future timeline technology singularity humanity
  Follow us »
future timeline twitter future timeline facebook group future timeline youtube channel account videos future timeline rss feed

21st century

22nd century

The Far Future



2000s | 2010s | 2020s | 2030s | 2040s | 2050s | 2060s | 2070s | 2080s | 2090s

2040 | 2041 | 2042 | 2043 | 2044 | 2045 | 2046 | 2047 | 2048 | 2049

2040 timeline contents




India's economy is rivalling that of China and the U.S.

By 2040, rapid economic growth has enabled India to catch up with China and the U.S. These three countries – the "G3" – now have by far the largest share of world GDP.** India has benefitted from a number of cultural, economic and demographic trends in recent decades.* This includes a youthful, growing and economically productive population,* now the world's largest at 1.5 billion,* with an average age of just 34. By comparison, China's average age is 46 and its working population has been declining.*

Expansion and development of India's service sector – adding greatly to the global knowledge-based economyhas occurred in parallel with a slowdown in China's growth as its economy matures. India has also managed to avoid many of the disruptive challenges experienced by China, since its market-based economy is already part of a liberal democracy, unlike the planned economy of its rival.

India's currency, the rupee, is now challenging the renminbi as the world's strongest. Due to its global influence and military capabilities, India has also gained a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Later this decade, on 15th August 2047, the nation will celebrate its 100th anniversary as an independent state.*

However, climate change and other ecological impacts are converging with increasing speed. In particular, neighbouring Bangladesh requires ever more financial support and humanitarian aid, as flooding worsens.* Widespread automation and technological unemployment are also emerging. By the 2050s, India's growth has begun to stagnate, as the world faces a crisis unparalleled in history.**


gdp india 2040



Fusion power is nearing commercial availability

A prototype commercial fusion reactor is entering its final phase of operation.* DEMO (DEMOnstration Power Plant) is the successor to ITER and has built on the success of that project, achieving a number of major breakthroughs. Among the earlier problems which have now been solved are: containing the plasma at high enough temperatures, maintaining a great enough density of reacting ions, and capturing high-energy neutrons from the reaction without melting the walls of the interior.

Constructed from 2024 to 2033, DEMO is now close to being perfected, having undergone several years of testing, expansion and upgrades. Later this decade, it will produce a sustained output of 2 gigawatts (GW), making fusion commercially available for the first time.*


fusion power 2040 2050 demo ITER future energy



"Energy islands" are widespread in coastal regions

Many countries have suffered chronic water shortages due to the effects of climate change and overpopulation. This is has been a particular problem in developing regions. Higher global temperatures are causing lakes, wells and reservoirs to run dry, even as populations continue to rise.

One strategy being used to alleviate this crisis involves compact, floating "energy islands". These combine offshore power generation with desalination plants. First demonstrated in the 2010s, significant numbers are now being deployed in tropical coastal areas, where conditions are ideal for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).

Each island is hexagonal in shape and interlocked with other islands, forming artificial archipelagos. Wind turbines and concentrated solar power are installed on the topsides – while on the undersides, flash-evaporated seawater is used to drive turbine generators, in turn producing drinkable water.*

A single 250-megawatt OTEC plant can meet the energy demands of 250,000 households and provide 600 million litres of drinkable water each day.* Surplus water is used to support local agriculture and industry. These islands also feature housing developments, fish farms, greenhouses and eco-tourism complexes, in addition to the water and power production facilities. By the 22nd century, they will evolve into larger versions – entire "micronations" roaming the seas.*

Click to enlarge.

renewable energy islands
© Energy Islands. Image reproduced with permission.



