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Source: World Population Prospect: the 2015 Revision

It is estimated that the population of the world reached one billion for the first time in 1804. It would be another 123 years before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to rise by another billion people, reaching three billion in 1960. Thereafter, the global population reached four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999 and, by some estimates, seven billion in October 2011 with other estimates being in March 2012. It is projected to reach eight billion by 2024–2030. According to current projections, the worlds population is likely to reach around nine billion by 2045–2050, with alternative scenarios ranging from a low of 7.4 billion to a high of more than 10.6 billion.

Text from: World population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016

2015 in review: Growth in global primary energy consumption remained low in 2015; and the fuel mix shifted away from coal towards lower-carbon fuels

Global primary energy consumption increased by just 1.0% in 2015, similar to the below-average growth recorded in 2014 (+1.1%) and well below its 10-year average of 1.9%. Other than the recession of 2009, this represented the lowest global growth since 1998. Consumption growth was below the 10-year average for all regions except Europe & Eurasia; emerging economies accounted for 97% of the increase in global consumption. OECD consumption experienced a small increase, with growth in Europe offsetting declines in the US and Japan. Chinese consumption slowed further, but still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the fifteenth consecutive year. Russia recorded the largest volumetric decline in primary energy consumption. By fuel, only oil and nuclear power grew at above-average rates, with oil gaining global market share for the first time since 1999. Renewables in power generation continued to grow robustly, to nearly 3% of global primary energy consumption, while coal consumption recorded the largest percentage decline on record. Global CO₂ emissions from energy are estimated to have been essentially flat.

Prices for all fossil fuels fell in 2015 for all regions. Crude oil prices recorded the largest decline on record in dollar terms, and the largest percentage decline since 1986. The annual average price for Brent, the international crude oil benchmark, declined by 47%, reflecting a growing imbalance between global production and consumption. The differential between Brent and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) narrowed to its smallest level since 2010. Natural gas prices fell in all regions, with the largest percentage declines in North America; the US benchmark Henry Hub fell to its lowest level since 1999. Coal prices around the world fell for the fourth consecutive year.

Energy developments

Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for 32.9% of global energy consumption. Although emerging economies continued to dominate the growth in global energy consumption, growth in these countries (+1.6%) was well below its 10-year average of 3.8%.

Emerging economies now account for 58.1% of global energy consumption. Chinese consumption growth slowed to just 1.5%, while India (+5.2%) recorded another robust increase in consumption. OECD consumption increased slightly (+0.1%), compared with an average annual decline of 0.3% over the past decade. A rare increase in EU consumption (+1.6%) more than offset declines in the US (-0.9%) and Japan (-1.2%), where consumption fell to the lowest level since 1991.

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History of mining

Prehistoric mining

Since the beginning of civilization, people have used stone, ceramics and, later, metals found close to the Earth’s surface. These were used to make early tools and weapons; for example, high quality flint found in northern France and southern England was used to create flint tools. Flint mines have been found in chalk areas where seams of the stone were followed underground by shafts and galleries. The mines at Grimes Graves are especially famous, and like most other flint mines, are Neolithic in origin (ca 4000 BC-ca 3000 BC). Other hard rocks mined or collected for axes included the greenstone of the Langdale axe industry based in the English Lake District.

The oldest known mine on archaeological record is the “Lion Cave” in Swaziland, which radiocarbon dating shows to be about 43,000 years old. At this site Paleolithic humans mined hematite to make the red pigment ochre. Mines of a similar age in Hungary are believed to be sites where Neanderthals may have mined flint for weapons and tools.

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptians mined malachite at Maadi. At first, Egyptians used the bright green malachite stones for ornamentations and pottery. Later, between 2613 and 2494 BC, large building projects required expeditions abroad to the area of Wadi Maghareh in order to secure minerals and other resources not available in Egypt itself. Quarries for turquoise and copper were also found at Wadi Hamamat, Tura, Aswan and various other Nubian sites on the Sinai Peninsula and at Timna.

Mining in Egypt occurred in the earliest dynasties. The gold mines of Nubia were among the largest and most extensive of any in Ancient Egypt. These mines are described by the Greek author Diodorus Siculus, who mentions fire-setting as one method used to break down the hard rock holding the gold. One of the complexes is shown in one of the earliest known maps. The miners crushed the ore and ground it to a fine powder before washing the powder for the gold dust.

Ancient Greek and Roman mining
Further information: Mining in Roman Britain

Ancient Roman development of the Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Wales
Mining in Europe has a very long history. Examples include the silver mines of Laurium, which helped support the Greek city state of Athens. Despite the mine having over 20,000 slaves working in them, the technology was essentially identical to their Bronze Age predecessors. Other mines, such as on the island of Thassos, had marble quarried by the Parians after having arrived in the 7th Century BC. The marble was shipped away and was later found by archaeologists to have been used in buildings including the tomb of Amphipolis. Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, captured the gold mines of Mount Pangeo in 357 BC to fund his military campaigns. He also captured gold mines in Thrace for minting coinage, eventually producing 26 tons per year.

However, it was the Romans who developed large scale mining methods, especially the use of large volumes of water brought to the minehead by numerous aqueducts. The water was used for a variety of purposes, including removing overburden and rock debris, called hydraulic mining, as well as washing comminuted, or crushed, ores and driving simple machinery.

The Romans used hydraulic mining methods on a large scale to prospect for the veins of ore, especially a now obsolete form of mining known as hushing. This method involved building numerous aqueducts to supply water to the minehead where it was stored in large reservoirs and tanks. When a full tank was opened, the flood of water sluiced away the overburden to expose the bedrock underneath and any gold veins. The rock was then worked upon by fire-setting to heat the rock, which would be quenched with a stream of water. The resulting thermal shock cracked the rock, enabling it to be removed, aided by further streams of water from the overhead tanks. The Roman miners used similar methods to work cassiterite deposits in Cornwall and lead ore in the Pennines.

The methods had been developed by the Romans in Spain in 25 AD to exploit large alluvial gold deposits, the largest site being at Las Medulas, where seven long aqueducts were built to tap local rivers and to sluice the deposits. Spain was one of the most important mining regions, but all regions of the Roman Empire were exploited. In Great Britain the natives had mined minerals for millennia, but after the Roman conquest, the scale of the operations increased dramatically, as the Romans needed Britannia’s resources, especially gold, silver, tin, and lead.

Roman techniques were not limited to surface mining. They followed the ore veins underground once opencast mining was no longer feasible. At Dolaucothi they stoped out the veins, and drove adits through barren rock to drain the stopes. The same adits were also used to ventilate the workings, especially important when fire-setting was used. At other parts of the site, they penetrated the water table and dewatered the mines using several kinds of machines, especially reverse overshot water-wheels. These were used extensively in the copper mines at Rio Tinto in Spain, where one sequence comprised 16 such wheels arranged in pairs, and lifting water about 80 feet (24 m). They were worked as treadmills with miners standing on the top slats. Many examples of such devices have been found in old Roman mines and some examples are now preserved in the British Museum and the National Museum of Wales.

Medieval Europe

Mining as an industry underwent dramatic changes in medieval Europe. The mining industry in the early Middle Ages was mainly focused on the extraction of copper and iron. Other precious metals were also used, mainly for gilding or coinage. Initially, many metals were obtained through open-pit mining, and ore was primarily extracted from shallow depths, rather than through deep mine shafts. Around the 14th century, the growing use of weapons, armour, stirrups, and horseshoes greatly increased the demand for iron. Medieval knights, for example, were often laden with up to 100 pounds of plate or chain link armour in addition to swords, lances and other weapons. The overwhelming dependency on iron for military purposes spurred iron production and extraction processes.

The silver crisis of 1465 occurred when all mines had reached depths at which the shafts could no longer be pumped dry with the available technology. Although an increased use of bank notes, credit and copper coins during this period did decrease the value of, and dependence on, precious metals, gold and silver still remained vital to the story of medieval mining.

Due to differences in the social structure of society, the increasing extraction of mineral deposits spread from central Europe to England in the mid-sixteenth century. On the continent, all mineral deposits belonged to the crown, and this regalian right was stoutly maintained; but in England, it was pared down to gold and silver (of which there were virtually no deposits) by a judicial decision of 1568 and a law of 1688. England had iron, zinc, copper, lead, and tin ores. Landlords who owned the base metals and coal under their estates were now rendered with a strong inducement to extract these metals or to lease the deposits and collect royalties from mine operators. English, German, and Dutch capital combined to finance extraction and refining. Hundreds of German technicians and skilled workers were brought over; in 1642 a colony of 4,000 foreigners was mining and smelting copper at Keswick in the northwestern mountains.

Use of water power in the form of water mills was extensive. The water mills were employed in crushing ore, raising ore from shafts, and ventilating galleries by powering giant bellows. Black powder was first used in mining in Selmecbánya, Kingdom of Hungary (now Banská Ĺ tiavnica, Slovakia) in 1627. Black powder allowed blasting of rock and earth to loosen and reveal ore veins. Blasting was much faster than fire-setting and allowed the mining of previously impenetrable metals and ores. In 1762, the world’s first mining academy was established in the same town.

The widespread adoption of agricultural innovations such as the iron plowshare, as well as the growing use of metal as a building material, was also a driving force in the tremendous growth of the iron industry during this period. Inventions like the arrastra were often used by the Spanish to pulverize ore after being mined. This device was powered by animals and used the same principles used for grain threshing.

Much of the knowledge of medieval mining techniques comes from books such as Biringuccio’s De la pirotechnia and probably most importantly from Georg Agricola’s De re metallica (1556). These books detail many different mining methods used in German and Saxon mines. One of the prime issues confronting medieval miners (and one which Agricola explains in detail) was the removal of water from mining shafts. As miners dug deeper to access new veins, flooding became a very real obstacle. The mining industry became dramatically more efficient and prosperous with the invention of mechanical and animal driven pumps.

Classical Philippine civilization

Mining in the Philippines began around 1000 BC. The early Filipinos worked various mines of gold, silver, copper and iron. Jewels, gold ingots, chains, calombigas and earrings were handed down from antiquity and inherited from their ancestors. Gold dagger handles, gold dishes, tooth plating, and huge gold ornamets were also used. In Laszlo Legeza’s “Tantric elements in pre-Hispanic Philippines Gold Art”, he mentioned that gold jewelry of Philippine origin was found in Ancient Egypt. According to Antonio Pigafetta, the people of Mindoro possessed great skill in mixing gold with other metals and gave it a natural and perfect appearance that could deceive even the best of silversmiths. The natives were also known for the jewelries made of other precious stones such as carnelian, agate and pearl. Some outstanding examples of Philippine jewelry included necklaces, belts, armlets and rings placed around the waist.

The America

There are ancient, prehistoric copper mines along Lake Superior, and metallic copper was still found there, near the surface, in colonial times. Indegenous peoples availed themselves of this copper starting at least 5,000 years ago,” and copper tools, arrowheads, and other artifacts that were part of an extensive native trade network have been discovered. In addition, obsidian, flint, and other minerals were mined, worked, and traded. Early French explorers who encountered the sites made no use of the metals due to the difficulties of transporting them, but the copper was eventually traded throughout the continent along major river routes.

Miners at the Tamarack Mine in Copper Country, Michigan, U.S. in 1905.
In the early colonial history of the Americas, “native gold and silver was quickly expropriated and sent back to Spain in fleets of gold- and silver-laden galleons,” the gold and silver originating mostly from mines in Central and South America. Turquoise dated at 700 A.D. was mined in pre-Columbian America; in the Cerillos Mining District in New Mexico, estimates are that “about 15,000 tons of rock had been removed from Mt. Chalchihuitl using stone tools before 1700.”

Mining in the United States became prevalent in the 19th century, and the General Mining Act of 1872 was passed to encourage mining of federal lands. As with the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, mining for minerals and precious metals, along with ranching, was a driving factor in the Westward Expansion to the Pacific coast. With the exploration of the West, mining camps were established and “expressed a distinctive spirit, an enduring legacy to the new nation;” Gold Rushers would experience the same problems as the Land Rushers of the transient West that preceded them. Aided by railroads, many traveled West for work opportunities in mining. Western cities such as Denver and Sacramento originated as mining towns.

When new areas were explored, it was usually the gold (placer and then load) and then silver that were taken into possession and extracted first. Other metals would often wait for railroads or canals, as coarse gold dust and nuggets do not require smelting and are easy to identify and transport.

Modern period
In the early 20th century, the gold and silver rush to the western United States also stimulated mining for coal as well as base metals such as copper, lead, and iron. Areas in modern Montana, Utah, Arizona, and later Alaska became predominate suppliers of copper to the world, which was increasingly demanding copper for electrical and households goods. Canada’s mining industry grew more slowly than did the United States’ due to limitations in transportation, capital, and U.S. competition; Ontario was the major producer of the early 20th century with nickel, copper, and gold.

Meanwhile, Australia experienced the Australian gold rushes and by the 1850s was producing 40% of the world’s gold, followed by the establishment of large mines such as the Mount Morgan Mine, which ran for nearly a hundred years, Broken Hill ore deposit (one of the largest zinc-lead ore deposits), and the iron ore mines at Iron Knob. After declines in production, another boom in mining occurred in the 1960s. Now, in the early 21st century, Australia remains a major world mineral producer.

