Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months
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Thread: Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months

  1. #1

    Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months

    okay...All you SHTF types should really start getting ready now. Now NASA says we could be heading for serious trouble by 2012....

    FOXNews.com - Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

    Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months

    A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm.

    Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation.

    The prediction is based in part on a major solar storm in 1859 that caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires.

    It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.

    "A contemporary repetition of the [1859] event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions," the researchers conclude.
    When the sun is in the active phase of its 11-year cycle, it can unleash powerful magnetic storms that disable satellites, threaten astronaut safety, and even disrupt communication systems on Earth.

    The worst storms can knock out power grids by inducing currents that melt transformers.

    Modern power grids are so interconnected that a big space storm the type expected to occur about once a century could cause a cascade of failures that would sweep across the United States, cutting power to 130 million people or more in this country alone, the new report concludes.

    Such widespread power outages, though expected to be a rare possibility, would affect other vital systems.

    "Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states.
    Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt.

    "Emergency services would be strained, and command and control might be lost," write the researchers, led by Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

    "Whether it is terrestrial catastrophes or extreme space weather incidents, the results can be devastating to modern societies that depend in a myriad of ways on advanced technological systems," Baker said in a statement released with the report.

    Stormy past

    Solar storms have had significant effects in modern time:

    In 1989, the sun unleashed a tempest that knocked out power to all of Quebec, Canada.

    A remarkable 2003 rampage included 10 major solar flares over a two-week period, knocking out two Earth-orbiting satellites and crippling an instrument aboard a Mars orbiter.

    "Obviously, the sun is Earth's life blood," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics division at NASA. "To mitigate possible public safety issues, it is vital that we better understand extreme space weather events caused by the sun's activity."

    "Space weather can produce solar storm electromagnetic fields that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, causing wide-spread blackouts and affecting communication cables that support the Internet," the report states. "Severe space weather also produces solar energetic particles and the dislocation of the Earth's radiation belts, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning and weather forecasting."

    Rush to prepare

    The race is on for better forecasting abilities, as the next peak in solar activity is expected to come around 2012.

    While the sun is in a lull now, activity can flare up at any moment, and severe space weather how severe, nobody knows will ramp up a year or two before the peak.

    Some scientists expect the next peak to bring more severe events than other recent peaks.

    "A catastrophic failure of commercial and government infrastructure in space and on the ground can be mitigated through raising public awareness, improving vulnerable infrastructure and developing advanced forecasting capabilities," the report states. "Without preventive actions or plans, the trend of increased dependency on modern space-weather sensitive assets could make society more vulnerable in the future."

    The report was commissioned and funded by NASA. Experts from around the world in industry, government and academia participated. It was released this week.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
    -- George Washington

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    I suppose this is something we should all be prepared for, but am I the only one who senses that this is environmental extremist hyperbole?
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    Benjamin Franklin

  4. #3
    This has nothing to do with environmental extremists. There is nothing we are doing on earth that effects solar storms on the sun... Way to stretch a thought into nonsense.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
    -- George Washington

  5. #4
    There has been a new age scare about 12/21/2012 for years. The Mayan Calender ends in 2012. Nostradamus's quatrains have forcast the end of times for 2012. Reminds me of the y2k bug.
    Semper Fi

  6. #5
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    I read about the 1859 solar storm.....

    I have to agree with Tex on this. Also, I know that a lot of people on this forum disagree with the so-called "environmental wackos", but let me say that they are not all wrong. The planet simply can not sustain the population that we now have, much less the projected growth.

    About the solar storm, apparently it ignited nearly all of the existing conductive wire that was on hand. Now, seeing as how this pre-dated common use of electricity for anything other than telegraphs, can you imagine the impact now? How much conductive wire do you have in the walls of your home? It would suck to have 2+ years of food and water squirreled away in the basement, only to see an electrical fire ignite the house.

    While not an extinction level event, a super powerful solar storm might lead to a devastating loss of life. Can you imagine living someplace like Las Vegas if the air con went out? How about the water pumps? It is the kind of event that would affect developed countries much harder than third world countries.

    Worse, can you imagine a short storm that hit Europe and the U.S., but petered out before the planet rotated enough to present China? Not a pleasant thought. Get that English-Mandarin dictionary!

  7. #6
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    all i can say is....

    pray,prepare and be ready.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by boris View Post
    pray,prepare and be ready.
    And remember as I have said before, "nothing catches God by surprise". It may catch us by surprise but not God. So I will prepare for what I can and what I can not I will trust in God for the rest. As a preacher once said," Man purposes but God disposes."
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  9. #8
    Well...
    In 2012 we could have this solar storm which would shut down our economy for weeks to months. Then just as we're recovering, Yellowstone could blow, that would likely put us into another 'mini ice age' which could keep us in the dark (sorry) for several more years. By this time, just as we're starting to get our act together, it'll be 2029, the meteorite can strike and cause the extinction of all life as we know it.

    There, I feel better now...
    People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome.--River Tam

  10. #9
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    I remember solar flares of the past interferring with CB radios, ham radios, cell phone and pager reception and so forth. I had no idea that it could disrupt or idle hard-wired transmissions. I'm not a doomsday-type person. I don't believe that the world will come to an end, at our hands or at another's hands, by solar storms or by any other method. Remember, if today is our last day, how then, oversees, is it already tomorrow? (Relax. It's rhetorical!)

  11. #10
    just give some Al Gore type guys Millions...I mean Billions....I mean Trillians and they will take care of it. If the sky isn't falling, they can't get money. It's just like global warming....errrr....global cooling...errr. global climate change, 2nd hand smoke...errrr, 3rd hand smoke....4th hand smoke....give us money and we'll make it all go away...just in time. really
    Rule #1 of CCW: Don't get made.

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