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Peering into the future 20 years, and using recent history and current events as guideposts, one could reasonably expect continued, major scientific advances and challenges in a rapidly changing world.

Also by about the year 2020, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finally is expected to complete its backlogged hydrological surveying of about 34,000 square nautical miles (snm) of critical waterways around major ports and other areas in Alaska and elsewhere that are important for shipping, tourism, or other uses.