Summary of The New North

The World in 2050

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The New North book summary
As the world warms up, what happens to the Great White North?


9 Overall

10 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the world will be like in 2050
  • How climate change will affect northern countries
  • How globalization and urbanization will change


Four Shifts that Will Change the World
In 2006, an American hunter legally shot a bear in Canada. The bear was odd; it looked like a polar bear, but it had brown markings and a flat face. It was a hybrid: half polar bear, half grizzly. This “pizzly” bear is a sign of how much global warming...
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About the Author

Laurence C. Smith teaches space studies, earth studies and geography at UCLA. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2006-2007.

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