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originally posted by: eriktheawful
a reply to: Illumimasontruth
Though it's off topic:
Once we become staff, we no longer get applause and points.
But that's cool because we get PMs from each other....sometimes....
originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: eriktheawful
The Carrington event is very likely to happen again, it's just a matter of time. Some deaths will likely result next time but not mass extinction, however most stars are not like our sun, they are smaller and many have been found to give off more lethal bursts of radiation than our sun. Couple that with the fact that the habitable zone of a planet around such a star is closer to the star and that means the bombardment from the solar outburst is even more lethal due to the close range.
And some of these could kill all of us like the Gamma Ray burst if we get unlucky, but fortunately none of these scenarios even made the top of the list of what is most likely to cause our extinction by 2100 (19% chance of that):
Risk -- Estimated probability for human extinction before 2100 (2008 expert survey)
Overall probability -- 19%
Molecular nanotechnology weapons -- 5%
Superintelligent AI -- 5%
Non-nuclear wars -- 4%
Engineered pandemic -- 2%
Nuclear wars -- 1%
Anyway we need to colonize another planet and eventually another solar system so if an extinction level event occurs, humans won't be wiped out completely like the dinosaurs were. People say we shouldn't be spending money going to Mars when we have problems right here at home, but one of those problems is facing extinction, that's a pretty big incentive to get some colonies going on Mars, to me at least and I hope to everybody interested in preserving the human race.
And yes of course all of these could have relevance to the Fermi Paradox as you say, since they could pose problems for many civilizations, not just ours!
That was only a little more than a third (-640 nT) of the Carrington event (-1760nT per Lakhina et al., 2005). There are other lower estimates of the Carrington event, but since in that event aurorae could be seen all over the world, even close to the equator, I think the ~3x larger estimate is probably more likely to be true.
originally posted by: stormcell
We had one in 1989. That blew up the power grid in Canada and the East Coast.
The cool thing was that the NE Scotland got to see really cool aurora until 1am and get to listen to Norwegian FM radio stations the preceding afternoon.
It certainly sounds possible to me to have more frequent Carrington events, but I don't think it necessarily follows that grids have to be so susceptible to such events. For example if DC had won the AC/DC wars before we had grids, we may not have the grids we have today which are based on AC. DC distribution required sources much closer to the loads and those shorter lines are less susceptible to solar storms. In fact when I visited some suppliers in China they were telling me the grid there was so unreliable they ended operating on their own generators quite frequently, so I think this shows there are ways around such problems if they occurred with frequency, unlike black holes or gamma ray bursts which the civilization can't do much about.
originally posted by: eriktheawful
The thing with the Carrington Event wasn't so much it destroying civilization or causing extinction, but rather it happening much too often, to where any development of say like an electrical grid becomes impossible or just too hard to develop.
I don't know how possible that is.
Again as with the Carrington event, earthquakes might be a challenge, but even on Earth we see places where earthquakes are frequent like Japan use stronger building codes. A 9.0 Earthquake or even a 10.0 may be difficult to design for but not impossible as they are large but still finite events. I suppose the biggest problem would be cost, since making buildings capable of surviving 9.0s everywhere would cost a lot. Fortunately not everywhere on Earth needs such buildings. The nuclear plants in Japan actually held up pretty well to the 2011 earthquake, it was the tsunami one plant couldn't handle and again that was just a design fault. The better designed nuclear plant closer to the earthquake epicenter also survived the tsunami, but mega-tsunamis could be quite devastating. We could get one of those from an asteroid impact in the ocean and they could completely overwhelm any tsunami wall I can conceive of.
Alien mom: Hush now. Go get your father, we're camping in tents again.
We know of several super volcanoes here on Earth, with the one at Yosemite being one of the most well known. Indeed there have been many threads here on ATS talking about it, even just recently.