Future Scale:
How the future looks as of April 4, 2008

Brian Gongol


What's new since the last update

Year Years away Event Source Date of projection
2008 0 Burj Dubai completed Architectural Record 2007.07.24
2008 0 Half of the world's population lives in urban areas UN Population Fund 2007
2008 0 Beijing Summer Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2009 1 50th anniversary of Communist control in Cuba CBS News 2007.07.26
2009 1 First private commercial spaceflight of "SpaceShipTwo" Space.com 2007.07.03
2009 1 Microsoft launches successor to Windows Vista PC World 2007.02.09
2009 1 Medical microrobots for human injection enter production Wired 2007.01.18
2009 1 China becomes world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions New York Times 2006.11.06
2009 1 First commercial spaceflight of the "Silver Dart" PlanetSpace 2007.02.01
2009 1 UK starts issuing biometric national identity cards to citizens UK Home Office 2006.12
2010 2 Florida surpasses New York as third-largest state in the US Orlando Business Journal 2007.11.19
2010 2 Retirement of Space Shuttle USA Today 2005.08.08
2010 2 Biofuels production causes decline in gas prices Dow Jones Newswires 2007.07.30
2010 2 Mass production of 50%-efficient solar cells University of Delaware 2007.07.23
2010 2 Vancouver Winter Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2010 2 GE Ecomagination products and services reach $20 billion in sales GE 2007.05.24
2010 2 First deliveries of HondaJet (8-passenger air taxi) Honda 2007.06.27
2010 2 Israel has a missile-defense shield in place Jerusalem Post 2007.08.23
2010 2 Fully functional prosthetic arms that respond to direct neural control DARPA 2007.08.27
2010 2 Netherlands completes first residential area exclusively of amphibious houses Der Spiegel 2005.09.26
2010 2 GM Volt (electric car) in production Globe and Mail 2007.02.14
2010 2 $600 million, 984-foot tower in Mexico City is completed New York Times 2007.09.19
2010 2 Movie theaters installed at 300 gas stations in India Economic Times 2007.09.21
2011 3 20th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm National Security Archive 2001.01.17
2011 3 4G cellular phone networks deployed in United States PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2011 3 Supercomputer built to reach 10 petaflops New York Times 2007.08.06
2011 3 O'Hare airport opens two additional runways City of Chicago 2007
2011 3 New safe containment structure completed at Chernobyl Government Accountability Office 2007.07
2011 3 EPA requires all communities with combined sewers to implement corrective plans Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2011 3 US reuses 50% of coal combustion ash Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2011 3 US airliners equipped with real-time turbulence forecasts based on radar University Corporation for Atmospheric Research 2007.09.06
2011 3 90% of retailers have in-store digital video displays (like Wal-Mart TV) Online Video Insider 2007.09.17
2011 3 300-megawatt solar thermal facility goes online in Florida St. Petersburg Times 2007.09.27
2011 3 Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan enter customs union Templeton Thorp 2007.10.08
2011 3 Chicago Spire completed and opened to first occupants The Chicago Spire 2007.09.19
2012 4 Wireless e-mail reaches commodity status Tekrati 2007.07.26
2012 4 London Summer Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2012 4 First private hotel in space opens for tourists RTE News 2007.08.10
2012 4 Bioengineered kidneys enter production Charleston Regional Business Journal 2006.08.21
2012 4 NYC taxi fleet completely converted to hybrid engines City of New York 2007.05.22
2012 4 First phase of Kyoto Protocol complete BBC News 2007.08.27
2012 4 US EPA requires 8% reduction in water impairments over 2002 levels Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2012 4 Mainstream adoption of universal online identity managers SXIP 2007.08.13
2012 4 Regeneration of heart valves from the patient's own stem cells The Independent 2007.09.03
2012 4 Final year to collect $20 million in Google's Lunar X-Prize Google 2007.09.13
2012 4 260 million people use mobile online dating services worldwide Wireless Week 2007.09.17
2012 4 Interactive environments reach photorealistic quality virtually indistinguishable from film ScienCentral 2007.09.20
2012 4 Personal genome maps integrated into routine medical care University of Alberta 2007.09.20
2012 4 Federal law mandates production of 1 billion gallons of biodiesel per year Brownfield 2007.12.20
2013 5 Medicare becomes insolvent Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2008.03.25
2013 5 Banana crops worldwide critically threatened by fungal disease The Guardian 2003.01.16
2013 5 NASA launches James Webb Space Telescope NASA 2007.08.23
2013 5 US segment of NEPTUNE undersea monitoring network completed National Geographic 2007.08.27
