A new year begins and it’s always useful to have a calendar handy of the most important events and moments of the next twelve months. Last 2023 was exceptional in many aspects and this 2024 promises to continue (and even surpass) some of the trends we experienced in the past year.
Hottest year in millennium
Global warming is becoming evident and, what’s worse, it’s accelerating. last 2023 was the warmest year since records exist And all indications are that it will continue to climb until it is surpassed in 2024. The El Nino phenomenon will continue to increase the temperature of the seas and oceans this year and NASA itself has already warned that in 2024 we are likely to surpass many of the records set by 2023.
Condemnation of climate summit in oil power once again
The long list of UN Climate Change Conferences will reach its 29th edition, which will be held this year, this year. Azerbaijan, one of the world’s largest oil producers. The experience of past COPs has been disastrous, especially the one held in Dubai in 2023 where an international event designed to save the world ended in horror. Key climate indicators are worsening at a rapid rate, greenhouse gas levels are continuing to rise, and after nearly 30 years, it seems clear that the current arrangement of international climate summits is not a viable tool for solving anything.
Space will break records again thanks to SpaceX and China
In 2023, it has broken all the records in the history of space launch. A total of 222 orbital launches, “of which ninety-eight correspond to the company SpaceX and seventy to China,” are two of the most decisive agents in the new space impulse of our time. In fact, Bill Gerstenmeyer himself is the Vice President of Space Flights
If we add integrated agencies such as NASA, ESA, ROSCOSMOS or JAXA and new space powers such as India or even Spain, which made its first orbital launch in 2023, the result will be aiming to break that record again in 2024. .
Heading to the moon… or almost
Space is back in the news and our satellite takes a prominent place again. The Artemis space program will soon return humans to the lunar surface. If all goes as planned, the second phase (Artemis 2) will be launched in November 2024, whatever that may be. The program’s first manned mission. The Orion spacecraft will carry four astronauts into lunar orbit and return to Earth. The most important step in space exploration in the last fifty years.
For its part, China plans to launch the long-awaited mission in August Chang’e-6 will travel to the far side of the Moonwill land and collect lunar soil samples.
Artificial intelligence consolidates and moves towards a new generation
The advances in artificial intelligence technology that we experienced in 2023 will once again take center stage in 2024. Chat GPT and its derivatives are preparing their new generation GPT5 which will also meet new competitors, especially with the arrival of GEMINIS, an artificial intelligence developed by Google in the new year which many consider “the beginning of the generative AI boom”.
Unleash an army of modified mosquitoes
The prestigious Nature magazine published a few weeks ago a comprehensive article with scientific events planned for 2024, one of which stands out as having very important implications for public health. It involves the release of millions of mass-engineered mosquitoes, developed in Brazilian laboratories, with the aim of preventing the spread of pathogenic viruses such as dengue or Zika. In the last decade, tests with this type of modified mosquitoes have been achieving success in studies in various countries and it is expected that 2024 will be a definite push for “biological shields protecting about 100 million people”.
Telescopes, solar eclipses and more
Two of the most anticipated ground-based telescopes will also arrive in 2024: the Vera Rubin Observatory, which is being completed in Cerro Pachón (Chile) and will have the largest digital camera ever built for optical astronomy. Also in Chile, in the Atacama Desert, the Simons Observatory plans to start its work in the summer of 2024 with the aim of detecting gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background.
This will be another one of the most anticipated moments of the year A total solar eclipse which will take place on April 8 and can be enjoyed from Mexico, the United States and Canada. A few months later, in October, there will be another solar eclipse (this time partial) that will be visible from much of South America and which we will have a chance to discuss in depth later.
Let’s hope that 2024 brings great scientific progress and global problems are closer to being solved. After all, this year is a leap year and we will have one more day to work on it. Happy New Year everyone!
Also on video: Five great space missions for 2024