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Nasa warns solar flares from 'huge space storm' will cause devastation

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posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 08:29 AM
Nasa warns solar flares from 'huge space storm' will cause devastation


National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years.
Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

This seems suspiciously close to the December 2012.
Are they actually gonna reveal a bit of the truth before it's too late?

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 08:39 AM
If this stuff worries you at all, read the book "One Second After". It provides some real world scenarios of this event, and gives some great ideas on how to prepare.

As for 2012, who knows. I'd say there is just as much chance that nothing happens as there is that something happens. If we all croak in the blink of an eye, whatever. Live with no regrets.

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 10:01 AM
If the two cycles that are coming together at the same time are in 22 and 11 year intervals, then that mean this has happened in 1991, in 1969, and so on..., in 22 year intervals (that is, if the info about the 22 and 11 year cycles in this story is accurate). They didn't give me enough information that explains why the solar storms in 2013 will be "unprecedented".

I realize that the effects of the storms may be greater than normal, because we are more reliant on computers and satellite communication than we were in 1969...However, we are not that different than we were in 1991. Our electrical grid is not that much different than it was in 1991. In fact, we have learned a lot about CMEs ("Coronal Mass Ejections" -- a type of solar storm) in the past few decades and have been doing some revisions to the electrical grid to guard against some solar storms -- so I would say the electrical grid is at least a bit more ready than it was 22 years ago.

...and, needless to say, we are still alive even though this supposedly happens every 22 years.

I'm not minimizing the potential danger to our communications and power grids. I realize that it is true that we must protect the world's power grids and our satellites, but I don't see the evidence that 2013 will definitely be different or the evidence that it will be a doomsday scenario.

If in 1991 and 1969 we did NOT have storms of the magnitude they are expecting in 2013, then why not? Perhaps I misunderstood the article, but like I said, it sounds as if this should happen every 22 years.

[edit on 6/15/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 11:36 AM
reply to post by Mason mike

Thanks for the pointer to 'One Second After'. Will definitely be reading that at some point.

General comment: EMPs are certainly a worry, but the key to life is to concentrate on what we can achieve TODAY.

'Let tomorrow worry about itself...'
(Jesus Christ, c. 30 AD - paraphrased, attributed)

That's not to say ignorance is bliss - be informed, but don't be anxious.


posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 11:48 AM
Seems to have affected your computer already.
A thread on this was started days ago.

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 01:48 PM
reply to post by Pumcy

You know, when I read the story on NASA's site, I get a totally different take on their prediction:

May 29, 2009: An international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle. Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.

"If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

OK that doesn't exactly seem to match the linked story outside of NASA.

It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression. "Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," points out Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013."

Well having another storm like the one in 1859 is a possibility on every single solar cycle, including the coming one. So yes that could happen again and probably will, but we don't know it will happen on the next cycle, and in fact we've had a lot of cycles since 1859 where it DIDN'T happen.

The 1859 storm--known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare--electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only" $80 to 125 billion in damage.

When we do get another 1859-type storm, it will indeed be devastating. But one thing that becomes clear from reading NASA's site is we're not good at making solar forecasts yet:

The latest forecast revises an earlier prediction issued in 2007. At that time, a sharply divided panel believed solar minimum would come in March 2008 followed by either a strong solar maximum in 2011 or a weak solar maximum in 2012. Competing models gave different answers, and researchers were eager for the sun to reveal which was correct.

"It turns out that none of our models were totally correct," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's lead representative on the panel. "The sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way."

So after just admitting none of the models were correct and they can't make good predictions all of the sudden we should believe the next prediction? I think it's safe to say they would admit they probably still have a lot to learn to make accurate predictions, if that's even possible.

In the 17th century the sun plunged into a 70-year period of spotlessness known as the Maunder Minimum that still baffles scientists.

I don't think even their latest model accounts for that. So I take the predictions with a grain of salt.

"In our professional careers, we've never seen anything quite like it," says Pesnell. "Solar minimum has lasted far beyond the date we predicted in 2007."

OK you totally missed the last prediction but want us to believe the next one? I think the graph says it all, there's some degree of predictability, and some degree of unpredictability. That's a fact.

Meanwhile, the sun pays little heed to human committees. There could be more surprises, panelists acknowledge, and more revisions to the forecast.

"Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013," says Pesnell. "But use a pencil."

OK the truth is finally revealed!!!! Mark your calendars with a pencil! It helps to read all the way to the end. I get the feeling some people don't get that far.

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 06:01 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Exactly, Arbitrageur.

The article linked in the OP didn't give us any back-up for the claims of unprecedented solar storms except for Dr. Fisher's "because I say so".

I understand about the solar cycles. I understand that two different cycles may be peaking at the same time in 2013, but what I don't understand is why he expects the solar storms to be unprecedented.

it would have been useful for the writer of the "Telegraph" article provided some of the data (or links to the data) Dr. Fisher used to back up his claims.

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 06:33 PM
The more I read about what The Heliophysics Division at NASA and Dr. Richard Fisher REALLY say (not what the Telegraph article said he said), it seems to me that the article may have been a bit sensationalistic.

Sure, there is a threat that solar flares can disrupt communications and the power grid and a huge solar storm can basically kill satellites and cause wide-spread global power failures -- and it is true that we are approaching what may be a very active period of solar output...

...HOWEVER, nowhere in the data I'm reading does it say that the Heliophysics Division at NASA is predicting that we WILL have unprecedented solar storms, as the article seems to imply.

I suppose the article has a few "coulds" thrown about, so it isn't totally inaccurate, but the way it is written is a little misleading -- and none of it is actually "news". It is common knowledge among scientist what a solar flare or CME can do.

So, the bottom line is that scientists are saying that this peaking of two cycles that happens every 22 years has the potential to cause widespread damage to power and communications and it may be inevitable that someday there will be a massively damaging solar storm -- but there is no prediction from these scientists that it WILL happen in 2013.

[edit on 6/15/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

The "22 year" Hale cycle is really the same as the "11 year" cycle. It is the period over which the Sun returns to its previous magnetic polarity. There is no "peaking" of the Hale cycle and it always coincides with solar maximum because the Sun's polarity reverses at solar maximum. During the last solar maximum (in 2000) the polarity matched the polarity of the 1979 maximum. During the next maximum (2013?) it will match the polarity of the 1989 cycle.

While it is true that the likelihood of geomagnetic storms is highest around solar maximum, they can occur at any time. Even at solar minimum. Here is a chart showing the occurrence of storms of Kp>=8 as compared to the solar activity cycle.

We have experienced strong geomagnetic storms near solar minimum before, and we will again. Actually, based on historical data, it is in the period after the peak that we see the most action.

While scientists do think they are able to do a reasonable prediction as to the number of sunspots which will occur, our understanding of how the Sun works is not sufficient to predict the intensity of any CMEs which may result.

[edit on 6/15/2010 by Phage]

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