As the 21st century begins, a globalized mining industry of large multinational corporations has arisen. Peak minerals and environmental impacts have also become a concern. Different elements, particularly rare earth minerals, have begun to increase in demand as a result of new technologies.

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Source: Food and agriculture organization of the united nations statistics division

Farming practices vary dramatically worldwide and among types of animals. Livestock are generally kept in an enclosure, fed by humans, and intentionally bred. However, some livestock are not enclosed, are fed by access to natural foods, and are allowed to breed freely.

Historically, raising livestock was part of a nomadic or pastoral form of material culture. The herding of camels and reindeer in some parts of the world remains dissociated from sedentary agriculture. The transhumance form of herding in the California Sierra Nevada still continues, as cattle, sheep, or goats are moved from winter pasture in lower-elevation valleys to spring and summer pasture in the foothills and alpine regions, as the seasons progress. Cattle were raised on the open range in the western United States and Canada, on the Pampas of Argentina, and on other prairie and steppe regions of the world.

The enclosure of livestock in pastures and barns is a relatively new development in the history of agriculture. When cattle are enclosed, the type of confinement may vary from a small crate, a large-area fenced-in pasture, or a paddock. The type of feed may vary from naturally growing grass to animal feed. Animals are usually intentionally bred through artificial insemination or supervised mating. Indoor production systems are typically used for pigs, dairy cattle, poultry, veal cattle, dairy goats, and other animals depending on the region and season. Animals kept indoors are generally farmed intensively, as large space requirements could make indoor farming unprofitable if not impossible. However, indoor farming systems are controversial due to problems associated with handling animal waste, odours, the potential for groundwater contamination, and animal welfare concerns. (For a further discussion on intensively farmed livestock, see factory farming, and intensive pig farming). Livestock source verification is used to track livestock.

Other livestock are farmed outdoors, where the size of enclosures and the level of supervision may vary. In large, open ranges, animals may be only occasionally inspected or yarded in "round-ups" or a muster. Herding dogs may be used for mustering livestock, as are cowboys, stockmen, and jackaroos on horses, in vehicles, and in helicopters. Since the advent of barbed wire (in the 1870s) and electric fence technology, fencing pastures has become much more feasible and pasture management simplified. Rotation of pasturage is a modern technique for improving nutrition and health while avoiding environmental damage to the land. In some cases, very large numbers of animals may be kept in indoor or outdoor feeding operations (on feedlots), where the animals feed is processed either offsite or onsite, and stored on site before being fed to the animals.

Livestock—-especially cattle—-may be branded to indicate ownership and age, but in modern farming, identification is more likely to be indicated by means of ear tags and electronic identification, instead. Sheep are also frequently marked by means of ear marks and/or ear tags. As fears of BSE and other epidemic illnesses mount, the use of implants to monitor and trace animals in the food production system is increasingly common, and sometimes required by government regulations.

Modern farming techniques seek to minimize human involvement, increase yield, and improve animal health. Economics, quality, and consumer safety all play roles in how animals are raised. The use of hard and soft drugs and feed supplements (or even feed type) may be regulated, or prohibited, to ensure that yield is not increased at the expense of consumer health, safety, or animal welfare. Practices vary around the world, for example growth hormone use is permitted in the United States, but not in stock to be sold in the European Union. The improvement of animal health using modern farming techniques has come into question. Feeding corn to cattle, which have historically eaten grasses, is an example; where the cattle are less adapted to this change, the rumen pH becomes more acidic, leading to liver damage and other health problems.[citation needed] The US Food and Drug Administration allows nonruminant animal proteins to be fed to cattle enclosed in feedlots. For example, it is acceptable to feed chicken manure and poultry meal to cattle, and beef or pork meat and bone meal to chickens.

Text from: Livestock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Source: (Production Year: 2014) Food and agriculture organization of the united nations statistics division

Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.[1] Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture farming has become the dominant agricultural methodology.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have in many cases sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are an increasing component of agriculture, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are increasingly becoming global issues that are fostering debate on a number of fronts. Significant degradation of land and water resources, including the depletion of aquifers, has been observed in recent decades, and the effects of global warming on agriculture and of agriculture on global warming are still not fully understood.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. Specific foods include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meats and spices. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are also produced by plants, such as resins, dyes, drugs, perfumes, biofuels and ornamental products such as cut flowers and nursery plants. Over one third of the world workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the percentages of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries.

Text from: Agriculture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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