2013 5 ADS-B (advanced air traffic and weather detection for aircraft) ground infrastructure operating across US Washington Technology 2007.09.17
2013 5 All new cars in US required to have side-impact protection (air bags) to prevent head injuries National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2007.08.30
2013 5 End of Hubble Space Telescope's useful life Discovery Channel 2007.12.21
2014 6 Worldwide temperatures average 0.5F above 2004 temperatures BBC News 2007.08.09
2014 6 Sochi Winter Olympics International Olympic Committee 2007.08.09
2014 6 Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai produce 5.6 million vehicles annually in US Ward's AutoWorld 2007.08.01
2014 6 No Child Left Behind requires all students to test in reading and math at grade level Washington Post 2007.03.14
2014 6 All US residents have electronic medical records Ars Technica 2006.07.19
2014 6 Ontario closes all coal-fired power plants Toronto Star 2007.07.13
2014 6 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square uprising Frontline 2006.04.11
2014 6 Earliest date for Turkey to join the EU Forbes 2007.07.23
2014 6 Panama Canal widening project complete The Independent 2007.09.03
2015 7 India becomes world's third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide International Energy Agency 2007.11.07
2015 7 Mass production of self-driving cars PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2015 7 Iran has its first nuclear weapon Washington Post 2005.08.02
2015 7 Earliest projections for peak oil production National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2015 7 Honda recycles 95% of used vehicle components in Japan Honda 2005
2015 7 55% of the area around Chernobyl allowed to return to use International Atomic Energy Agency 2006
2015 7 Thin-film photovoltaics market reaches $7.2 billion (7 times larger than in 2007) Nanomarkets 2007.08.06
2015 7 Canadian industrial air pollution cut by 50% over 2007 levels Environment Canada 2007.04.26
2015 7 Corn yields average 200 bushels per acre in US National Corn Growers Association 2007.03.01
2015 7 One-third of US combat vehicles are unmanned The Guardian 2007.08.18
2015 7 Minnesota utilities required by law to get 15% of energy from renewable sources Austin Daily Herald 2007.09.13
2015 7 22 cities around the world have more than 10 million inhabitants Daily Telegraph 2007.09.03
2015 7 Common currency in place for several Persian Gulf nations Gulf News 2007.10.02
2016 8 Ultra-HDTV debuts PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2016 8 Auto sales in India reach 3,000,000 vehicles per year Bloomberg 2007.05.03
2016 8 US Air Force uses 50% synthetic (non-petroleum) fuels for aircraft Air Force Times 2007.07.23
2016 8 UK landfills full The Guardian 2007.04.27
2016 8 Seniors (over 65) outnumber children (under 15) in South Korea Korea Times 2007.10.01
2016 8 Energy production in British Columbia is carbon-neutral CBC 2007.10.01
2017 9 First "vertical farm" (skyscraper for hydroponic production) constructed Popular Science 2007.07
2017 9 Domestic robots express emotions and provide companionship Daily Telegraph 2007.02.18
2017 9 Second Life exceeds size of the Internet The Register 2007.08.01
2017 9 US commercial airlines fly 1.256 trillion passenger miles FAA 2005
2017 9 US general aviation fleet exceeds 250,000 aircraft FAA 2005
2017 9 5000 microjets in service in US airspace FAA 2005
2017 9 GPS units become accurate to a matter of centimeters throughout the US National Geodetic Survey 2007.02.12
2017 9 All Canadian border guards armed with guns The Economist 2007.09.15
2017 9 US produces 35 billion gallons of ethanol per year National Research Council 2007.10.10
2017 9 China allows Hong Kong to democratically elect its chief executive South China Morning Post 2007.12.21
2018 10 Completion of modernization program at O'Hare airport FAA 2005.10.30
2018 10 US power plants reduce sulfur dioxide emisions by 73% over 2002 levels White House 2002.02.14
2018 10 US Air Force adds new long-range bomber Government Executive 2007.06.13
2019 11 Medicare trust fund exhausted Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2007.04.23
2019 11 Flexible OLED screens reach mass market PC Magazine 2007.06.20
2019 11 Demonstration of commercial-scale nuclear hydrogen production Department of Energy 2005
2019 11 Cumulative shortfall in US drinking-water infrastructure investment reaches $100 billion Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2019 11 Cumulative shortfall in US wastewater infrastructure investment reaches $120 billion Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2020 12 Launch date for asteroid interceptor with nuclear warheads Flight International 2007.08.03
2020 12 NASA's Orion spacecraft carries out first manned trip to Moon NASA 2007.08.08
2020 12 China places a robotic rover on the moon BBC News 2005.08.12
2020 12 Self-piloted vehicles reach mainstream Channel 4 2005.08.03
