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The setting of my story takes place during a future Ice Age, where the equator and parts of the southern hemisphere are a safe haven for humans. Which countries or regions would most likely be the 'superpower' in this world?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by dot_Sp0T, Mołot, Rekesoft, Confounded by beige fish., Gryphon Mar 5 at 13:32

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ It might be better to give max/min latitudes. That would give us a better idea on how to answer your question. Also, how far in the future are you talking? A lot of change can happen over time (look at North America over the past 200-300 years) so our working assumptions will shift. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 4 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ It takes place over thousands of years, and the exact latitudes of the mentioned countries are roughly 26 degrees North and 40 degrees South. Think of the governments of nations past 26 north being assimilated into the countries south of them. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Hopp Mar 5 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Nathan Hopp, please take the tour and read up in our help centre about how we work: How to Ask You seem to be asking about a planet that's undergone some huge changes, what's the initial system state before the change, Country A was the most powerfull but alliances between country C,D,E and G are more powerfull - but which side does country F side with? Could you give us some background, because at the moment we're completley blind to what you need. $\endgroup$ – Confounded by beige fish. Mar 5 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ The real question is what countries will exist in this world. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the countries which currently exist in those places will continue to exist when England, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the U.S.A. will be confronted with an existential crisis. See for example S. M. Stirling's Peshawar Lancers and Shikari in Galveston. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 5 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ You also have to consider that the cliimate will change, and it's not easy to predict how without resorting to climate modelling (and perhaps not even then). The Sahara & Australia might become well-watered grasslands, or even forests; Brazil & India might be deserts. There'd also be a good bit of extra land on today's continental shelves, as sea level drops due to water being locked up in ice. Looking at Pleistocene climate would be a starting point, though your Ice Age seems more extreme than that. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Mar 5 at 4:32
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Umbrella_Programmer's suggestion of Brazil is a great start. It's a large country, rich with resources, with most of the country below the equator and a bit above.

But since the question asked for countries or regions, not just one...

I will add:

  • Australia
  • Island states of Southeast Asia

It appears your ice age related changes are not as strong in the southern hemisphere and Australia is not terribly far south of the equator. Its northern edges are about the same distance from the equator as southern Mexico. Its current population centers are about the same distance from the equator as southern California and the American southwest, or Morocco.

Australia has a lot of land and farms and room to take in refugees from all over. If their focus is on refugees with scientific knowledge or other useful skills, Australia's prominence in the world will rise.

Indonesia is smack on the equator and quite close to other small but resourceful island governments: Singapore, The Philippines, and Malaysia, plus some others. It's also close to the peninsula with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

I predict a Southeast Asian coalition of island governments, which may also include some nearby mainland ones. While some of southern China is close and will be okay in the Ice Age, the country as a whole will be reeling from the effects and focusing on the needs of its enormous and concentrated population. This is the time for the rise of small governments that can work together and take advantage of the changes.

Because of the Ice Age, the islands will get bigger. More land for housing/refugees, farming, what have you. The distances between them will shrink. In some cases, there may be land bridges between islands or even to the mainland, depending on how much the oceans retract.

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It depends on your world's economy. Think about how the ice age would restrict things like oil production (which happen in Russia, Scandinavia, the US, Canada, and the Middle East). Think about the sudden dearth of usable lumber, of commodities like grains (wheat, corn, rice, etc). Think about cotton. All of these things require hospitable and temperate climates to cultivate.

So, a country like Brazil, which would have access to some of the last remaining unfrozen forests, huge swaths of land for agriculture, and a large population (and therefore a large army) to protect it all would probably become a global superpower.

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An ice age would be coming on for several thousand years, so humanity would have lot of time to adapt to it, or fight over how to adapt to it. So, either you'd have a peaceful cooperation between most nations in order to ensure survival of as many people as possible, or you'd have the military capable nations overrun those who are geographically better situated and resettle their population there. Maybe even humanity would have the time to emigrate to the stars - or burns enough fossile fuels to counter the cooling.

What you seem to think about, the rise to "power" of third world countries, as depicted in "Day after tomorrow", wont happen, since the change in climate is way slower.

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