Future Scale:
How the future looks as of September 14, 2007

Brian Gongol


What's new since the last update

Year Years away Event Source Date of projection
2008 1 Burj Dubai completed Architectural Record 2007.07.24
2008 1 Half of the world's population lives in urban areas UN Population Fund 2007
2008 1 Beijing Summer Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2009 2 50th anniversary of Communist control in Cuba CBS News 2007.07.26
2009 2 First private commercial spaceflight of "SpaceShipTwo" Space.com 2007.07.03
2009 2 Microsoft launches successor to Windows Vista PC World 2007.02.09
2009 2 Medical microrobots for human injection enter production Wired 2007.01.18
2009 2 China becomes world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions New York Times 2006.11.06
2009 2 First commercial spaceflight of the "Silver Dart" PlanetSpace 2007.02.01
2009 2 UK starts issuing biometric national identity cards to citizens UK Home Office 2006.12
2010 3 Retirement of Space Shuttle USA Today 2005.08.08
2010 3 Biofuels production causes decline in gas prices Dow Jones Newswires 2007.07.30
2010 3 Mass production of 50%-efficient solar cells University of Delaware 2007.07.23
2010 3 Vancouver Winter Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2010 3 GE Ecomagination products and services reach $20 billion in sales GE 2007.05.24
2010 3 First deliveries of HondaJet (8-passenger air taxi) Honda 2007.06.27
2010 3 Israel has a missile-defense shield in place Jerusalem Post 2007.08.23
2010 3 Fully functional prosthetic arms that respond to direct neural control DARPA 2007.08.27
2010 3 Netherlands completes first residential area exclusively of amphibious houses Der Spiegel 2005.09.26
2010 3 GM Volt (electric car) in production Globe and Mail 2007.02.14
2011 4 20th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm National Security Archive 2001.01.17
2011 4 4G cellular phone networks deployed in United States PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2011 4 Supercomputer built to reach 10 petaflops New York Times 2007.08.06
2011 4 O'Hare airport opens two additional runways City of Chicago 2007
2011 4 New safe containment structure completed at Chernobyl Government Accountability Office 2007.07
2011 4 EPA requires all communities with combined sewers to implement corrective plans Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2011 4 US reuses 50% of coal combustion ash Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2011 4 US airliners equipped with real-time turbulence forecasts based on radar University Corporation for Atmospheric Research 2007.09.06
2012 5 Wireless e-mail reaches commodity status Tekrati 2007.07.26
2012 5 London Summer Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2012 5 First private hotel in space opens for tourists RTE News 2007.08.10
2012 5 Bioengineered kidneys enter production Charleston Regional Business Journal 2006.08.21
2012 5 NYC taxi fleet completely converted to hybrid engines City of New York 2007.05.22
2012 5 First phase of Kyoto Protocol complete BBC News 2007.08.27
2012 5 US EPA requires 8% reduction in water impairments over 2002 levels Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2012 5 Mainstream adoption of universal online identity managers SXIP 2007.08.13
2012 5 Regeneration of heart valves from the patient's own stem cells The Independent 2007.09.03
2012 5 Final year to collect $20 million in Google's Lunar X-Prize Google 2007.09.13
2013 6 Medicare becomes insolvent Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2007.04.23
2013 6 Banana crops worldwide critically threatened by fungal disease The Guardian 2003.01.16
2013 6 NASA launches James Webb Space Telescope NASA 2007.08.23
2013 6 US segment of NEPTUNE undersea monitoring network completed National Geographic 2007.08.27
2014 7 Worldwide temperatures average 0.5F above 2004 temperatures BBC News 2007.08.09
2014 7 Sochi Winter Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2014 7 Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai produce 5.6 million vehicles annually in US Ward's AutoWorld 2007.08.01
