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Surviving the Effects of a Major Solar Storm – DiY Mitigation Brainstorming

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posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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A Possible Solar Storm in 2012?




Michio Kaku
Professor of Theoretical Physics, CUNY March 31, 2010

Not long ago, a report quoting NASA scientists was issued by the National Academy of Science, the highest scientific advisory body to the United States Congress. The report said something that used to be unthinkable: our own sun could have a temper tantrum that would unleash a tsunami of radiation from outer space, potentially wiping out our space satellites, wiping out power lines, and leaving entire continents without power.

This means that your refrigerator and freezer wouldn't have any electricity, leaving food to rot and creating food shortages around the world. Communication systems and power systems worldwide could be wiped out for months at a time. Something this large would cause not just a localized but rather a continent-wide power outage.

An event of this magnitude may seem hard to grasp, but just remember that every eleven years the sun flips with respect to its magnetic field (North becomes South and South becomes North) and releases a burst of radiation directed toward outer space, including Earth, and that this burst could endanger our communication systems. We forget that the space age is very young; we've only had a few of these sunspot cycles to worry about, and for the most part we have dodged the bullet.


 


Title edit per request

[edit on 9/4/10 by masqua]




posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:06 AM
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I recommend we all do our part to spread this news. I have decided to write my Representative and Senators in my State (Florida). I just C&P'd the article and referenced it just like I would here.


Your message has been sent. Thank you for writing.
Representative Bilirakis' Home Page
________________________________________
Thank you for contacting my office to express your views and concerns. It is an honor and a privilege to represent the people of Florida in the United States Senate, and I want to be responsive to your needs and concerns.

Using the online form helps my office organize your communications to ensure that I am able to respond to your request in the most efficient and thorough manner possible. Please consider this message an acknowledgment that I have received your comments. Also, your email address has been submitted to receive our weekly e-newsletter. If you do not wish to receive this e-newsletter, please click here to unsubscribe or if you have previously unsubscribed your email address, you will not need to unsubscribe again.

Sincerely,
George LeMieux
United States Senator, Florida
________________________________________
Thank you for sending me an email. I appreciate receiving your input.

Bill Nelson
United States Senator, Florida


This article is an eye opening scenario of “when” not “if”. I have more ATS points than I know what to do with, but I highly recommend you Star & Flag this thread to get it to the front page as to spread the news as far as we at ATS can spread it. I personally think Michio Kaku is a very respectable scientist and this information should be heeded and we as a species should in fact prepare for this before it is too late. I for one do not want to be thrust back to living like it was 1859. No more interwebz means no more ATS, think about it.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 01:31 AM
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I'm a bit surprised that Kaku would be using obsolete information. It seems he is relying on a prediction which is almost two years old. In May of 2009 the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel reached a supermajority consensus that the next solar maximum would occur in May of 2013 and that it would be of below average intensity.

May 8, 2009 -- Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Update
The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel has reached a consensus decision on the prediction of the next solar cycle (Cycle 24). First, the panel has agreed that solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. This still qualifies as a prediction since the smoothed sunspot number is only valid through September, 2008. The panel has decided that the next solar cycle will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the predicted date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity, solar maximum is now expected to occur in May, 2013. Note, this is a consensus opinion, not a unanimous decision. A supermajority of the panel did agree to this prediction.

www.swpc.noaa.gov...

We seem to be pretty much right on schedule.



That said, while an intense solar storm is more likely to occur during solar maximum, it can occur at almost any time and we currently have no way of predicting their occurrence (though some progress is being made). The point is, like a major earthquake in a major fault zone, there will be a major solar storm at some time in the future. If the products of that storm encounter our magnetosphere we will have big problems. Like that earthquake, we can do some things to mitigate the problems but there will be a certain amount of damage no matter what we do.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 06:53 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 




I'm a bit surprised that Kaku would be using obsolete information.


Likewise, interesting, you'd think he would have been made privy to ademdums made by this prediction panel. Well, now my Congressmen are going to think I'm a raving 2012 lunatic, Awesome! As far as predictions go though, one has to account for anomolies, predictions aren't stone writ worthy and never have been. So I think the warning still holds a great deal of prevelance.

None the less, the outcome of a solar storm as mentioned in the OP would in fact cause epic damage. So I think from this point, I will start researching ways that the everyday citizen can mitigate against the effects of such a storm. He did say we have the means to do so. If the lines get fried, then maybe one can at least protect their home and perhaps hold individual campaigns to help solidify their own communities in the event of a solar storm disaster.

Most people are complacent when it comes to natural disasters. "Let the next guy deal with it, it won't happen anytime soon" is seemingly the the common attitude. We have the means to mitigate so why don't we? There are quite a lot of answers to this question.

[edit on 4/9/2010 by UberL33t]



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:43 AM
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Like Phage said, when Kaku made that comment, Cycle 24 was predicted to be a lot more intense than its is now predicted to be...

As an example, in January 2009, the Cycle was expected to peak September/October 2012 with sunspot count of approximately 134.7...In April 2010 the Cycle is now expected to peak September/October 2013 with a sunspot count of approximately 90.2, which is 1/3 less severe than originally predicted...

Cycle 24 is in fact predicted to be around 25% less intense that Cycle 23 which peaked in March/April 2000...

Of course we're going to get some super flares and awesome geomagnetic storms as solar maximum approaches, but its not going to be the catastrophe Kaku was suggesting a couple years ago...



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by Retrovertigo
 




but its not going to be the catastrophe Kaku was suggesting a couple years ago...


That's agreeable for the most part. But again predictions aren't full proof. The inevitable storm that he did suggest to in the article, albeit seemingly not this up and coming cycle, is still a "when" factor. It's happened before, chances of it occurring again are more probable than not.

So it would behoove us to begin mitigating now as he suggests. Based on the evidence provided thus far in this thread I would be inclined to concur, this is most likely something that is not going to be a danger in the next couple of years. I am however basing that view on a prediction that is by no means full proof.

That’s not to say that Kaku’s prediction held any more precedence either, the fact of the matter here, is we’re not as prepared for it as we could be. That is what I think this thread should be dedicated to regardless of when it will occur.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by UberL33t
That's agreeable for the most part. But again predictions aren't full proof. The inevitable storm that he did suggest to in the article, albeit seemingly not this up and coming cycle, is still a "when" factor. It's happened before, chances of it occurring again are more probable than not.

So it would behoove us to begin mitigating now as he suggests. Based on the evidence provided thus far in this thread I would be inclined to concur, this is most likely something that is not going to be a danger in the next couple of years. I am however basing that view on a prediction that is by no means full proof.

That’s not to say that Kaku’s prediction held any more precedence either, the fact of the matter here, is we’re not as prepared for it as we could be. That is what I think this thread should be dedicated to regardless of when it will occur.


Oh absolutely, predictions are far from fool proof...

I totally agree with you, whether its during this solar cycle or in 500 years, we are going to wake up one morning (or in the middle of the night) and our power grids, mobile telecommunication systems, GPS systems and other electrical infrastructure won't be working...Like you said, it has happened before and no doubt it will happen again...

I do agree with you that we should be making "preparations" for these types of events...We need to improve our accuracy at predicting when these events are likely to occur so we have more time to act when they do...

We also need to upgrade and "harden" our power grids and associated infrastructure, and our mobile telecommunication and navigation systems to make their failure during such events less likely if thats possible...

Preparing for an event like this has got to be as important as preparing for a NEO hitting the earth...



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:25 AM
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Kaku these days seems to be far more involved in playing the extremes of what could possibly happen than the what is actually likely to happen.
Sure, its fair enough he gets asked to do these things and makes a healthy living out of it, why not. Doesn't help in playing on societies fears though.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by pazcat
 




Doesn't help in playing on societies fears though.


I don’t think this is as much fear mongering as it is an attempt to jolt society out of their complacency that everything is hunky-dory and always will be. Like the article said an event of this measure would, for the most part, revert society to what it was in 1859.

