Future Scale:
How the future looks as of September 25, 2012

Brian Gongol

What's new since the last update

Year Years from now Event Source Source date
20131Second phase of Kyoto Protocol takes effectEconomic Times2009.12.28
20131Banana crops worldwide critically threatened by fungal diseaseThe Guardian2003.01.16
20131End of Hubble Space Telescope's useful lifeDiscovery Channel2007.12.21
20131US segment of NEPTUNE undersea monitoring network completedNational Geographic2007.08.27
20131ADS-B (advanced air traffic and weather detection for aircraft) ground infrastructure operating across USWashington Technology2007.09.17
20131NASA launches James Webb Space TelescopeNASA2007.08.23
20131Medicare becomes insolventSocial Security and Medicare Board of Trustees2008.03.25
20131All new cars in US required to have side-impact protection (air bags) to prevent head injuriesNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration2007.08.30
20131Best Buy reaches $80 billion in annual salesMinneapolis Star-Tribune2008.06.25
20142Sochi Winter OlympicsInternational Olympic Committee2007.08.09
20142Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai produce 5.6 million vehicles annually in USWard's AutoWorld2007.08.01
20142No Child Left Behind requires all students to test in reading and math at grade levelWashington Post2007.03.14
20142Ontario closes all coal-fired power plantsToronto Star2007.07.13
20142Worldwide temperatures average 0.5F above 2004 temperaturesBBC News2007.08.09
20142Earliest date for Turkey to join the EUForbes2007.07.23
2014225th anniversary of Tiananmen Square uprisingFrontline2006.04.11
20142All US residents have electronic medical recordsArs Technica2006.07.19
20142Panama Canal widening project completeThe Independent2007.09.03
20153Kenya obtains first malaria vaccineAllAfrica2010.04.26
20153Two million people die per year of preventable tuberculosisUN News Centre2011.03.24
20153Microsoft introduces successor to Xbox gaming consoleHTLounge.net2011.03.24
20153Genomes of stomach, breast, liver, mouth, brain, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers fully recordedBBC News2009.12.16
20153GE offers net-zero-energy homes to consumersCNet2009.07.14
20153Deaths outnumber births in EUInternational Herald Tribune2008.08.26
20153Common currency in place for several Persian Gulf nationsGulf News2007.10.02
2015355% of the area around Chernobyl allowed to return to useInternational Atomic Energy Agency2006
20153Canadian industrial air pollution cut by 50% over 2007 levelsEnvironment Canada2007.04.26
20153Mass production of self-driving carsPC Magazine2007.06.20
20153One-third of US combat vehicles are unmannedThe Guardian2007.08.18
20153Honda recycles 95% of used vehicle components in JapanHonda2005
20153Corn yields average 200 bushels per acre in USNational Corn Growers Association2007.03.01
20153Earliest projections for peak oil productionNational Petroleum Council2007.07.18
20153Medical spending on credit cards reaches $150 billion annuallyFort Wayne Journal Gazette2008.09.07
20153Iran has its first nuclear weaponWashington Post2005.08.02
20153Minnesota utilities required by law to get 15% of energy from renewable sourcesAustin Daily Herald2007.09.13
20153Prototype vertical farm completed in Dongtan, ChinaElectric New paper2008.11.25
20153Thin-film photovoltaics market reaches $7.2 billion (7 times larger than in 2007)Nanomarkets2007.08.06
2015322 cities around the world have more than 10 million inhabitantsDaily Telegraph2007.09.03
20153India becomes world's third-largest emitter of carbon dioxideInternational Energy Agency2007.11.07
20153China and Chile reach $60 billion in bilateral trade (double the 2011 amount)Reuters2012.06.26
20153Permanent sarcophagus over Chernobyl power plant completedBattelle2012.05.24
20153Production glut in solar panels levels out to match demandReuters2012.06.26
20153Federal Reserve considers raising interest rates above near-zeroMarketwatch2012.09.25
20164Auto sales in India reach 3,000,000 vehicles per yearBloomberg2007.05.03
20164Ultra-HDTV debutsPC Magazine2007.06.20
