And The Award Goes To…
5. Solar Super Storms
Solar Super Storms are a real threat. The Electro-Magentic Pulse created by the storm can destroy any un-shielded electrical circuits instantly. If the solar storm of 1859 struck today, it could take out the world’s power grid for weeks or even months. Imagine what happens to our infrastructure with no power for a month. We can’t prevent solar storms but we can protect our infrastructure from them.
Related: Racing For The Solar Superstorm.
6. Super Volcanoes
Super Volcanoes are extremely dangerous but the probability is low over the next 100 years, and, currently, there’s nothing we can do about them.
7. Runaway Global Warming
Why didn’t Global Warming make the top of the list? If all the world’s ice sheets melt, it will be a twelve-meter sea level rise. Killer weather, such as increased hurricanes and droughts, along with rising sea level, would be catastrophic for coastal cities where a large percentage of the world’s population lives. However, for the next 100 years, the International Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program’s worst-case sea level rise prediction, published May 2011, is 1.6 meters by 2100. This would be a disaster but as dire as the consequences might be, we have decades to do something about it or plan for the results, unlike comets, global nuclear war or artificial intelligence.
8. Gamma Ray Burst
Finally, a Nearby Gamma Ray Burst is deadly but extremely unlikely and there’s nothing we can do. Sorry Zombie fans, maybe next year.