I for one, enjoy the age in which we live. If there were things that I could do that would allow me to maintain as much of our current way of life I’m all ears. Not to mention doing our part to ensure our children and their children’s children are not left to do what we could have easily done.

This seems to be just basic common sense, but apparently common sense isn’t that common these days, sadly enough.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by UberL33t
I don’t think this is as much fear mongering as it is an attempt to jolt society out of their complacency that everything is hunky-dory and always will be.


I'd have to disagree with the statement Kaku isn't fear-mongering...Actually, I will contradict myself slightly...He isn't so much fear-mongering as fortune telling...

I used to admire Kaku a lot for his ability to explain really complex scientific ideas in layman's terms...

However, in the last 5 years or so, he has become less of a scientist and much more of a fortune teller...Personally, I wish he'd stick to science...His fortune telling has lessened my opinion of him as a scientist and makes me immediately suspicious of anything he says that isn't established scientific fact...



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by Retrovertigo
 


Fair enough and I would be inclined to agree. However, no matter the source of the information it doesn't take away from it's inevitability. So in regards to this thread I revert back to this:



the fact of the matter here, is we’re not as prepared for it as we could be. That is what I think this thread should be dedicated to regardless of when it will occur.


I'm at work right now and can't research and source information that may be able to kick-start some forms of preparedness that can be done by the average Joe to help minimize the effects of such an event.

If we begin to start spreading knowledge now then we are going to be more prepared than we were yesterday. Who knows this thread may migrate into a "Survival" forum worthy thread.

I will periodically check in on the thread but as far as the aforementioned I will work on that this weekend. Anyone else who wishes to contribute, by all means please do so.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by UberL33t

Fair enough and I would be inclined to agree. However, no matter the source of the information it doesn't take away from it's inevitability. So in regards to this thread I revert back to this:

the fact of the matter here, is we’re not as prepared for it as we could be. That is what I think this thread should be dedicated to regardless of when it will occur.


I've already agreed with getting more prepared for an event like this in a previous post


I was responding to what Pazcat said about Kaku being more into fear-mongering than actual science



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by Retrovertigo
 


I was just replying overall, more of a reitteration I guess, nothing more nothing less.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by UberL33t
 


No worries...

I'll leave it to the survivalists then...



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 06:50 PM
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I found this interesting topic:

How To Protect Yourself From The Next Solar or Lightning Storm


These devices will save your sensitive electronics from over voltages caused by solar storms and lightning. Lightning arrestors are made from silicon dioxide which is an insulator. In the presence of high voltage (500 to millions of volts) the oxygen with the silicon is driven away temporarily and the pure silicon conducts between the wires inside them. I have heard mine crackle with lightning strikes miles away from induced voltages. My brand new Trace off the grid inverter was fried by lightning and had to be rebuilt under warranty. It was really my fault for not installing lightning arrestors on the DC and AC circuits. Also a surge capacitor will help by smoothing out the AC wave form and taking out high voltage bumps to 500 volts caused by lightning and surges. A surge capacitor will make the output from a cheap inverter closer to a smooth sine wave expensive inverter so they are very useful for off the grid systems. These are cheap and easy to install/replace and will save you big time in equipment repairs and replacement. They will sacrifice themselves to save your gear.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:01 PM
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Protect Your Family From Solar Flares

A bit out there in some respects, but none the less:


Solar flares emit dangerous gamma radiation, which affects everything from gravity waves to the Earth's tectonic system. These solar flares are dangerous to human life. The Gamma Radiation is dangerous to the human bio system. Many severe solar flares can cause cancer and It heats up the atmosphere and can drastically change weather patterns too. We have had some serious solar flares in the last few years, which have affected our lives. Some say that Earthquakes are in part due to the disruption of the natural electromagnetic distribution of the Earth along with causing disruptions in gravity waves.

