Welcome to West Asia! By the year 2115 if you read the word ‘Europe’ you knew you were reading an historical document. It was only a few decades ago that the Geography textbooks began to call the region by its proper name. Like the Holy Roman Empire before it, and many a Grand Duchy, United Kingdom and Monetary Union, no demarcation of space lasts forever. Seas and rivers keep their names for longer, or at least until some megalomaniac decides they wish to stake a particular claim, but ever since most of the more easily reached oil was extracted from the seabed such behaviour has abated.

Today, in 2115, West Asia is warm. Not as warm as much of the rest of the world, but certainly tepid. The Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean all help cool the lands nearest them. It is as soon as you head any distance inland that the temperatures rise rapidly, at least in the long summer months. In the winter precipitation is much greater than it used to be and people now talk of the rainy season. So much is determined by climate and the predictability of weather. A great deal that we took for granted turned out to be quite sensitive to global warming. We knew the snow would melt from the Alps. We didn’t know that just a little extra rain would be all it took to create such widespread and repeated flooding. The river basins of West Asia had taken millennia to form and could not adapt quickly to so much more rainfall.