20164UK landfills fullThe Guardian2007.04.27
20164US Air Force uses 50% synthetic (non-petroleum) fuels for aircraftAir Force Times2007.07.23
20164Seniors (over 65) outnumber children (under 15) in South KoreaKorea Times2007.10.01
20164Energy production in British Columbia is carbon-neutralCBC2007.10.01
20175China allows Hong Kong to democratically elect its chief executiveSouth China Morning Post2007.12.21
20175Domestic robots express emotions and provide companionshipDaily Telegraph2007.02.18
20175Second Life exceeds size of the InternetThe Register2007.08.01
20175All Canadian border guards armed with gunsThe Economist2007.09.15
20175US produces 35 billion gallons of ethanol per yearNational Research Council2007.10.10
20175First "vertical farm" (skyscraper for hydroponic production) constructedPopular Science2007.07
20175US general aviation fleet exceeds 250,000 aircraftFAA2005
20175US commercial airlines fly 1.256 trillion passenger milesFAA2005
201755000 microjets in service in US airspaceFAA2005
20175GPS units become accurate to a matter of centimeters throughout the USNational Geodetic Survey2007.02.12
20186Stem cells routinely banked from extracted wisdom teethThe Telegraph2008.08.22
20186China's GDP exceeds US GDPThe Independent2009.10.07
20186Completion of modernization program at O'Hare airportFAA2005.10.30
20186US Air Force adds new long-range bomberGovernment Executive2007.06.13
20186US power plants reduce sulfur dioxide emisions by 73% over 2002 levelsWhite House2002.02.14
20197Medicare trust fund exhaustedSocial Security and Medicare Board of Trustees2007.04.23
20197Demonstration of commercial-scale nuclear hydrogen productionDepartment of Energy2005
20197Flexible OLED screens reach mass marketPC Magazine2007.06.20
20197Cumulative shortfall in US drinking-water infrastructure investment reaches $100 billionEnvironmental Protection Agency2006.09.29
20197Cumulative shortfall in US wastewater infrastructure investment reaches $120 billionEnvironmental Protection Agency2006.09.29
20208500,000 regular vehicles converted with hybrid-power retrofit kitsAutomotive World2011.10.13
20208China launches orbiting space stationThe Guardian2010.09.20
20208World "middle class" includes 3.2 billion peopleBrookings Institution2010.03.15
20208China has more than 200 million automobilesPeople's Daily2010.09.06
20208Qatar hosts World CupCBS News 2011.03.24
20208US has world's largest number of college graduates annuallyDeseret News2011.03.22
20208Four 1400-megawatt nuclear power plants completed for UAENew York Times2009.12.27
2020820% of all plastics in Japan come from renewable sourcesPlastics Today2009.10.04
2020875 million Africans suffer water shortages due to climate changeNature Reports2007.07
20208Solar energy industry employs 2 million AmericansNewsweek2007.10.08
2020820% of US teenagers are LatinosNational Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy2003.04
20208Turkey becomes largest country in EuropeThe Economist2007.03.15
20208All US aircraft equipped with ADS-B advanced air traffic and weather detection systemFAA2007.06.29
20208Self-piloted vehicles reach mainstreamChannel 42005.08.03
20208Texas has high-speed rail system linking Dallas, Houston, and San AntonioDaily Texan2009.02.02
20208Russia launches independent space stationDaily Tech2009.02.03
20208Maritime sector becomes largest source of major air pollutants in EuropeEU Commission2005.09.21
20208Scotland's population enters long-term declineGeneral Register Office for Scotland2005.10.20
20208UK builds 3 million additional homes over 2007 levelsLondon Evening Standard2007.09.14
20208China places a robotic rover on the moonBBC News2005.08.12
20208Substantially all US urban wastewater infrastructure built under Clean Water Act reaches end of useful lifeEnvironmental Protection Agency2006.09.29
20208NASA's Orion spacecraft carries out first manned trip to MoonNASA2007.08.08
20208Ireland gets 500 megawatts of electricity from wave powerThe Guardian2007.09.20
20208Australia begins withdrawing money from sovereign development fundANZ Investment Bank2007.06.27
