An ESL student of mine wrote:
If they don't act quickly, it's possible that new diseases appear.
I could mark it as 'off style' on the grounds that [will] is the usual tense for said verb but I would like a deeper explanation -both for my student and myself- so I started wondering about the grammaticality of the whole construction.
Here's what I have so far: if [appear] has either present indicative or subjunctive features, it's at least ambiguous. The if-clause, however, seems to me to preclude the simple present (present indicative), which expresses habituality or fact, and require a 'dynamic' form instead, which is accomplished by [will]. But what if it's subjunctive? Would it be ungrammatical, and why? If grammatical, would there be a difference in meaning with respect to [will appear]?