One group of scientists and future prediction study group is calling for a huge solar flare which could kill 2 billion humans if it occurs on the side of the sun where they Earth is passing through. That is pretty drastic indeed. It could cause massive seismic activity, cook you alive or kill all the crops and many might starve. These scientists and remote viewer people are not anyone you wish to quote in the mass media. We know as the sun gets older and perhaps within ten billion years the sun will expand and cook the Earth before it burns out. This would be a very bad day for Earthlings indeed.

How can you protect your family from solar flares of such extreme magnitude? There are many ways actually. NASA has done many studies to protect astronauts in the International Space Station and Space Shuttle. Our Satellites have lots of protection. Luckily we have a strong atmosphere protecting life on Earth, but there are ways as shown by NASA to do even better. One could use a dense material on the roof. Titanium or lead; one might also use water tanks which block out such solar radiation. For instance put swimming pool on your roof or build a water collection device for rain and leave it on the roof under a cover so it does not evaporate. You could use it to grow plants and it might help the nearby smog and air pollution issues.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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Untitled


While power grid reliability concerns are of paramount importance, the long duration of the storm and associated GICs in transformers on the network caused internal transformer heating to the point of failure. There were several noteworthy cases of transformer internal heating associated with the March 13, 1989 storm in the U.S. mid- Atlantic Region. In one case at the Salem Nuclear plant in southern New Jersey, the internal heating was so severe that complete failure of the transformer resulted...

However, just empirical evidence alone suggests that power grids in North America that were challenged to collapse for storms of 400 to 600 nT/min over a decade ago, are not likely to survive the plausible but rare disturbances of 2000 to 5000 nT/min that long-term observational evidence indicates have occurred before and therefore may be likely to occur again...

All mass transit systems shutdown as they depend on electricity for many of their functions. Traffic signal systems on most major streets and highways stopped and as a result most major thoroughfares became the equivalent of 8 lane parking lots in the early hours of the blackout. Only a few major power facilities are continuously manned, and since blackouts are possible at any hour, the odds are that 75 percent of the time the normal utility day crews are not on the job when these events occur. Attempting to recall workers that are trapped on the wrong side of these transportation snares is highly problematic...



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:13 PM
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Making Faraday Cages

This topic is primarily based on an EMP from a Nuke, but does briefly mention a Solar event.


The information to follow on building "Faraday cages" is timely indeed. A single atmospheric nuclear detonation releases enough electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to equal 100,000 volts per meter (V/m). A single detonation 200 to 400 miles over the center of the continental United States would fry every unprotected computer chip from coast to coast, and from the middle of Canada to the middle of Mexico. And we are now into Solar Cycle 23, with solar flares common and expected to continue until the first of next year. CME's are capable of extreme damage to modern computerized equipment! Sure, we have our windup BayGen radio's and spare lap top computers, but unless electronic equipment is protected from an electromagnetic pulse, they will be fried!



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:21 PM
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Albeit the last revision was in 2007:

Solar Storm Mitigation (pdf format)


On receiving from the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch a geomagnetic storm alert predicting at least a 40% probability of activity at levels of Kp 7, Kp 8 or Kp 9, or notification of significant GIC activity, system operators may evaluate the situation and consider the following actions where appropriate:

4.2.1 Discontinue maintenance work and restore out of service high voltage transmission lines to service. Avoid taking long lines out of service.

4.2.2 Maintain the system voltage within an acceptable operating range to protect against voltage swings.

4.2.3 Reduce the loading on interconnections, critical transmission facilities, and critical transmission interfaces to 90%, or less, of their agreed limits.

4.2.4 Reduce the loading on generators operating at full load to provide reserve power and reactive capacity.

4.2.5 Consider the impact of tripping large shunt capacitor banks and static VAR compensators.

4.2.6 Dispatch generation to manage system voltage, tie line loading and to distribute operating reserve.

4.2.7 Bring equipment capable of synchronous condenser operation on line to provide reactive power reserve.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:40 PM
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If the worst does happen and even half of the transformers blow in a large portion of our (or any) country Im afraid that the people saying we could be out of power for weeks(gasp!) or even months (GASP!) are not thinking clearly. It would be years . Theres just not that many spare transformers out there (most city's have one or two on hand im told) Good thread OP .



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