Deep ocean mining operations are widespread

Exploitation of the ocean for its resources had for centuries been confined to fishing and coastal developments. Limits in technology made ventures into deeper waters both impractical and economically unviable. Interest in deep sea mining first appeared in the 1960s, but consistently low prices of mineral resources at the time halted any serious implementation. By the 2000s, the only resource being mined in bulk from the ocean was diamonds, and even then, just a few hundred metres below the surface. Large-scale efforts continued to be hindered in the first decades of the 21st century. By 2040, however, advances in robotics and telepresence have led to a fully mature industry – opening up the vast and previously unobtainable wealth of fuel and mineral reserves along the ocean floor.***


deep sea mining future 2040 robot technology
Credit: Nautilus Minerals Inc.


In the past, retrieval operations were limited to manganese nodules (resource-rich rock concretions found on the ocean floor) and metal-rich sediments around hydrothermal vents. Now, thanks to new extraction methods and processing techniques, even the low concentrations of elements found in mud layers are economically viable. Today, prospecting and undersea construction is done using fleets of automated and remote-controlled robots. Once ships or mining platforms are in place, resources are brought to the surface through hydraulic suction or continuous bucket line systems.

The primary focus of these current efforts is rare-earth metals. The rapid growth in demand for these elements, used in a wide range of electronics and other hi-tech applications, has been stymied in recent years by increasingly dire shortages.* This has turned them into resources of strategic importance on the level of oil and natural gas in earlier decades. It has become particularly apparent in Asia, with nations such as India, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia ramping up efforts to free themselves from the near-monopoly that China holds.

Another valuable, though hazardous, target of deep ocean mining is methane hydrate deposits.* This so-called "fire ice" consists of concentrated methane trapped within a crystal of frozen water. It is found throughout the deep ocean in sedimentary structures and outcroppings, with some of the largest known deposits found in the seas of the West Pacific and along the coasts of North America. By itself, methane hydrate far outweighs the total amount of recoverable natural gas. Several nations have established mining operations, with Japan, China, and the United States among the largest producers.*


deep sea mining future 2040 map


Traditional forms of ocean exploitation still exist. While the number of oil drilling platforms has declined overall, deepwater (500-1500 metres) and ultra-deepwater operations (1500 metres or further) continue to expand as easily-recoverable reserves become scarce.* Following recent spills and ecological disasters, some on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010, such operations remain highly controversial.

In general, most ocean mining and drilling operations are targets of criticism. Concerns over the environmental impact of ocean floor dredging and prospecting have led to stricter regulations in many countries, as well as the development of protected ocean zones. Nevertheless, the impact of deep ocean mining is still considerable in many regions. Even more polarising is methane hydrate drilling, which threatens to further accelerate the pace of global warming.* Despite efforts to eliminate leakage and minimise its impact, methane hydrate mining is still a risky business, with a number of countries flat-out banning it.


deep sea mining future ship 2040
Credit: Nautilus Minerals Inc.



Less than two-thirds of the original Congo jungle remains standing

The Congo region is a sedimentary basin for the drainage of the Congo River in west equatorial Africa. At the turn of the 21st century it contained a quarter of the world's tropical forests, with a total area of 2.5 million sq km.* It held some of the largest undisturbed portions of tropical rainforest on the planet, second only to the Amazon in Brazil. Spanning across six countries, it was home to over 10,000 unique species of tropical plants, 30% of which could not be found anywhere else on Earth. There were over 1,000 bird species, 700 fish species and 400 mammal species. Some noted examples included the Bonobo (humanity's closest living relatives), the Forest Elephant, the okapi, Congo Peafowl, and various species of gorilla. Rare and unique frogs, bats, rodents and birds, together with plants such as orchids, could also be found.

Despite efforts to slow deforestation in the developing countries of Africa, the rainforests of the Congo Basin and elsewhere continued to recede over the decades. As early as the late 2010s, Nigeria's forests had shrunk down to essentially nothing,* while the situation in Central Africa had worsened too. Alongside the bush meat trade impacting fauna, the largely unregulated logging industry continued to chip away at the flora.


congo deforestation 2040 bonobo ape apes


Interest in foreign markets led to massive mining operations being conducted in the region, dealing severe damage to its ecosystem. Untapped deposits of raw minerals and metals – estimated to be worth in excess of US$24 trillion* – attracted companies in droves. The expansion of cities and construction of new dams also played a role in harming the fragile environment, while slash-and-burn farming practices began to run rampant as the population soared. Ever-increasing resource demands and the need for economic growth led governments to look the other way during much of this exploitation. This was despite an outcry from the international community and environmentalists.

By 2040, climate change is having an impact too. Since the vast majority of rainfall is generated in the region itself, the resulting isolation makes it more vulnerable to global warming. A large proportion of moisture in Central Africa is produced by evapo-transpiration of trees in the Congo Basin. Substantial reductions in rainfall are now occurring. Loss of forests, especially through fires started by farmers, is pumping huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The rainforest is now transitioning from a carbon sink to a carbon source. With 66 gigatonnes of "volatile" carbon – and a further 50 gigatonnes in the rest of tropical Africa – the equivalent of five years' worth of global emissions will eventually be released.*

These factors have converged so that, by 2040, less than two-thirds of the original Congo remains. Prior to the arrival of human civilisation, rainforests covered somewhere between 80-85% of the total land area in the region – around 3.29 million square km (1.27 million square miles).** By the mid-20th century, one-fifth had disappeared. Deforestation began to accelerate in the 21st century, due to rapid population growth and economic development. By 2020, the rainforests were declining by 0.3% each year; by 2030 this had risen to 0.5% per year* and by 2040 the rate is 0.7%.

In addition to extinctions of animals and plants, numerous indigenous tribes are being uprooted, their cultures disrupted and in some cases lost forever. There is much social and political upheaval in the region. On top of this, local resource conflicts are beginning to break out, primarily over food. This is only serving to exacerbate the environmental damage. Many areas of forest have become battle grounds, while civilian populations are forced to become more self-sufficient, turning to their surrounding local environment for resources.


congo rainforest deforestation map graph trend 2040 2050 jungle forest africa





Virtual telepathy is dominating personal communications

The first generation of brain-computer interfaces reached the consumer market in around 2010. This technology was crude and limited to begin with: more of a novelty than a serious application. Devices could perform only the simplest of operations, such as directional commands.** Some university experiments were successful in creating text messages using thought power alone,* but were slow and required bulky equipment to do so.

Advances by 2020 enabled the sending of messages via wireless headsets and visors* – but the process remained sluggish and unreliable, often demanding a high degree of concentration.*

By 2030, however, exponential progress had been made in mapping and understanding the brain and its neuroelectrical signals.* This was filtering down rapidly to the consumer market. Detailed, real-time messages were becoming possible, using non-invasive methods. The graphical interfaces used in composing messages had also been much improved, with more intuitive navigation and features.

By 2040, the technology is largely perfected for everyday use. It works well and is cheap enough to have spread to even developing countries. Privacy and security issues have been resolved, with personal firewalls able to restrict any unwanted intrusion or hacking attempts. The headsets, visors and earphones necessary for users have been miniaturised and made more comfortable. Some are even fully implantable. Whether for business or personal use, people everywhere are now enjoying a faster, more sophisticated, more private way of communicating.

This form of "virtual telepathy" – and the convergence of other network-based technologies – is radically reshaping society and culture during this time. A speculative bubble is formed on the stock markets, with investors everywhere forecasting a revolution in telecoms. This temporarily overheats the economy, resulting in a crash similar to that of the dotcom collapse of early 2000.


future brain technology 2020 2030 2040 2050 synthetic electronic telepathy communication



Biorepository and genomic information systems are transforming healthcare

By now, most countries have established a national biorepository and genomic information system, with mandatory entry for every citizen. In other words, governments now have a genetic sample of every person. This is needed for a variety of reasons – from national security, to public health, citizen ID, immigration control, resolution of crimes and more – but the most common use is in healthcare.

These genomic information systems are integrated with electronic health records and personal health records, allowing identification and treatment of disease and healthcare issues at the earliest opportunity. Hard data from these systems allow doctors and surgeons to better treat their patients, while government and researchers can target time and resources more efficiently. By utilising such a broad spectrum of information, medical schools and healthcare providers can train and employ the best possible mix of specialists for their patient population.

The focus of healthcare has shifted in recent years – to preventative methods, as opposed to reactionary methods after a disease state has occurred. As well as saving more lives, this has major economic benefits too.

By now, the average person is using at least one biotechnological implant.* Once again, these devices are tailored to their exact personal health requirements. For example, they can be programmed to monitor specific conditions and to dispense medication when needed while simultaneously notifying a doctor. They can identify a patient who is unconscious or unable to communicate for whatever reason, providing vital clinical information during an emergency. They can also be used as tracking devices for mental patients or those suffering from neurological conditions.


2040 personalized healthcare



Pollen counts have more than doubled

In 2000, pollen counts for the US averaged 8,455 per cubic metre of air. By 2040, this figure has risen to 21,735 – largely due to climate change which has caused major alterations in weather, precipitation and temperature.* Alongside this, the hay fever season has shifted to earlier in the year, with pollen counts now peaking on 8th April, compared to 1st May at the start of the century. Similar changes have taken place in countries around the world. Thankfully, new treatments are now available to prevent allergic reactions. Recent years have seen major advances in gene therapy, for instance. These drugs can "repair" the DNA of hay fever sufferers.


pollen count global warming 2040



Tobacco has been largely eradicated

In the USA, tobacco use peaked in the early 1960s with nearly 45% of adults smoking regularly. As the health risks became more apparent, efforts were made by government, public health advocates, grassroots organisations and others to raise awareness. These campaigns were remarkably successful in stemming the rates of smoking and tobacco-related disease and death. Smoking was banned in aeroplanes, office buildings and later in public locations such as bars and restaurants. Strict laws on the advertising of tobacco products and their use in movies and television were also introduced. In addition, improvements were made in the availability and efficacy of smoking cessation aids and pharmaceuticals.

By the early 90s, the number of US adult smokers had plunged to 25% and by 2010 the figure was down to 20%. By 2020, smoking in public was banned across every US state and in many other countries around the world, with smoking rates continuing to decline.

Efforts continued over the following two decades and once again proved to be highly successful. The costs of government interventions were surprisingly small, less than 50 US cents per person per year in countries such as India and China. By 2040, less than 5% of the global population is smoking.*


tobacco eradication future 2040 cigarettes smoking trends 2020



Life expectancy for cystic fibrosis reaches 70

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects most critically the lungs, and also the pancreas, liver, and intestine. It is characterised by abnormal transport of chloride and sodium across an epithelium, leading to thick, viscous secretions.

The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated with antibiotics and other medications. Other symptoms, including sinus infections, poor growth, and infertility affect other parts of the body.

When the disease was first described in 1938, survival beyond infancy was rare. In 1952, Paul di Sant' Agnese found abnormalities in sweat electrolytes; a sweat test was developed and improved over the next decade. Despite new treatments – including lung transplants – life expectancy for those affected by the condition remained low throughout the 20th century. By the 1980s, it was still in the twenties.

A major breakthrough was achieved in 1989, however, when the trans-membrane conductance regulator gene was discovered. Subsequent research uncovered thousands of different mutations affecting the gene. As our knowledge of the underlying molecular causes and ways of treating the illness continued to improve, so too did life expectancy. Following several milestones in research, it has reached 70 by 2040.*


cystic fibrosis future



Claytronics are revolutionising consumer products

Claytronics, also known as programmable matter, are now embedded in countless items. This technology involves the manipulation of tiny devices known as catoms (claytronic atoms). Joined electrostatically, these work in concert to produce changes at the macroscale.

Objects featuring catoms can be radically altered in form and function. Furniture can be morphed into new types – a bed could suddenly become a sofa or large table, for example. Chairs can be instantly moulded to precisely suit the individual. Walls, carpets, ceilings, doors and surfaces can modify their colour or texture on demand.

Electronics can be made more adaptable to their environments – altering their structure to cope with dust and heat in a desert, then later shifting to resist humidity and moisture in a jungle, or even becoming waterproof. Devices worn on the head or ears can mould themselves to fit the individual.

Many vehicles now use claytronics. Car surfaces can switch their colour at the touch of a button. Or they can self-heal, fixing bumps and scratches. Tyres can be instantly adapted for different terrain types or weather conditions. Transparent windows can be instantly blacked-out for privacy.

Claytronics are especially popular in children's toys, with figures taking on astonishingly lifelike forms. Various other everyday objects are now highly configurable and morphable. Further into the future, claytronics will enable the creation of entire simulated humans.*





Breakthroughs in carbon nanotube production

After decades of research, new processes have been developed for synthesising carbon nanotubes, promising to revolutionise the fields of engineering, architecture and materials science. Having been limited to a few centimetres, these structures can now reach potentially thousands of miles in length.* Purification techniques ensure maximum tensile strength, making them hundreds of times stronger than steel. Among the many applications, the technology for a space elevator is now available. Political and financial will are the only remaining obstacles for such a project.*


2040 carbon nanotubes nanotechnology future space elevator





China's HSR network has been greatly expanded

China's rapid economic growth in the early 21st century was aided by its massive investments in infrastructure. Highways, bridges, tunnels and airports quickly spread throughout the country, linking nearly every major city and regional province, while 15,000 new cars were added to the nation's roads each day. Above all, however, it was high-speed rail that proved to be the driving factor in much of China's rise.**

Similar to the industrial revolution 200 years previously, rail provided growth and increased prosperity to every area it connected to. Between 2010 and 2020, China invested $300 billion* in constructing over 17,600 km (11,000 mi) of additional rail lines, giving 90% of the population access to the network.* From the 2020s onwards, there was further expansion of high-speed rail, as skyrocketing fuel prices* made commercial air travel prohibitively expensive for most people, with many turning to rail as an alternative. Commitments to reduce carbon emissions also spurred growth in HSR, since the trains themselves produced far less greenhouse gases. This huge increase in passenger numbers made HSR a profitable industry.*


china high speed rail future 2040


Along with being more energy efficient and cheaper, advances in design and technology boosted train speeds by hundreds of miles per hour, making them competitive with flight schedules in many cases. The very fastest routes now included trains traveling at over 1,000 km/h (625 mph).* Maglev routes were expanded significantly, especially along the coast. Along with internal connections, plans were formulated to link the Chinese rail system with those of Europe, India, Russia and Japan. With such a huge rail network, the cities of China were more closely connected than ever before. In a sense, high-speed rail created a 1.2 billion person "single city" effect, with much of the population only a few hours away from each other.*

Along with growth in commerce, rail has driven – and in turn been driven by – China's unprecedented urbanisation. By 2040, over 70% of the population lives in urban areas.* Vast megacities, each with more than 100 million people, have formed out of the gradual merging of smaller metropolises.* The largest examples today are the three main economic zones: the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou), the Pearl River Delta (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong) and the Bohai Economic Rim (Beijing, Tianjin, and Tangshan).

Despite all this, China's economy has begun to weaken significantly in recent years.** With a declining workforce and with most of its growth fueled by debt, the country is now embroiled in political, economic and social strife. Restructuring and artificial inflation had managed to sustain the situation temporarily, but could only do so much. Worsening climate change is now an additional factor. This is a particular problem in Shanghai, which has been woefully unprepared for sea level rises.* Though still experiencing moderate local growth, the country as a whole is now approaching crisis point. By the end of this decade, it will have largely stagnated, becoming one of the last major powers to do so.*



Completion of the Northeast Corridor high-speed rail route

By 2040, work is nearing completion on a major upgrade of the Northeast Corridor (NEC). America's busiest rail line, the NEC runs from Boston in the north to Washington in the south, via New York. Like many rail services in the US, it had seen decades of underinvestment. Much of the infrastructure was poorly managed and in need of renovation. Tunnels, for example, had speed restrictions due to their obsolete designs, while electrical components dating from the 1930s would routinely fail. There were engine breakdowns, conflicts among trains and frequent delays costing tens of millions of dollars in lost productivity.

Between 2000 and 2010, intercity ridership on the NEC jumped from 8.2 to 13 million passengers a year. In an effort to address future capacity needs, improve service reliability and reduce travel times, Amtrak formulated plans for a $150 billion, 30-year investment program. This would see construction of a dedicated high-speed route, with trains running up to 220 mph (354 kph).


amtrak future 2040
Credit: Amtrak


The plans include fully upgraded tracks and signals, new tunnels, new bridges and expanded stations. Tracks follow the existing NEC and transport networks whenever possible to minimise impacts. Implemented in three main phases, the Newark to New York section is completed by 2025; the Washington to Newark section is completed by 2030 and the final section between New York and Boston is completed by 2040.

Journey times are dramatically reduced. A trip from Boston to New York that previously took 3 hours and 34 minutes can now be completed in just 1 hour and 34 minutes. A trip from New York to Philadelphia is reduced from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just 37 minutes, while a trip from Philadelphia to Washington is cut from 1 hour and 33 minutes to just 54 minutes. For passengers travelling the entire 438 miles (705 km) from Boston to Washington, this means a total reduction in journey time of more than 50% – from 6 hours and 17 minutes, to 3 hours and 5 minutes. Following many years of neglect, this region of the United States finally has a world class rail system.*


2040 future amtrak rail map
Credit: Amtrak



« 2039 2041 »
                  Share Share


1 Strategic Trends Programme: Regional Survey – South Asia out to 2040, Ministry of Defence:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

2 GDP projections from PwC: how China, India and Brazil will overtake the West by 2050, The Guardian:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

3 India aims to end poverty by 2040, BBC:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

4 India's demographic dividend, BBC:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

5 See 2030.

6 Unravelling India, Part 3: Demography, Breaking Views:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

7 Independence Day (India), Wikipedia:
Accessed 6th June 2013.

8 See 2024.

9 See 2050.

10 See 2060-2100.

11DEMO, Wikipedia:
Accessed 1st June 2010.

12ITER & Beyond, Wikipedia:
Accessed 1st June 2010.

13Energy Island, Energy Island Ltd:
Accessed 22nd July 2010.

14Dream of green ocean paradise at hand, Recharge News:
Accessed 16th April 2012.

15See 2100.

16 "India and China have both begun offshore exploration for REMs. Production from deep-sea mining is still years away, some estimates say 2030-2040, if it is viable at all."
The Next Oil?: Rare Earth Metals, The Diplomat:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

17 "Experts do not discount the notion that we may someday mine rare-earth metals in the deep sea; perhaps the buzzwords of the year 2040 will be 'Autonomous Underwater Mining Vehicle.' But if you're wondering where rare-earth components in computer chips and solar cells will come from for the next decade, the answer is clear—China."
Why Deep-Sea Rare-Earth Metals Will Stay Right Where They Are—For Now
, Popular Mechanics:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

18 Analyzing the promise of Deep Sea Mining, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

19 "The world is set to consume three times more natural resources than current rates by the middle of the century, according to a United Nations report."
Rising resource use threatens future growth, warns UN
, BBC News:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

20 "Not everyone believes in that timeline. 'They have the gas, but there's no infrastructure yet,' says Basel Asmar, an oil and gas analyst with IHS, an energy consultancy based in Englewood, Colorado. 'There are no pipelines in that area of the ocean.' He thinks that it will be at least two decades until methane hydrates make an impact."
The ice gas cometh, The Sydney Morning Herald:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

21 Mining "Ice That Burns", Technology Review:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

22 The Future of the Ocean Economy, OECD:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

23 'Fire Ice': Buried Under The Sea Floor, This New Fossil Fuel Source Could Be Disastrous For The Planet, Climate Progress:
Accessed 23rd December 2013.