2020 12 Scotland's population enters long-term decline General Register Office for Scotland 2005.10.20
2020 12 Australia begins withdrawing money from sovereign development fund ANZ Investment Bank 2007.06.27
2020 12 Turkey becomes largest country in Europe The Economist 2007.03.15
2020 12 Substantially all US urban wastewater infrastructure built under Clean Water Act reaches end of useful life Environmental Protection Agency 2006.09.29
2020 12 Maritime sector becomes largest source of major air pollutants in Europe EU Commission 2005.09.21
2020 12 Commercialization of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells US Department of Energy 2005.12
2020 12 China employs 7.7 million people in auto industry China Economic Net 2007.09.14
2020 12 UK builds 3 million additional homes over 2007 levels London Evening Standard 2007.09.14
2020 12 20% of US teenagers are Latinos National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2003.04
2020 12 All US aircraft equipped with ADS-B advanced air traffic and weather detection system FAA 2007.06.29
2020 12 Ireland gets 500 megawatts of electricity from wave power The Guardian 2007.09.20
2020 12 All new homes in France are built to be energy self-sufficient Agence France-Presse 2007.09.27
2020 12 75 million Africans suffer water shortages due to climate change Nature Reports 2007.07
2020 12 Germany gets 25% of its energy from renewable sources Washington Post 2007.05.05
2020 12 Solar energy industry employs 2 million Americans Newsweek 2007.10.08
2020 12 120 million passengers pass through Heathrow Airport every year Times of London 2007.11.22
2021 13 China has 23 million single males Texas A&M University 2005.09
2022 14 Annual increase in life expectancy exceeds 365 days Reason Magazine 2007.07.27
2022 14 Geni project creates alternative to conventional Internet The Guardian 2007.08.01
2022 14 Ken Burns's contract with PBS goes up for renewal PBS 2007.01.13
2022 14 Federal law mandates production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels per year FarmWeek 2007.12.20
2023 15 US domestic oil reserves exhausted National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2023 15 Computers with equivalent to human brain capacity sell for $1,000 The Guardian 2003.09.23
2024 16 US establishes permanent manned base on Moon CNN 2006.12.05
2024 16 Universal access to basic sewage treatment in Brazil International Water and Sanitation Centre 2006.02.07
2025 17 India becomes world's third-largest net importer of oil MeriNews 2007.11.10
2025 17 India's population exceeds China's United Nations Population Division 2006
2025 17 0.6% of adults in US infected with HIV/AIDS United Nations Population Division 2006
2025 17 ESA conducts human mission to the Moon European Space Agency 2002.10.11
2025 17 Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and sites found nationwide in the US US Department of Energy 2005.12
2025 17 Minnesota utilities required by law to get 30% of energy from renewable sources Austin Daily Herald 2007.09.13
2025 17 Two-thirds of world population faces water shortages The Futurist 2007.07
2025 17 75% of Americans live in coastal counties NOAA 2000
2026 18 High-resolution recording of an individual's entire life experience Daily Telegraph 2006.12.13
2026 18 Maximum expected life of original Chernobyl containment structure International Atomic Energy Agency 2006
2026 18 Las Vegas metro population reaches 3.3 million Nevada State Demographer's Office 2006.07
2027 19 China's GDP exceeds US GDP The Economist 2007.06.28
2027 19 Oil prices reach $150 per barrel The Independent 2007.09.17
2028 20 Medicare expenditures exceed Social Security expenditures Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2008.03.25
2028 20 Medicare and Medicaid consume 10% of US GDP Congressional Budget Office 2007.07.25
2029 21 Youngest Baby Boomers reach age 65 US Census Bureau 2006.01.03
2030 22 US corn production averages 300 bushels per acre Ethanol Producer 2007.10
2030 22 China's per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide exceed those of western Europe International Energy Agency 2007.11.07
2030 22 5 million Americans live in nursing homes Chicago Tribune 2007.11.18
2030 22 China has 270 million vehicles on the road Wired 2007.11.07
2030 22 Florida's population reaches 28.6 million Orlando Business Journal 2007.11.19
2030 22 Jamaica achieves 'developed nation' status Government of Jamaica 2007.01
2030 22 Japan inaugurates manned moon base Discover Magazine 2006.11.28
2030 22 80% of world's population lives in developing countries UN Population Fund 2007
2030 22 Fossil fuels provide 75% of world energy National Petroleum Council 2007.07.18
2030 22 Thames Barrier effectiveness falls to half of design capacity UK Environment Agency 2007
2030 22 ESA conducts first human mission to Mars European Space Agency 2006.01.09