20208Commercialization of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cellsUS Department of Energy2005.12
20208All new homes in France are built to be energy self-sufficientAgence France-Presse2007.09.27
20208Launch date for asteroid interceptor with nuclear warheadsFlight International2007.08.03
20208Connecticut law requires 20% of all energy in state to come from renewable sourcesMass High Tech2009.02.03
20208China employs 7.7 million people in auto industryChina Economic Net2007.09.14
20208Germany gets 25% of its energy from renewable sourcesWashington Post2007.05.05
20208120 million passengers pass through Heathrow Airport every yearTimes of London2007.11.22
20208F-16 fighters reach end of useful life in USAFThe Hill2009.02.03
20208Britain has 195,000 residential wind turbines generating electricityDaily Telegraph2008.11.24
20208Coca-Cola invests $5 billion in product development and distribution in India (2012-2020)Bloomberg Businessweek2012.06.26
20208Peak US domestic oil outputReuters2012.06.25
20208North Dakota's population reaches 800,000 to accommodate oil boomJamestown (ND) Sun2012.09.25
20208China spends 2.5% of GDP on research and developmentMarketwatch2012.09.23
20219China has 23 million single malesTexas A&M University2005.09
20219Iran sends its first astronaut to spaceThe National (Abu Dhabi)2009.02.04
202210India has 150 million skilled workersTimes of India2010.09.20
202210Annual increase in life expectancy exceeds 365 daysReason Magazine2007.07.27
202210Geni project creates alternative to conventional InternetThe Guardian2007.08.01
202210Federal law mandates production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels per yearFarmWeek2007.12.20
202210Ken Burns's contract with PBS goes up for renewalPBS2007.01.13
202311Australia raises pension-eligibility age to 67Herald Sun2009.12.28
202311US domestic oil reserves exhaustedNational Petroleum Council2007.07.18
202311Computers with equivalent to human brain capacity sell for $1,000The Guardian2003.09.23
202311Dutch company attempts to settle colonists on Mars for reality showSpace.com2012.06.26
202412Universal access to basic sewage treatment in BrazilInternational Water and Sanitation Centre2006.02.07
202412US establishes permanent manned base on MoonCNN2006.12.05
202513US automotive fleets to meet mandatory average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallonSan Antonio Express-News2011.10.12
202513China puts an astronaut on the MoonThe Guardian2010.09.20
202513Kinshasa, Zaire, has world's largest single-city population of children under age 15Financial Times2011.03.24
202513Bridgeport, Connecticut, has highest US GDP per capitaSan Francisco Chronicle2011.03.24
202513Britain opens 250-mph rail line between London and West MidlandsBBC News2009.12.27
20251375% of obese people worldwide live in developing nationsThe East African2009.12.28
202513Mag-lev trains connect major cities in JapanEngadget2008.01.01
20251375% of Americans live in coastal countiesNOAA2000
202513Health care takes up 25% of US GDPWall Street Journal2008.11.24
202513India's population exceeds China'sUnited Nations Population Division2006
202513Minnesota utilities required by law to get 30% of energy from renewable sourcesAustin Daily Herald2007.09.13
20251325% of electricity in Minnesota comes from renewable sourcesWinona Daily News2008.09.07
202513US faces shortage of 500,000 registered nursesMuskogee (OK) Daily Phoenix2008.09.06
202513India becomes world's third-largest net importer of oilMeriNews2007.11.10
202513ESA conducts human mission to the MoonEuropean Space Agency2002.10.11
202513Two-thirds of world population faces water shortagesThe Futurist2007.07
202513One-third of people on Earth suffer water shortagesAlbany Times-Union2008.09.07
202513Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and sites found nationwide in the USUS Department of Energy2005.12
2025130.6% of adults in US infected with HIV/AIDSUnited Nations Population Division2006
202513End of first phase of four-team college football playoffESPN2012.06.27
202513World's tallest building reaches one mile highHouston Chronicle2012.09.25
202614Maximum expected life of original Chernobyl containment structureInternational Atomic Energy Agency2006
202614High-resolution recording of an individual's entire life experienceDaily Telegraph2006.12.13
202614Las Vegas metro population reaches 3.3 millionNevada State Demographer's Office2006.07
202715Oil prices reach $150 per barrelThe Independent2007.09.17
202715China's GDP exceeds US GDPThe Economist2007.06.28
202816Medicare and Medicaid consume 10% of US GDPCongressional Budget Office2007.07.25
202816Medicare expenditures exceed Social Security expendituresSocial Security and Medicare Board of Trustees2008.03.25
202917Dementia affects 1.4 million people in BritainTimes of London2009.02.04
202917Youngest Baby Boomers reach age 65US Census Bureau2006.01.03
202917Computers reach equivalency with human brain powerBBC News2008.02.16
203018World "middle class" includes 4.9 billion peopleBrookings Institution2010.03.15
203018Chinese global trade exceeds US global tradeBBC News2011.03.24
203018Brazil, Russia, India, and China account for half of world GDPXinhua2011.03.24
203018Coal accounts for 29% of world energy supplyThe Telegraph2009.12.27
203018Ratio of non-working pensioners to working taxpayers reaches 2:1 in CanadaCalgary Herald2009.12.27
203018Number of nuclear power plants worldwide reaches 860 (double the number in 2009)JoongAng Daily2009.12.28
203018World's urban population reaches one billionDaily Telegraph2009.12.28
203018350 million people worldwide have diabetesIndian Express2009.10.07
203018Wind provides 20% of US electricityMontana State University2008.10.14
20301880% of world's population lives in developing countriesUN Population Fund2007
203018Mormons make up less than 50% of Utah's populationSalt Lake Tribune2007.11.19
2030185 billion people live in cities worldwideInternational Herald Tribune2007.09.28
2030185 million Americans live in nursing homesChicago Tribune2007.11.18
203018Japan inaugurates manned moon baseDiscover Magazine2006.11.28
203018Thames Barrier effectiveness falls to half of design capacityUK Environment Agency2007
203018EU gets 50% of its natural gas from RussiaThe Economist2007.09.13
203018Photovoltaic solar energy is price-competitive with any other low-emissions generation technologyPhysOrg2005.11.16
203018Inter-city train service in UAE starts service in bid to discourage construction of skyscrapersGulf News2007.09.13
203018Florida's population reaches 28.6 millionOrlando Business Journal2007.11.19
203018Road traffic in Japan is 2.6% lower than in 2005 due to falling birthrates and rising agesJapan Times2008.11.27
20301865% of European energy comes from importsInternational Herald Tribune2007.09.19
203018US corn production averages 300 bushels per acreEthanol Producer2007.10
203018Ozone levels in low atmosphere cause widespread respiratory problemsInstitute of Physics2005.06.08
203018World oil demand exceeds 2008 levels by 35%Marketwatch2008.06.10
203018China has 270 million vehicles on the roadWired2007.11.07
203018California has high-speed rail system connecting San Francisco to Los AngelesCalifornia High-Speed Rail Authority2008.11
203018ESA conducts first human mission to MarsEuropean Space Agency2006.01.09
203018Global electricity demand is double that of 2009Gulf News2009.02.03
203018US inflation rate reaches 4% per yearNewsweek2007.09.24
203018Ratio of workers to retirees is 2:1 in EuropeEuropean Parliament2008.11.25
203018US electricity consumption 45% above 2005 levelsEnergy Information Administration2007.02
203018Russia has 40 more nuclear reactors than in 2007Radio Free Europe2007.09.29
203018China's per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide exceed those of western EuropeInternational Energy Agency2007.11.07
203018Jamaica achieves 'developed nation' statusGovernment of Jamaica2007.01
203018Fossil fuels provide 75% of world energyNational Petroleum Council2007.07.18
203018Biofuels supply 4% of world road fuelInternational Energy Agency2006
203018One-third of world relies on primary biofuels (like wood and charcoal) for most energyInternational Energy Agency2006
203018Internet access regularly reaches 50% of world populationThe Hindu2009.02.04
203018World oil demand reaches plateauStatoil2012.06.21
203018Death rates from cancer fall by almost 20% from 2010 levelsThe Independent2012.09.25
203018Cities occupy three times their land area in 2012Discovery News2012.09.24
203018More than half of the people in 39 states will be obeseFox News2012.09.18
203119100% of population growth in Canada comes from immigrationVancouver 242007.10.26
203119UK population rises to 71 millionOffice of National Statistics2007.10.23
20311934 million people live in Mumbai metro areaEconomic Times2007.09.28
203119Married adults a minority in EnglandThe Guardian2005.09.30
203220Shortages force per-capita water consumption in Sydney to fall by half of 2007 levelsDaily Telegraph2007.08.30
20322050th anniversary of EPCOT Center2719 Hyperion2007.07.24
203220Half of new cars in the US will be fully electricReuters2012.06.23
203321China's population reaches 1.5 billionThe Guardian2008.02.28
203523India has 373 million vehicles on the roadEconomic Times2009.12.28
203523EU population peaks at 521 millionInternational Herald Tribune2008.08.26
203523China reaches "large-scale utilization" of solar energyMeridian Institute2009.02.03
203624Average Australian baby weighs 10 pounds at birthNews.com.au2008.06.11
203624US telephone numbers exhaustedNorth American Numbering Plan Administration2006.10
203624Near-Earth passage of asteroid ApophisNASA JPL2006.10.19
203624Bacteriophages widely used to prevent food-borne infectionsABC News2006.11.02
204028US population reaches 400 millionUSA Today2007.09.12
204028Russia runs out of oil profitsRIA Novosti2008.06.03
204028Computer processors reach parity with human brain capacityMetro Halifax2009.02.03
204028Neurodegenerative conditions overtake cancer as world's leading cause of deathScience Daily2008.06.10
204028Middle class in southern and eastern Asia totals 2 billion peopleMotley Fool2007.10.25
204028HCFCs eliminated worldwide under Montreal ProtocolUnited Nations2007.09.13
204028California's population reaches 60 millionBrentwood Press2007.09.29
204028Global warming eliminates most Arctic sea iceNational Geographic2006.12.12
204028World oil production peaksTimes of London2009.02.03
204028Texas state population reaches 50 millionDaily Texan2009.02.02
204028Natural gas demand increases by 60% over 2012 levelsStatoil2012.06.21
204028Fossil fuels provide 73% of world energyStatoil2012.06.21
20402875% of cars will be self-pilotedForbes2012.09.25
204028Dallas and Austin recycle more than 80% of metropolitan solid wasteTexas Tribune2012.09.21
204129Social Security trust fund exhaustedSocial Security and Medicare Board of Trustees2008.03.25
204230United States has no racial majorityNPR2009.10.06
204533US Postal Service has $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities for health careMiami Herald2008.06.06
204533Global life expectancy reaches 75 yearsUnited Nations Population Division2006
204634Oldest Baby Boomers reach age 100US Census Bureau2006.01.03
20473525% of Australian population is over age 65Herald Sun2009.12.28
204735Hong Kong's status as special administrative region of China expiresHeritage Foundation2007
204836Ozone layer returns to pre-1980 levels over most of planetDaily Mail2010.09.20
204836India overtakes China as world's largest economy (with United States 3rd)Plastics and Rubber Weekly2012.09.17
204937China's national goal to become a world technological powerChinese Radio International2012.09.23
205038China and India represent 50% of world's "middle-class" consumptionBrookings Institution2010.03.15
205038Robots beat the best human soccer players in the worldThe Register2010.09.14
205038India's economy reaches third-largest in worldTimes of India2010.09.17
205038South Korea is fifth-largest producer of "green" energy productsJoongAng Daily2009.12.28
205038Half of people in developed nations are over age 40Daily Telegraph2008.11.27
