I’ve been warning about coming interruptions in our power and communications infrastructures for years now. As a Ham Radio Operator I’m well aware of solar cycles, including the prominent 11-to-12-year cycle, and their impact on the environment (although Al Gore doesn’t seem to take them into account). Well, now the storms are starting to hit, and it’s going to get worse.
Newsmax is reporting that “The magnetic storm that is soon to develop probably will be in the moderate to strong level,” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a division of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We’ve seen the power grid knocked off-line, communications satellites completely disabled by these types of storms before and now our dependence upon specialized GPS satellites is higher than ever. Top that off with our GPS satellites already starting to fail, and we could have some real troubles soon.
The National Research Council has reported that a storm of similar magnitude to one which hit in 1859 could cause more than $2 trillion in damage world-wide as it burns out everything electronic from Satellites through computers, along with our communications and power distribution systems.
The first of the three solar explosions from the sun this week already passed the Earth on Thursday with little impact, Kunches said, noting, the second was passing the Earth now and “seems to be stronger.”
And the third, he said, “We’ll have to see what happens over the next few days. It could exacerbate the disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by the second (storm) or do nothing at all.”
The peak of this solar cycle’s activity is expected in 2013. Hold onto your smartphones, this could be a rough ride.
- Solar Storms May Disrupt Gadgets (blogs.forbes.com)
- Power companies prepare as solar storms set to hit Earth (scientificamerican.com)
- Solar Storms Building Toward Peak in 2013, NASA Predicts (livescience.com)
- Sun Unleashes Largest Solar Flare in Years (space.com)