2014 7 No Child Left Behind requires all students to test in reading and math at grade level Washington Post 2007.03.14
2014 7 All US residents have electronic medical records Ars Technica 2006.07.19
2014 7 Ontario closes all coal-fired power plants Toronto Star 2007.07.13
2014 7 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square uprising Frontline 2006.04.11
2014 7 Earliest date for Turkey to join the EU Forbes 2007.07.23
2015 8 Mass production of self-driving cars PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2015 8 Iran has its first nuclear weapon Washington Post 2005.08.02
2015 8 Earliest projections for peak oil production National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2015 8 Honda recycles 95% of used vehicle components in Japan Honda 2005
2015 8 55% of the area around Chernobyl allowed to return to use International Atomic Energy Agency 2006
2015 8 Thin-film photovoltaics market reaches $7.2 billion (7 times larger than in 2007) Nanomarkets 2007.08.06
2015 8 Canadian industrial air pollution cut by 50% over 2007 levels Environment Canada 2007.04.26
2015 8 Corn yields average 200 bushels per acre in US National Corn Growers Association 2007.03.01
2015 8 One-third of US combat vehicles are unmanned The Guardian 2007.08.18
2016 9 Ultra-HDTV debuts PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2016 9 Auto sales in India reach 3,000,000 vehicles per year Bloomberg 2007.05.03
2016 9 US Air Force uses 50% synthetic (non-petroleum) fuels for aircraft Air Force Times 2007.07.23
2016 9 UK landfills full The Guardian 2007.04.27
2017 10 Domestic robots express emotions and provide companionship Daily Telegraph 2007.02.18
2017 10 Second Life exceeds size of the Internet The Register 2007.08.01
2017 10 US commercial airlines fly 1.256 trillion passenger miles FAA 2005
2017 10 US general aviation fleet exceeds 250,000 aircraft FAA 2005
2017 10 5000 microjets in service in US airspace FAA 2005
2017 10 GPS units become accurate to a matter of centimeters throughout the US National Geodetic Survey 2007.02.12
2018 11 Completion of modernization program at O'Hare airport FAA 2005.10.30
2018 11 US power plants reduce sulfur dioxide emisions by 73% over 2002 levels White House 2002.02.14
2018 11 US Air Force adds new long-range bomber Government Executive 2007.06.13
2019 12 Medicare trust fund exhausted Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2007.04.23
2019 12 Flexible OLED screens reach mass market PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2019 12 Demonstration of commercial-scale nuclear hydrogen production Department of Energy 2005
2019 12 Cumulative shortfall in US drinking-water infrastructure investment reaches $100 billion Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2019 12 Cumulative shortfall in US wastewater infrastructure investment reaches $120 billion Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2020 13 Launch date for asteroid interceptor with nuclear warheads Flight International 2007.08.03
2020 13 NASA's Orion spacecraft carries out first manned trip to Moon NASA 2007.08.08
2020 13 China places a robotic rover on the moon BBC News 2005.08.12
2020 13 Self-piloted vehicles reach mainstream Channel 4 2005.08.03
2020 13 Scotland's population enters long-term decline General Register Office for Scotland 2005.10.20
2020 13 Australia begins withdrawing money from sovereign development fund ANZ Investment Bank 2007.06.27
2020 13 Turkey becomes largest country in Europe The Economist 2007.03.15
2020 13 Substantially all US urban wastewater infrastructure built under Clean Water Act reaches end of useful life Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2020 13 Maritime sector becomes largest source of major air pollutants in Europe EU Commission 2005.09.21
2020 13 Commercialization of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells US Department of Energy 2005.12
2020 13 China employs 7.7 million people in auto industry China Economic Net 2007.09.14
2020 13 UK builds 3 million additional homes over 2007 levels London Evening Standard 2007.09.14
2021 14 China has 23 million single males Texas A&M University 2005.09
