A Solar CrisisAn unprecedented scale of massive solar storms wreaking havoc on Earth
“the more advanced the community is, the more vulnerable it is to the effects of outer space” Pieter Kotze, geophysicist
What is a solar storm? A solar storm is the colloquial term of the result of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the Sun. These are massive discharges of electromagnetic radiation and high-energy particles.
What are the possible consequences of a solar storm? CMEs are able to blow out the giant transformers of power grids, causing electrical outages to industrial, commercial and residential infrastructures. As replacing such transformers can require a lengthy time, problems like crashing of stock market and rising crime rate can arise. The solar radiation storm in March 1989 blew out the Hydro-Quebec power grid, blacking out the households of 6 million Canadians.
What are the possible consequences of a solar storm? Low Earth orbit satellites can be short-circuited and have their lifespan decreased by a factor of ten, according to study leader Yuri Shprits, a geophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can also be disrupted. According NASA, a powerful X-class solar flare erupted on the sun on Dec 2006 and disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and GPS navigation signals for about 10 minutes. These can cause dire effects on telecommunications and navigation which can cripple many transportation systems that we rely heavily on in our daily lives .
What are the possible consequences of a solar storm? In extreme cases, high levels of electromagnetic radiation can cause electronics devices which can be found in every façade of our modern society to fail. Prolonged exposure to high levels of electromagnetic radiation can also lead to a range of health issues such as cancer in the long run.
Possible responses for a solar storm disasterBetter forecasting and space weather predictions should be the focus to bringabout earlier warnings for governments to disseminate information to aid thepossible affected stakeholders to take measure to minimize the impact of solarstorms.Power companies can raise the transformers trip level to decrease thevulnerability to solar disruptions or take them offline before the solar stormhits.Due to cost efficiency and feasibility of upgrading existing satellites, variousstakeholders can improve on the design mitigation strategies for futuresatellites.At individual level, people can work out a solar storm preparedness plan thatincludes an emergency meeting area for the family, how they can prepare anadequate supply of food and water to last them through the disaster.
Thank you for your attention Ethan Chung Erpei firstname.lastname@example.org