24 Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, The UN Food and Agriculture Organization:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

25 See 2018.

26 Congo with $24 Trillion in Mineral Wealth BUT still Poor, News About Congo:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

27 Protecting and restoring forest carbon in tropical Africa, Forest Philanthropy Action Network:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

28 EarthTrends: Country Profiles – Forests, Grasslands and Drylands, World Resources Institute:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

29 Original and remaining forest cover, The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

30 Model predicts future deforestation, Nature:
Accessed 19th February 2012.

31See 2009.

32Gaming gadgets 'rock' at CES 2009, BBC:
Accessed 5th June 2010.

33Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets, Wired:
Accessed 5th June 2010.

34See 2020.

35The futurist, Ray Kurzweil, splits the emergence of new technologies into four distinct stages:
Stage 1: The technology is extremely expensive, doesn't work well, and is rare.
Stage 2: The technology is expensive, works better, and is more widely available.
Stage 3: The technology is cheap, works well, and is becoming widespread.
Stage 4: The technology is very cheap or even free, is perfected, and found everywhere.

36 The Singularity is Near, by Ray Kurzweil (2005)
Accessed 5th June 2010.

37European Journal of ePractice, No.8 – December 2009, epractice.eu:
Accessed 13th August 2010.

38 The Year 2040: Double the Pollen, Double the Allergy Suffering?, ScienceDaily:
Accessed 11th November 2012.

39World's leading scientists join forces to set priority interventions to save 36 million lives from non-communicable diseases, EurekAlert!:
Accessed 7th June 2011.

40 Data sources for graph:

Cystic Fibrosis in the 21st Century
, CML Cystic Fibrosis:

Is Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease Caused by Abnormal Ion Composition or Abnormal Volume?, National Center for Biotechnology Information:

Cystic Fibrosis: Life Expectancy, National Jewish Health:

Article from 2011: "The median life expectancy of a person with CF is now 39 years old."
See Torrington family bands together to find cure for CF, American-Republican Inc.:

Accessed 31st October 2013.

41NEXT WORLD – Intel Claytronics (Programmable Matter), YouTube:

Accessed 23rd February 2010.

42Physics of the Impossible, by Michio Kaku:

Accessed 26th November 2009.

43Space elevator, Wikipedia:
Accessed 26th November 2009.

44 China's building a high speed rail economy and could achieve a 1 to 1.2 billion person single city effect by 2040, Next Big Future:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

45 China says to support railway investment -Xinhua, Reuters:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

46 China Buys 80 Very High Speed Trains (236 mph) for $4 Billion, Tree Hugger:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

47 Can High-Speed Rail Reduce Our Reliance on Air Travel?, Fast Company:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

48 See 2020-2035.

49 High Speed Rail reports first ever profit, The China Post:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

50 1,000 KPH (620 MPH) Super Train for China, Clean Technica:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

51 China's building a high speed rail economy and could achieve a 1 to 1.2 billion person single city effect by 2040, Next Big Future:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

52 Over half of China's people now live in urban areas, The Economist:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

53 UN report: World's biggest cities merging into 'mega-regions', The Guardian:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

54 How Will China Pay Off Its Debt?, Forbes:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

55 China's predicament, The Economist:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

56 Flood risk ranking reveals vulnerable cities, Future Timeline Blog:
Accessed 5th September 2012.

57 See 2050.

58 The Amtrak Vision for the Northeast Corridor – 2012 Update Report, Amtrak:
Accessed 8th July 2012.




future timeline twitter future timeline facebook group future timeline youtube channel account videos future timeline rss feed