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CNN Meteoroligist Chad Myers Explains What Will Happen When Sun Awakens

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posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 01:03 AM
reply to post by kyle43

The level of risk is no different from the prior solar cycle. Our sensitivity to the risk may be a bit greater but not much.

We are more dependent on satellites that we were a decade ago, specifically in regard to the GPS birds. But satellites are well shielded against solar events. At worst, temporary disruptions of communications and less accurate GPS fixes can be expected. We've had some major events, the satellites survived just fine (there have been a few rare cases of damage). Airplanes won't fall out of the sky, they have other navigation systems.

The only threat to systems on the Earth's surface are those which utilize long conductors. Power grids in particular. Are we more dependent on electricity now than we were a decade ago? Probably not. We would have been in bad shape then if a major geomagnetic storm had occurred.

posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 02:03 AM
I remember hearing about this in my first year geological hazards course:

On March 13, 1989 a severe geomagnetic storm caused the collapse of the Hydro-Qu├ębec power grid in a matter of seconds as equipment protection relays tripped in a cascading sequence of events. Six million people were left without power for nine hours, with significant economic loss. The storm even caused auroras as far south as Texas. The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a coronal mass ejection, ejected from the Sun on March 9, 1989.In August 1989, another storm affected microchips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market.

Since 1989, power companies in North America, the UK, Northern Europe and elsewhere evaluated the risks of geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) and developed mitigation strategies.

Since 1995, geomagnetic storms and solar flares have been monitored from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) joint-NASA-European Space Agency satellite.

On February 26, 2008 the magnetic fields erupted inside the magnetotail, releasing about 1015 Joules of energy. The blast launched two gigantic clouds of protons and electrons, one toward Earth and one away from Earth. The Earth-directed cloud crashed into the planet below, sparking vivid auroras in Canada and Alaska.



Yeah, it's Wikipedia, but it's not bad for an introduction...I can track down some academic articles if you'd like, but you might not have access to the same library system, so then I could only post the reference.

Anyway, how many people remember the 1989 storm and its effects and can truly say they were adversely affected?
....and, since then there has been more 'shielding' applied to the sensitive systems; not to say they are fully shielded, but we've survived these before and seeing as we're a resilient species we will survive them again.

Edit: removed a rogue 'v'

[edit on 2-9-2010 by aorAki]

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