Bankers Warn That Its Likely Another Major Disaster Might Come After COVID-19
Jun. 26, 2020
The past couple of years have seen some of the most dramatic news events anyone can remember, with man-made disasters and natural catastrophes taking turns to dominate the headlines.
But according to a team of economists from Deutsche Bank, the rollercoaster ride is far from over.
The team, led by Henry Allen, say there is at least a one-in-three chance that at least one of four major disasters will follow the coronavirus pandemic.
Some time in the next 10 years, say the Deutsche Bank analysts, we can expect either a major influenza pandemic with a death toll exceeding two million, a globally catastrophic volcanic eruption, a major solar flare or a global war.
High net worth customers at the German banking giant are already taking precautions against the threats facing us in the coming decade.
The international banking giant in its report calculates the risks based on a number of historical factors, so out-of-the-blue events like asteroid impacts haven’t been considered.
Instead, the team focused on established threats.
So far, coronavirus has caused 470,000 deaths worldwide, but the 20th Century saw three flu pandemics with more than a million global deaths.
Despite advances in medical know-how, there’s still a very real chance that we could fall prey to another mega-pandemic.
The very real threat of a major conflict between China and the US sparked by a flashpoint in the South China Sea is rivalled by a war between the two Koreas, or a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan.
While nuclear wars have been prevented more once by examples of individual quick-thinking, sooner or later our luck could run out.
Australian gold miner C.F. Herbert wrote that some people believed they were witnessing the end of the world: "It was a sight never to be forgotten, and was considered at the time to be the greatest aurora recorded... The rationalist and pantheist saw nature in her most exquisite robes, recognising, the divine immanence, immutable law, cause, and effect.
“The superstitious and the fanatical had dire forebodings, and thought it a foreshadowing of Armageddon and final dissolution.”
These events are surprisingly common: minor solar storms occurred in 1921 and 1960 when widespread radio disruption was reported.
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But even if we can manage to destroy ourselves, the natural world could do serious harm. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 gave a small taste of the economic damage a volcanic event can cause.
About 20 countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic and it affected approximately 10 million travellers.
The ash cloud disrupted farming across the region too, and at its widest extent covered much of the UK and large parts of Scandinavia.
In 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo created abnormal weather conditions worldwide, lowering global temperatures over the next few years.
There are dozens more volcanoes around the world that could have a devastating effect on the world climate.
Yellowstone is perhaps the most famous of the world's super-volcanoes.
Just over two million years ago it erupted, producing roughly 588 cubic miles of dust and ash.
It’s erupted a couple of times since, approximately 1.3 million years ago, and then again 664,000 years ago.
The massive magma chamber could remain dormant for another thousand years, or it could erupt while you’re reading this.
Even if it did erupt, there’s no certainty that it would be a super-eruption. Jacob Lowenstern of the US Geological Survey, said: ”Even if Yellowstone did erupt again, you probably wouldn't get that worst-case scenario.
”What's much, much more common are small eruptions — that's a point that often gets ignored in the press."
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