What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Rising Sea Levels Are Bad, But Drought Could Be Much Worse

October 11, 2013, 5:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

While recent reports of climate change impacts involve too much water -- as in rising sea levels and stronger storms -- many researchers say that the more immediate threat to civilization is drought. A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research published this week predicts that up to 500 million people will experience water scarcity by 2100...and that's a best-case scenario. In a worse case, that number could double, with most of those affected living in North Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

What's the Big Idea?

Meteorologist Jeff Masters says stories about droughts "[aren't] as exciting; people don't run away from giant droughts like they do with hurricanes." However, he also notes that throughout history, drought has helped cause the demise of many civilizations. Some researchers, such as Francesco Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, have formed a possible link between water scarcity and recent Middle East instability. A drought that was blamed on climate change destroyed nearly 75 percent of Syria's crops and forced over a million people from rural areas into the cities, a migration that may have helped contribute to the unrest happening now.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic Cities


Rising Sea Levels Are Bad, ...

Newsletter: Share: