2008 was full of tragic headlines, the China earthquake, Myanmar cyclone, exploding volcanoes and terrifying tornadoes..
Planet earth is the jewell in the universe, but fraught with many natural disasters, is it possible to predict them?
Taiwan scientific researchers have found that all earthquakes are proceeded by electrical disturbances in the atmosphere. So the geological Holy Grail of predicting earthquakes will design an early warning system on this phenomenon.
This planet we live on is very restless, and in 2008 64 volcanoes erupted worldwide. One tenth of the earths population live in the shadows of 1500 active volcanoes. Scientists using NASA sattellite images can now spot the first signs of a volcano heating up. They take a picture in infra-red imaging, and in eastern Russia using this method predicted it would erupt 6 days before it did.
A heartbreaking day in Myanmar when a cyclone brought the nation to its knees, 130,000 people perished.
Hurricane 'Ike' re-shaped the coast of Texas, swallowing small islands. The hurricane season in 2008, brought 17 storms and was the fourth most active and second most deadliest. In Florida scientists have now found a way to stregthen homes and build new homes resilient to 200km winds and rain.
There were a 131 Tornadoes in one day in 2008, killing 57 people. Researchers have found how a thunderstorm turns into a Tornado by gravity waves. Scientists believe by tracking these waves they can predict when these waves will turn into a twister.
What about the plant, animal and bird life...they are all endangered by overhunting, deforestation and slash and burn agriculture. One in four mammals are in danger of extinction, a shocking statistic!
In Kenyas Masai Mara animals are dissapearing, giraffes, impalas, warthogs and hartebeest have suffered declines of between 67 and 95 percent.
If the 'perma-frost' melts it has more carbon dioxide within than all of the earths atmosphere. This could cause an avalanche of greenhouse gases...
This would unleash worst case scenarios of wildfires, droughts would intensify, sea levels would rise dramatically wreaking havoc of storms and floods around the globe.
In 2008 millions suffered with hunger through failed crops, a wheat virus has been found now in Africa, Iran, spreading into India. Potentially a disastrous disease. So scientists in Norway have created the 'Doomsday Vault', buried deep into an artic mountain. Contained within are all known varieties of seeds, keeping them to maybe save the planet.
So what can we do to aspire in technology and live in harmony with nature ?..
Or will greed for money and the earths riches hand in hand with an ever expanding and longer living population destroy the planet?