Researchers associated with Deutsche Bank argue that there is a high probability that one of four global catastrophes (volcanic eruption, world war, solar storm, pandemic) will occur within the next ten years.
One scenario is a major influenza pandemic that will kill more than two million people
Other options for natural disasters include a volcanic eruption with global consequences, a global war, and a major solar flare.
What's even more troubling about these near-apocalyptic scenarios is that the outlook is even worse when we look at the next twenty years.
In fact, the researchers made a grim prediction that the odds of one of these four events occurring over the next two decades are about 56 percent.
This study was conducted on the basis of various risk assessments and studies. Earthquakes have been omitted as they are considered local events rather than global catastrophes.
One of the least discussed scenarios is solar flare. This is likely due to the fact that the last strong solar flare occurred in 1859. However, Deutsche Bank believes the likelihood of a solar flare is higher than the likelihood of a major global war.
In the research report, the authors mentioned that power outages are possible following a power outage. This could actually have a spillover effect on the entire global economy, as critical infrastructure would be prevented from working properly.
If the disaster affects medical care and hospitals, people may die. We'll get disrupted communications, dysfunctional payment systems, and interference with our global positioning system (GPS) satellites.
This will affect all industries and people who need accurate positioning services such as airplanes.
The researchers concluded that the likelihood of a large solar flare in the next 10 years is about 12 percent.