London: 2013 is being heralded as the year that might see catastrophic events wreaking havoc with our planet, say scientists.
They fear a huge solar flare is due to erupt in 2013 – and expected to cause power grids to crash, communication systems to collapse, planes to be grounded, food supplies to be hit and the Internet to be shut down.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox called an emergency conference in London yesterday where he warned of potential damage if an explosion similar to the one in 1859 occurred in modern times. Occurring only once about every century, the solar flare could cause massive power surges.
Yesterday`s conference also heard that a hostile power could cause a similar effect by exploding a nuclear weapon in space.
"While we all benefit from scientific advances, so we also create vulnerabilities that can be exploited by our enemies,” The Sun quoted Fox as saying.
"However advanced we become, the chain of our security is only as strong as its weakest link," he added.
And former US government defence adviser Dr Avi Schnurr warned, "A geomagnetic storm could shatter nations all over the earth. We cannot wait for disaster to spur us to action."