Vital Signs 2010

Please note that hard copies of Vital Signs 2010 are no longer available for purchase.

Vital Signs is absolutely invaluable.”
Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor of the Independent on Sunday

March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-878071-94-1
127 pages

From rising meat and seafood production to changes in the climate, Vital Signs 2010 documents 24 trends that are shaping our future and includes concise analyses and clear graphs.

This seventeenth edition of the Worldwatch Institute series shows that climate change continues to cast a long shadow over the world’s leading economic, social, and environmental trends.

Some of the trends revealed are:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were up 2 percent, despite high oil prices and the economic recession.
  • The most devastating types of natural disasters continued to rise steadily, especially for weather-related events.
  • Meat consumption in the developing world has increased 17 percent over the last 10 years, although people in the industrial world still eat more than twice as much meat per person.
  • Grain yields have increased 146 percent over the last 46 years, even though the land dedicated to grain has remained relatively stable for the past 15 years.
  • Aquaculture continued to expand, with exports for species like catfish and tilapia growing at more than 50 percent a year.

Table of Contents

Sample figures from Vital Signs 2010:

Figure 1 Figure 2

Table of Contents

Energy and Transportation Trends
Wind Power Increase in 2008 Exceeds 10-year Average Growth Rate
Global Auto Industry in Crisis
Solar Power Experiences Strongest Year of Growth Yet
Solar Thermal Heating Up Sharply
Fossil Fuel Production Up Despite Recession
Biofuel Production Up Despite Economic Downturn

Environment and Climate Trends
One Fifth of Coral Reefs Lost, Rest Threatened by Climate Change and Human Activities
Growth in Protected Areas Slows
Devastating Natural Disasters Continue Steady Rise
Water Scarcity Looms
Climate Change Proceeds Down Worrisome Path

Food and Agriculture Trends
Irrigated Area Expands Slowly
Organic Agriculture More than Doubled Since 2000
Grain Production Continues Growth After Mixed Decade
Meat Production Continues to Rise
Fish Production Reaches a Record

Global Economy and Resources Trends
World Metals Production Surges
World Labor Force Growing at Divergent Rates
Growth in World Economic Output Slows
Ad Spending Slumps in 2008, Projected to Decline Significantly in 2009

Population and Society Trends
Despite Significant Increase Since 1990, Access to Sanitation Still Inadequate
Population Growth Steady in Recent Years
Income Poverty Still Falling, But More Slowly
Health Assistance to Developing Countries Soars