Coming solar storms could cause a devastating blow to our power grid?

Posted: June 19, 2010 in solar storms

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Nasa is warning that the world could face massive widespread blackouts, travel problems and damage to our power grids beginning in 2013.

Why 2013?

Every 22 years the Sun goes through a magnetic energy cycle, in 2013 this cycle will coincide with a time when the number of solar flares will be at its highest level (which happens every 11 years). When these two solar phenomenons combine they will create huge amounts of radiation. Solar flares from the storm may cause huge problems for everyone.

The problems could get so bad that Dr Richard Fisher, a Nasa scientist, warns “the world could face being without power for several months.” While we have no way of knowing how bad the solar storms will get, experts are defiantly starting to make preparation for this rare event.

What would be effected?

If precautions are not taken the storm could wreak havoc on the world’s emergency service systems, power grids could overheat, hospital equipment and other critical electronics systems could be damaged, and major satellites can stop working. Everyday items such as cell phones, computers and other personal electronic devices will also be effected. The devices would be rendered useless should the strength of the magnetic energy reach high enough levels.

How bad could it get?

A couple of years ago The National Academy of Sciences warned that a powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”. They went on to say that the solar activity could completely knock out power grids, GPS navigation, banking and financial systems, air travel, & radio communications.

If our grid is destroyed as a result of a massive solar storm, the National Academies warns it would cost the country somewhere around $2 trillion in damages and take at least four to 10 years to fully recover from the damage.


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