Scientists are concerned about the next significant “space weather” event, which begins at the sun in the center of the solar system. Severe space weather occurs less frequently than traditional weather on Earth but can be more destructive in nature.
The sun is now headed towards a solar minimum, forecasted to arrive in 2019 as the Sun changes over from Solar Cycle 24 to Solar Cycle 25. The Sun goes through 11-year cycles, during which solar activity increases and decreases….
Tracking sunspot activity dates back to the start of the first solar cycle in 1755. Today, simple sketching and counting of sunspot numbers have given way to land-based and space-based technologies that continuously monitor the Sun.
Scientists have discovered that intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares generally subside during a solar minimum. Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said during a solar minimum, that does not mean the sun becomes dull.
He said solar activity simply changes.
For instance, Pesnell warned, “during a solar minimum, we can see the development of long-lived coronal holes.”
Coronal holes are large regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles known as coronal mass ejection (CME) to escape the sun as fast solar wind….
If the coronal hole is Earth-facing, then electrically charged particles from the Sun slam into Earth’s magnetic field and cause intense electromagnetic storms around the planet. The impact of these particles on the electronic infrastructure underlying modern industrial civilization can be devastating, said the Financial Times.
CMEs disrupt GPS, satellites, and astronauts currently in space. Even airline crew and passengers get a markedly higher dose of radiation during solar storms, especially during polar-crossing, trans-oceanic flights.
And a repeat of the most significant solar storm on record, the 1859 Carrington Super-flare, would cost trillions of dollars in damage as power grids, communication networks, and electronic equipment worldwide would be knocked out….
A recent space weather event in late April 2017, allegedly knocked out power grids across the entire country in one simultaneous fashion. San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles were the three main areas affected. Each region experienced challenges or shutdowns in basic infrastructure such as communication networks and mass transportation….
Scientists tell the Financial Times that satellites can monitor potentially troublesome activity on the sun days ahead of a possible eruption, forecasting the path and effects of an actual CME, well, that is very difficult. If the CME is Earth-facing it takes about 24-hours to arrive, so when the next big solar flare comes racing towards Earth, government officials do not have enough time to prepare the nation or even the world for impact — it would be devastating.
According to Prof Horne, the most notable satellite for short-term space weather forecasting today is the US Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, launched into low-Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2015. From this tactical position about 1m miles from Earth, DSCOVR provides an early warning of about one hour before impact.
In late 2016, the Obama administration quietly passed an executive order titled “Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events,” which prepares the fragile nation for economic collapse from a space weather event. The mainstream media, for a good reason, were not allowed to cover the passage of this executive order because it would cause too much panic among the American people. When the next significant solar event strikes, most will not be prepared — not even government.
Oh well, it’s not like they can actually DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. You know, like install surge protectors or something.
Given the current state of U.S. unpreparedness for an EMP event, it is estimated that within 12 months of an EMP event, two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would likely perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown….
The Congressional EMP Commission, since disbanded, spent eight years developing a plan to protect all infrastructures from EMP – a plan that would also mitigate threats from cyber-attack, sabotage, and natural disasters that could be implemented in 3-5 years at a cost of $10-20 billion.
The Congressional EMP Commission estimated in 2008 it would cost $2 billion to harden the grid’s critical nodes (i.e., roughly 2,000 large and medium-sized transformers and their associated SCADA systems, etc.). Modest when compared with the unimaginably high costs associated with trying to remediate after an EMP event. Yet, it has been an excuse for inaction.
The above TV documentary from National Geographic is based on Dr. Peter Pry’s book entitled Electric Armageddon: Civil-Military Preparedness for an Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe (2013). Dr. Pry serves as one of our experts at the Secure the Grid Coalition.
This country can’t even manufacture large power transformers any more. They’re custom manufactured and imported from china and take months to build, but if we have another carrington event, china will probably have a backlog of orders already. And in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not on the best of terms.
DSCOVR would give us an hour to prepare. Do we seriously not even have the ability to disconnect at least the large substations and power plants from the grid by remote control in that amount of time? According to this article we do: https://www.wired.com/story/hackers-gain-switch-flipping-access-to-us-power-systems/ Or maybe it’s only russian hackers who can do it.
Shall we outsource our national security to moscow? We might be better off.
Nothing to see here.