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The Next Big Geomagnetic Storm Poses An Astronomical Risk To Modern Man

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.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sounding The Alarm On The Country’s Vulnerability To An EMP

Sounding The Alarm On The Country’s Vulnerability To An EMP

Establishment insiders are worried we’re too vulnerable

In the past here at Peak Prosperity, we’ve written extensively on the threat posed by a sustained loss of electrical grid power. More specifically, we’ve warned that the most damaging threat to our grid would come from either a manmade or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

A good friend of mine, Jen Bawden, is currently sitting on a committee of notable political, security and defense experts  — which includes past and present members of Congress, ambassadors, CIA directors, and others — who are equally concerned about this same threat and have recently sent a letter to Obama pleading for action to protect the US grid.

Before we get to that letter, here’s a snippet from what we wrote on the matter roughly a year ago:

We talk a lot about Peak Cheap Oil as the Achilles’ heel of the exponential monetary model, but the real threat to the quality of our daily lives, if not our lives themselves, would be a sustained loss of electrical power. Anything over a week without power for any modern nation would be a serious problem.  A month would lead to chaos and many deaths.

When the power goes out, everything just stops. For residential users, even a few hours begins to intrude heavily as melting freezers, dying cell phones, and the awkward realization that we don’t remember how to play board games nudge us out of our comfort zone.

However, those are just small inconveniences.

For industrial and other heavy users, the impact of even a relatively short outage can be expensive or even ghastly. Hospitals and people on life-assisting machinery are especially vulnerable. Without power, aluminum smelters face the prospect of the molten ore solidifying in the channels from which it must be laboriously removed before operations can be restarted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

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