2022 15 Annual increase in life expectancy exceeds 365 days Reason Magazine 2007.07.27
2022 15 Geni project creates alternative to conventional Internet The Guardian 2007.08.01
2022 15 Ken Burns's contract with PBS goes up for renewal PBS 2007.01.13
2023 16 US domestic oil reserves exhausted National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2023 16 Computers with equivalent to human brain capacity sell for $1,000 The Guardian 2003.09.23
2024 17 US establishes permanent manned base on Moon CNN 2006.12.05
2024 17 Universal access to basic sewage treatment in Brazil International Water and Sanitation Centre 2006.02.07
2025 18 India's population exceeds China's United Nations Population Division 2006
2025 18 0.6% of adults in US infected with HIV/AIDS United Nations Population Division 2006
2025 18 ESA conducts human mission to the Moon European Space Agency 2002.10.11
2025 18 Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and sites found nationwide in the US US Department of Energy 2005.12
2026 19 High-resolution recording of an individual's entire life experience Daily Telegraph 2006.12.13
2026 19 Maximum expected life of original Chernobyl containment structure International Atomic Energy Agency 2006
2027 20 China's GDP exceeds US GDP The Economist 2007.06.28
2028 21 Medicare expenditures exceed Social Security expenditures Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2007.04.23
2028 21 Medicare and Medicaid consume 10% of US GDP Congressional Budget Office 2007.07.25
2029 22 Youngest Baby Boomers reach age 65 US Census Bureau 2006.01.03
2030 23 Japan inaugurates manned moon base Discover Magazine 2006.11.28
2030 23 80% of world's population lives in developing countries UN Population Fund 2007
2030 23 Fossil fuels provide 75% of world energy National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2030 23 Thames Barrier effectiveness falls to half of design capacity UK Environment Agency 2007
2030 23 ESA conducts first human mission to Mars European Space Agency 2006.01.09
2030 23 Ozone levels in low atmosphere cause widespread respiratory problems Institute of Physics 2005.06.08
2030 23 EU gets 50% of its natural gas from Russia The Economist 2007.09.13
2031 24 Married adults a minority in England The Guardian 2005.09.30
2032 25 50th anniversary of EPCOT Center 2719 Hyperion 2007.07.24
2032 25 Shortages force per-capita water consumption in Sydney to fall by half of 2007 levels Daily Telegraph 2007.08.30
2036 29 Near-Earth passage of asteroid Apophis NASA JPL 2006.10.19
2036 29 Bacteriophages widely used to prevent food-borne infections ABC News 2006.11.02
2040 33 Global warming eliminates most Arctic sea ice National Geographic 2006.12.12
2040 33 US population reaches 400 million USA Today 2007.09.12
2040 33 HCFCs eliminated worldwide under Montreal Protocol United Nations 2007.09.13
2045 38 Global life expectancy reaches 75 years United Nations Population Division 2006
2046 39 Oldest Baby Boomers reach age 100 US Census Bureau 2006.01.03
2047 40 Hong Kong's status as special administrative region of China expires Heritage Foundation 2007
2050 43 India's GDP exceeds US GDP The Economist 2007.06.28
2050 43 Russia's population falls below 100 million Radio Free Europe 2006.05.19
2050 43 World population reaches 9.2 billion United Nations Population Division 2006
2050 43 Medicare and Medicaid consume 20% of US GDP Congressional Budget Office 2007.07.25
2050 43 Japan's population falls below 100 million New York Times 2005.12.17
2050 43 Netherlands surrenders 222,000 acres of land to new river floodplains National Geographic 2001.09.04
2050 43 Antarctic ozone hole repaired BBC News 2000.12.03
2050 43 One-third of EU residents are over age 65 BBC News 2007.09.13
2080 73 20% decline in world food production potential over 2007 levels due to global warming Voice of America 2007.09.13
2090 83 Worldwide temperatures average 7F above 1990s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007.02.05
2100 93 Sea levels rise by 43 inches over levels in 2000 BBC News 2007.03.01
2105 98 Arctic Ocean becomes seasonally ice-free University of Arizona 2005.08.22


Additions since the last update: