The New North: The World in 2050

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Profile, 2011 - Climatic changes - 322 pages
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The world in 2050 will be radically different from today. Northern countries - notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia - will rise at the expense of southern ones. Places like New Zealand, Argentina and interior Brazil will also be winners. Patterns of human migration will be dramatically altered - and where we are born will be crucial. "The New North" explores the 'four locomotives' that are changing the world - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - and attempts to predict how they will shape the world between now and 2050. It is a book about people, and the 'push' and 'pull' factors that determine where and how they live. In particular, it examines the countries of the far north - Scandinavia, Canada, Greenland, etc - which stand to gain from the changes underway. The book is not a doomsday script. All of human history is a story of adaptation and change, in response to our environment and to each other.

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Professor of geography Laurence C. Smith makes a fine oracle. His ambitious, candid and accessible book predicts what the world will be like in 2050. He’s well-poised to make climate predictions, since he combines academic training with firsthand observations in the far north. He translates dense academic data into common language and – perhaps most importantly for a hotly debated topic like climate change – he’s clear on what science knows and what it doesn’t know. Smith optimistically voices the hope that humanity can correct its current course, but he doesn’t give many specific suggestions for what the reader might do to slow the pending upheaval. His study and projections range from shifts in agriculture to the likelihood of armed conflict and new national boundaries. getAbstract recommends Smith’s forecast about the impact of the great thaw to those interested in science and the results of global warming, and to those planning ahead for changes in worldwide resources and markets.
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About the author (2011)

Laurence C. Smith is professor and vice-chairman of geography and professor of earth and space sciences at the University of California. He has published more than fifty research papers, in journals such as Science and Nature and in 2006 he briefed Congress on the likely impacts of northern climate change. His work has been covered in the LA Times, National Geographic, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Time Magazine and NPR.

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