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The Royal Society has awarded its annual book prize to Jon Turney’s Rough Guide to the Future. It goes without saying that I woz robbed.

There is a report in the Guardian, which includes this:

The most powerful chapters of Turney’s meticulously researched book deal not with far-off scenarios…but the remorseless statistical trends pointing towards a short-term future of rampant population growth, climate crunch, water and food supplies under increasing pressure and dwindling biodiversity.

In 2009, for example, the UK Meteorological Office predicted average warming of 4C if current carbon emission trends continue unchecked. According to the report this will almost certainly happen by the end of the century, but possibly as soon as 2060. The average rise conceals increases of up to 15C in the Arctic, and up to 10C in western and southern Africa, meaning 20% less rainfall in these regions. That rain will fall elsewhere. India will see 20% more rainfall and an increased risk of flooding.

It’s interesting to compare this take on the future with Richard Betts’comments here a couple of days back.