most, while Ecuador, Sudan and Yemen are among the worst performers.
I thought it would be interesting to share a snapshot of our traffic graphs to show how Internet access to our site has been affected during the uprisings in the Middle East. Let’s start with a graph showing visits from Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
The graph above shows that access to the Internet in Tripoli has been virtually non-existent since February. It will be interesting to see how fast traffic recovers once it gets restored.
Contrast the graph above to the traffic chart for Cairo (Egypt):
As shown above, visits from Cairo dipped considerably for a few days at the end of January / beginning of February, but it recovered fairly quickly once Mubarak stepped down.
The final graph I wanted to share is for Tunis, the capital of Tunisia:
It is remarkable that visits from Tunis were largely unaffected despite the turmoil that started in December 2010 and continued until the ouster of President Ben Ali on January 14th, 2011.