2030 22 Ozone levels in low atmosphere cause widespread respiratory problems Institute of Physics 2005.06.08
2030 22 EU gets 50% of its natural gas from Russia The Economist 2007.09.13
2030 22 Inter-city train service in UAE starts service in bid to discourage construction of skyscrapers Gulf News 2007.09.13
2030 22 US electricity consumption 45% above 2005 levels Energy Information Administration 2007.02
2030 22 US inflation rate reaches 4% per year Newsweek 2007.09.24
2030 22 Biofuels supply 4% of world road fuel International Energy Agency 2006
2030 22 One-third of world relies on primary biofuels (like wood and charcoal) for most energy International Energy Agency 2006
2030 22 65% of European energy comes from imports International Herald Tribune 2007.09.19
2030 22 5 billion people live in cities worldwide International Herald Tribune 2007.09.28
2030 22 Photovoltaic solar energy is price-competitive with any other low-emissions generation technology PhysOrg 2005.11.16
2030 22 Russia has 40 more nuclear reactors than in 2007 Radio Free Europe 2007.09.29
2030 22 Mormons make up less than 50% of Utah's population Salt Lake Tribune 2007.11.19
2031 23 Married adults a minority in England The Guardian 2005.09.30
2031 23 34 million people live in Mumbai metro area Economic Times 2007.09.28
2031 23 UK population rises to 71 million Office of National Statistics 2007.10.23
2031 23 100% of population growth in Canada comes from immigration Vancouver 24 2007.10.26
2032 24 50th anniversary of EPCOT Center 2719 Hyperion 2007.07.24
2032 24 Shortages force per-capita water consumption in Sydney to fall by half of 2007 levels Daily Telegraph 2007.08.30
2036 28 Near-Earth passage of asteroid Apophis NASA JPL 2006.10.19
2036 28 Bacteriophages widely used to prevent food-borne infections ABC News 2006.11.02
2036 28 US telephone numbers exhausted North American Numbering Plan Administration 2006.10
2040 32 Global warming eliminates most Arctic sea ice National Geographic 2006.12.12
2040 32 US population reaches 400 million USA Today 2007.09.12
2040 32 HCFCs eliminated worldwide under Montreal Protocol United Nations 2007.09.13
2040 32 California's population reaches 60 million Brentwood Press 2007.09.29
2040 32 Middle class in southern and eastern Asia totals 2 billion people Motley Fool 2007.10.25
2041 33 Social Security trust fund exhausted Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2008.03.25
2045 37 Global life expectancy reaches 75 years United Nations Population Division 2006
2046 38 Oldest Baby Boomers reach age 100 US Census Bureau 2006.01.03
2047 39 Hong Kong's status as special administrative region of China expires Heritage Foundation 2007
2050 42 Pensions absorb 25% of GDP in Greece Kathimerini 2007.11.10
2050 42 Earliest expected date for the B-52 to be retired from the US Air Force Air Force Link 2007.10
2050 42 India's GDP exceeds US GDP The Economist 2007.06.28
2050 42 Russia's population falls below 100 million Radio Free Europe 2006.05.19
2050 42 World population reaches 9.2 billion United Nations Population Division 2006
2050 42 Medicare and Medicaid consume 20% of US GDP Congressional Budget Office 2007.07.25
2050 42 Japan's population falls below 100 million New York Times 2005.12.17
2050 42 Netherlands surrenders 222,000 acres of land to new river floodplains National Geographic 2001.09.04
2050 42 Antarctic ozone hole repaired BBC News 2000.12.03
2050 42 One-third of EU residents are over age 65 BBC News 2007.09.13
2050 42 China plans to gain 'electronic dominance' over rival nations, including the US Times of London 2007.09.08
2050 42 Biofuels account for 13% of liquid fuels in the US MIT Technology Review 2007.09.13
2050 42 Minnesota utilities required by law to get 80% of energy from renewable sources Austin Daily Herald 2007.09.13
2050 42 25% of US population is of Hispanic origin USDA 2007.09.19
2050 42 Two-thirds of all existing US structures less than 40 years old Los Angeles Times 2007.09.21
2050 42 50% of agricultural lands in Latin America lost to desertification and salinization Nature Reports 2007.07
2050 42 India has 51 million people over age 80 Times of India 2007.09.30
2060 52 First fighter aircraft designed and built in India reaches production India Defence 2007.10.25
2060 52 Irish women reach average life expectancy of 91 years Irish Independent 2007.10.18
2080 72 20% decline in world food production potential over 2007 levels due to global warming Voice of America 2007.09.13
2080 72 British women reach an average life expectancy of 100 years The Telegraph 2007.01.10
2090 82 Worldwide temperatures average 7F above 1990s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007.02.05
2100 92 Sea levels rise by 43 inches over levels in 2000 BBC News 2007.03.01
2100 92 Quebec's pure Francophone population falls to 4 million Montreal Gazette 2007.09.27
2105 97 Arctic Ocean becomes seasonally ice-free University of Arizona 2005.08.22


Additions since the last update: