dcblogs writes "This year may be remembered for its striking number of reports and warning of calamitous events. The National Intelligence Council released its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report that included a number of dire possibilities ahead, including the prospect of a catastrophic solar storm, on par with the 1859 Carrington Event. Historical records suggest a return period of 50 years for a repeat of the Quebec-level storm that knocked out the power for 6 million in 1989, and 150 years for very extreme storms, such as the Carrington Event, according to Lloyd's, in a report this year. Scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory recently demonstrated in tests that 'geomagnetic disturbances have the power to disrupt and possibly destroy electrical transformers, the backbone of our nation's utility grid.' This was also the year the average daily level of CO2 reached a concentration above 400 parts per million. In a recent National Academies report this year, 'Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,' scientists recommend creation of a global early warning system to alert mankind to abrupt climate changes. A recent paper in Nature, Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time, said financial trading systems are driving transaction times down to the speed of light, and 'the quickest that someone can notice potential danger and physically react, is approximately 1 second.'"