8 billion and counting

This week, the world’s population ticks over a historic milestone. But in the next century, society will be reshaped dramatically — and soon we’ll hit a decline we’ll never reverse.

Telescopes on the moon

Our future in space relies on settling the Moon and using it as a base to probe the deepest questions in the cosmos.

Methane gas: What’s the big deal?

Methane leaking from pipelines on the floor of the Baltic Sea are only the tip of the iceberg: Scientists have reported that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are far worse than previously thought.

Can AI help us talk to whales and other animals?

Speaking to animals has long been a fantasy. But now a dizzyingly ambitious project is harnessing all the power of modern science in an attempt to understand what whales say – and then hold conversations with them.

How many people can Earth handle?

Towards the end of 2022, the human population on Earth is expected to reach eight billion. To mark the occasion, BBC Future takes a look at one of the most controversial issues of our time. Are there too many of us? Or is this the wrong question?