The sun has gone very quiet as it transitions to Solar Cycle 24.
(The sun) might (1) revert to the old solar cycles or (2) the sun might go even quieter into a "Dalton Minimum" or a Grand Minima such as the "Maunder Minimum". It is still a little early to predict which way it will swing. Each of these two possibilities holds a great threat to our nation.
We are now at a crossroad. Two paths lie before us. Both are marked with a signpost that reads “Danger”! Down one path lies monstrous solar storms. Down the other path lies several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine.
...Our Milky Way galaxy is awash with cosmic rays. These are high speed charged particles that originate from exploding stars.
Because they are charged, their travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. Our sun produces a magnetic field wrapped in the solar winds that extends to the edges of our solar system. This field deflects many of the cosmic rays away from Earth. But when the sun goes quiet (minimal sunspots), this field collapses inward allowing high energy cosmic rays to penetrate deeper into our solar system.
As I say in Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps, these same cosmic rays can lead to mutations and evolutionary leaps.
As a result, far greater numbers collide with Earth and penetrate down into the lower atmosphere where they ionize small particles of moisture (humidity) forming them into water droplets that become clouds. Low level clouds reflect sunlight back into space. An increase in Earth's cloud cover produce a global drop in temperature.
Since the old solar cycles produced fewer sunspots, one might draw the conclusion that we will be entering a period of reduced solar storms. But this is not true. It is quite the opposite. The old solar cycles produced very intense solar storms. The greatest solar storm in modern time known as the Carrington flare of 1-2 September 1859 occurred in Solar Cycle 10. In addition to the Carrington flare, several other massive solar storms occurred during the old solar cycles. These massive solar storms occurred on 12 October 1859, 4 February 1872, 17-18 November 1882, 30 March 1894, 31 October 1903, 25 September 1909 and 13-16 May 1921. How can this be? This is because the old solar cycles produced massive sunspots. It was like the magnetic field energy was still there and had to still be released but during a shorter time interval, so the sunspots exploded in size and power.
If a solar storm of the magnitude of the Carrington flare were to occur today, the effect on our modern technologically dependent society would be grave. Of these, the greatest threat would lie in the loss of stable electrical power. A massive solar storm could destroy many of the large custom Extra High Voltage (EHV) power transformer in the United States. These items are unique, costly (around $10 million each) and have manufacture lead time of a year or more for replacement... if a massive solar storm struck the United States today “it would result in large-scale blackouts affecting more than 130 million people and would expose more than 350 major transformers to the risk of permanent damage”. Imagine the effect of a total power blackout for months/years on 100 million people in the U.S. along with many millions across the globe. The report then goes on to say “Historically large storms have a potential to cause power grid blackouts and transformer damage of unprecedented proportions, long-term blackouts, and lengthy restoration times, and chronic shortages for multiple years are possible.”
Originally posted by Dermo
Doom and gloom doom and gloom doom and gloom.
"2012 may bring the “perfect storm” – solar flares, systems collapse"
According to New Scientist, science’s concern is a repetition of the 8-day 1859 “Carrington event,” a large solar flare accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME) that flung billions of tons of solar plasma onto the earth’s magnetosphere and disrupted Victorian-era magnetometers and the world telegraph system.
The New Scientist states, “The report outlines the worst case scenario for the US. The ‘perfect storm’ is most likely on a spring or autumn night in a year of heightened solar activity - something like 2012. Around the equinoxes, the orientation of the Earth's field to the sun makes us particularly vulnerable to a plasma strike.”
The next solar maximum is expected to occur in 2012. New Scientist reports that Mike Hapgood, head of the European Space Agency's space weather team states, "We're in the equivalent of an idyllic summer's day. The sun is quiet and benign, the quietest it has been for 100 years," "but it could turn the other way."
The modern electrical high-power grid magnifies the impact of solar flares. Since the grid is linked into major aspects of modern society, the effects of another Carrington event would be devastating. The National Academy of Sciences report states: “A severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people.” The New Scientist states: “According to the NAS report, the impact of what it terms a "severe geomagnetic storm scenario" could be as high as $2 trillion. And that's just the first year after the storm. The NAS puts the recovery time at four to 10 years. It is questionable whether the US would ever bounce back.”
The solar coronal mass ejection from the 1859 Carrington event arrived on earth in less than 15 minutes, which is faster that our early warning system NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) can detect.
“Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.” [- Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan]
This policy, which replicates energy grid policy in many advanced industrialized nations, is not adequate for the challenges of 2012 solar flares. The policy does not promote new fuel-less non-polluting energy sources now sequestered in secret, national security and black budget projects, and which have been developed using U.S. tax-payer funds. These included reported anti-gravitic technology and free energy technologies, based on Tesla technology.
So here is a key question: Is human society being set up to fail and suffer an effective systems collapse with great loss of life and property if 2012 solar flares materialize in the worst case scenario?
The good news: 2012 galactic alignment
"ALL EYES ARE ON THE SUN AFTER NOAA-LED SOLAR CYCLE 24 PANEL PREDICTS UPCOMING PERIOD OF INTENSE SOLAR STORMS"
...the Earth will soon experience the start of a new cycle of solar storms and the expected intensity of the upcoming cycle will become clearer in time.
“The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012,” said Doug Biesecker, a solar physicist from the NOAA Space Environment Center
"Cell Phone and GPS Service Disruptions Likely with Increased Sunspot Activity"
Solar storms have disrupted communications technology since the mid 1800s, when the telegraph was in use. Disruptions knocked out power grids, causing a blackout in Quebec in 1989. In 1997, solar storms incapacitated and led to the decommissioning of a $200 million communications satellite.
Even air travel has been disrupted by solar storms. In 2003 passenger aircraft on polar routes, which go over the Earth's poles to reduce both fuel costs and travel time, were redirected due to communications blackouts. It can cost an airline up to $100,000 to reroute a polar flight.
In March 2006, scientists predicted that the next solar cycle could be up to 50 percent stronger than the last one, making for some of the most intense solar phenomena since the late 1950s. Scientists formulated this prediction using a new computer model that allows them to forecast solar cycles with 98 percent accuracy.
"Severe Solar Flares Could Cause Catastrophic Power Outage in United States"
A recent report found that for countries relying on technology for life-sustaining infrastructures, a severe solar flare could be more devastating than any prior natural disaster.
"Mass Ejection of Solar Plasma Could End Life as We Know It"
New Scientist points out that the United States is extremely vulnerable to coronal mass ejections for two reasons; (1) the high power grids that we use to transmit power would attract currents caused by coronal mass ejections and would ruin transformers, (2) we depend on power for things like sewage treatment, running water and many other life-supporting infrastructures. The loss of power for days or weeks would be deadly for many Americans.
Astrophysicist Sten Odenwald told Scientific American that not preparing for extreme space weather is unwise. “People are of the mind that because nothing too terrible has happened in the past, that something won’t now.”
Originally posted by adrenochrome
speaking of "blackouts", i came across this map of the supposed upcoming blackout regions in the U.S.:
...looks like i'm moving to Flagstaff, AZ afterall - at least they don't fluoridate the water supply there!
[edit on 7-4-2009 by adrenochrome]
Originally posted by Azador
Man i so dont care about climate change anymore.All these conflicting warming/cooling articles just make me more sure no one knows what the hell is going on.So im just going to carry on enjoying my life and if gets warmer great more time at the beach for me, if it gets cooler sweet more time skiing.