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Heroes

Some Exciting Things Could Happen By 2050. Here Are 5 Creepy Ones.

It's exciting to think of all the cool things we might see and experience by the year 2050.

Our digital and physical worlds could be virtually seamless.


Maybe we'll start making cross-country trips a lot easier.


Maybe we'll cure cancer.


Maybe we'll celebrate the discovery of life on other planets.


Or maybe, just maybe ... flying cars!

Flying cars with time travel?

Nah, probably not. But I'll remain boyishly hopeful.

With any luck, I'll still be around in 2050. And it'd be pretty neat to see what we've created and achieved — in the service of life, especially.

But here are five scary things that scientists and economists believe could happen by 2050.

We should avoid them at all costs so we can focus on all the cool stuff we want to happen.

1. Environmental exile

Environmental changes caused by global warming could force millions of people around the world from their homes. A 2014 study noted that even the slightest rise in global temperature (around 3º C) could displace upwards of 600 million people.

2. Flooding in coastal cities

Rising sea levels threaten the livability of coastal cities everywhere. Even the mighty New York City isn't safe. The chances of storm tides surging over the Manhattan sea wall have gone up by 20%. It used to happen every few hundred years. Now it could happen every four to five.

3. Widespread food shortages

Higher temperatures, drought, and erratic weather events are slowing crop yields. A World Food Programme report says that food shortages by 2050 could lead to the malnourishment of an additional 20 million kids.

4. Disease ... everywhere

The combination of rising heat and moisture plus growing international travel could lead to the global spread of disease by insects. The dengue fever is a good example: The World Health Organization writes that it is "the world's fastest growing vector-borne disease ... with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the last 50 years."

5. Cyber and nuclear warfare

One of the downsides of a high-tech world is the rise of cyber warfare, which, by nature, is a much more even battleground, especially for smaller and weaker countries. This shifting balance of power could freak out governments and increase the possibility of nuclear attacks by 2050.

The future is what we make it. So what's it gonna be: a destructive procession or a parade of awesomeness?

Watch the video below:

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All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


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