205038100 million people worldwide have Alzheimer'sHartford Courant2008.09.07
205038India has 51 million people over age 80Times of India2007.09.30
20503850% of agricultural lands in Latin America lost to desertification and salinizationNature Reports2007.07
205038Biofuels account for 13% of liquid fuels in the USMIT Technology Review2007.09.13
205038Netherlands surrenders 222,000 acres of land to new river floodplainsNational Geographic2001.09.04
205038Russia's population falls below 100 millionRadio Free Europe2006.05.19
205038Minnesota utilities required by law to get 80% of energy from renewable sourcesAustin Daily Herald2007.09.13
205038Average age in European Union is 49European Parliament2008.11.25
205038One-third of EU residents are over age 65BBC News2007.09.13
20503820% of Americans are over age 65Washington Post2008.11.22
205038World population reaches 9.2 billionUnited Nations Population Division2006
20503848.3 million Americans have diabetesWISN-TV2008.10.14
205038Earliest expected date for the B-52 to be retired from the US Air ForceAir Force Link2007.10
205038China plans to gain 'electronic dominance' over rival nations, including the USTimes of London2007.09.08
205038Medicare and Medicaid consume 20% of US GDPCongressional Budget Office2007.07.25
205038Japan's population falls below 100 millionNew York Times2005.12.17
205038Two-thirds of all existing US structures less than 40 years oldLos Angeles Times2007.09.21
205038Antarctic ozone hole repairedBBC News2000.12.03
205038India's GDP exceeds US GDPThe Economist2007.06.28
205038Pensions absorb 25% of GDP in GreeceKathimerini2007.11.10
20503825% of US population is of Hispanic originUSDA2007.09.19
20503817% of world population will be over age 65US Census Bureau2012.06.27
205038Micro-manufacturing and artisan brands eclipse mainstream brand namesMarketing Magazine2012.09.20
205240Computers will express consciousness, feelings, and personalitiesCNet2012.09.21
206048Ocean acidification reduces Maine's shellfish harvest by 25% over early-2000s levelsMaineBiz2009.10.05
206048Irish population exceeds pre-famine levelsIrish Herald2008.08.27
206048First fighter aircraft designed and built in India reaches productionIndia Defence2007.10.25
206048Irish women reach average life expectancy of 91 yearsIrish Independent2007.10.18
206048UK has the largest population of any country in EuropePress Association2008.08.27
206048Temperatures in Los Angeles area rise by 4 to 5 degrees over 2012 levelsLos Angeles Times2012.06.21
206149African middle class reaches one billion peopleWall Street Journal2011.10.13
20614927% of population of New Zealand is over age 65New Zealand Herald2009.12.28
206654Half a million people in the UK are over age 100The Guardian2010.12.30
207058Himalayan glaciers 40% smaller than in early 2000sThe Guardian2009.10.04
207058Vietnam completely cleared of mines from civil warVietNamNet2008.08.17
207058Autonomous police cars patrol streetsSilicon.com2008.08.13
207361Ozone layer returns to pre-1980 levels over entire planet, including polesDaily Mail2010.09.20
207563Health-care spending reaches 46.2% of US GDPCongressional Budget Office2007.11
20806820% decline in world food production potential over 2007 levels due to global warmingVoice of America2007.09.13
208068British women reach an average life expectancy of 100 yearsThe Telegraph2007.01.10
208270Health care takes up 49% of US GDPWall Street Journal2008.11.24
208270Robotic police officers with human-like featuresTechRadar.com2008.08.12
209078Aspen trees extinct in Rocky Mountains due to "sudden aspen decline"Treehugger2009.09.26
209078Worldwide temperatures average 7F above 1990sIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change2007.02.05
210088Sea levels rise by 43 inches over levels in 2000BBC News2007.03.01
210088Quebec's pure Francophone population falls to 4 millionMontreal Gazette2007.09.27
210088Japan gets 53% of electricity from nuclear power plantsJapan Times2008.11.27
210593Arctic Ocean becomes seasonally ice-freeUniversity of Arizona2005.08.22

Additions since the last update: