STUDY: Giant solar superstorm within the next decade a possibility

spaminator

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STUDY: Giant solar superstorm within the next decade a possibility
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Sep 16, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Planet Earth.
Planet Earth. PHOTO BY ISTOCK /GETTY IMAGES
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An “internet apocalypse” sounds like a movie starring Gerard Butler.

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But it could be a very real thing if a giant solar superstorm hits the earth.


Apparently, it’s not such a long shot, according to a new study, and could affect cable networks, data centres, and more than 46,000,000 internet routers.

“Astrophysicists estimate the likelihood of a solar storm of sufficient strength to cause catastrophic disruption occurring within the next decade to be 1.6-12%,” states Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse.

“Paying attention to this threat and planning defenses against it, (…) is critical for the long-term resilience of the internet.”

Written by University of California assistant professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, the study says the two most recent solar cycles (1996-2008 and 2008-2020), were part of a minimum activity period “and the sun is expected to become more active in the near future.”

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A solar superstorm happens if a coronal mass ejection (CME) escapes the sun and strikes the Earth anywhere from a day to four to five days afterward and can impact the globe’s magnetic field.

The study says it can cause “strong electric currents on the Earth’s surface that can disrupt and even destroy various human technologies.”


The strongest CME in the last 100 years was back in 1921 but a smaller CME knocked out Quebec’s power grid in 1989 leaving the province dark.

The study recommends strengthening the world’s infrastructure by laying more cables to minimize being completely cut off.

“Since links from the U.S. and Canada to Europe and Asia are highly vulnerable, adding more links to Central and South America can help in maintaining global connectivity,” it says.
 

Blackleaf

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It'd be like the Carrington Event of 1859 but much worse in our electrical and digital world.

If we went back to those days of cotton mills powered by steam and workhouse records put on paper rather than on computer the effects of such an event occurring again would be far less.
 
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