Barometer

Barometer

10 September 2015

1:00 PM

10 September 2015

1:00 PM

Old bags

The government announced details of a compulsory 5p charge for single-use plastic bags in shops. Plastic bags have only been around since 1960, when they were first produced by the Swedish firm Akerlund and Rausing, later to give the world the Tetrapak. The first store to use them was Strom, a shoe-shop chain whose owner had complained paper bags were too weak. The first plastic bags had cord handles; a design with integral handle was patented in 1965 by the Swedish company Celloplast, which went on to enjoy a decade of monopoly.

Places of refuge

David Cameron said that Britain would take 20,000 more Syrian refugees over the next five years. According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UK had a population of 126,055 in 2013, the 25th highest in the world. Who had the most?

No. of refugees
Pakistan
1.6 m
Iran
857,000
Lebanon
856,000
Jordan
641,000
Turkey
610,000
Kenya
534,000

 

% of overall population
Pakistan
0.8%
Iran
1.5%
Lebanon
19%
Jordan
10%
Turkey
0.8%
Kenya
1.1%

Winds of change


The Met Office wants to give names to Atlantic storms, as the US Weather Bureau has done with Caribbean storms since the 1950s. Does the number of hurricanes support the case that we are experiencing a more extreme climate?

Cat. 5 hurricanes
1930s
6
1940s
0
1950s
3
1960s
6
1970s
3
1980s
3
1990s
2
2000s
8
2010-2015
0

 

Cat. 4 and 5 hurricanes
1930s
16
1940s
10
1950s
16
1960s
15
1970s
8
1980s
10
1990s
14
2000s
23
2010-2015
7

Making prehistory

Archaeologists found 100 stones buried under 3ft of soil in Wiltshire which they believe made up a 4,500-year-old ‘super henge’. How many known prehistoric monuments are there in Britain?

1,300 stone circles (in British Isles), of which 76 are in England.

60 timber or pit circles (circular monuments whose edge was defined by wooden posts or by holes).

50 henges (defined as circles with a ditch inside an outer wall; Stonehenge is not now classed as a henge because its ditch lies outside its bank, a form more associated with forts).

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