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Get Ready for a 'Global Katrina': Biggest Ever Solar Storm Could Cause Power Cuts Which Last for MONTHS

Science & Tech  (tags: world, solar storm, power cuts, global Katrina, disaster )

- 2647 days ago -
The world is overdue a ferocious 'space storm' that could knock out communications satellites, ground aircraft and trigger blackouts - causing hundreds of billions of pounds of damage, scientists say.Astronomers today warned that mankind is now more......

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Kaye S (45)
Monday February 21, 2011, 9:35 pm

Patricia G (34)
Monday February 21, 2011, 9:40 pm
And so it begins - smile, you decided to live at this time. Just make sure you stock up on water and packaged food.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Monday February 21, 2011, 10:29 pm
The recent X2.2 solar flare did hit the Earth, but it was a glancing blow and not a direct hit and that is why it pasted rather quickly and only caused minor radio disruption and blackouts, the worst of which were in China. The odds are in our favor. Even if there is a big 'X' class flare on the Earth facing side of the Sun it doesn't mean that Corona Mass Ejection (CME) is headed for Earth. A CME in the northern or southern hemisphere of the Sun will most likely be ejected away from the Sun on a path that will send it above or below the Earth and probably will only give the Earth a glancing blow like the X2.2 on Feb 15 that took 2 days to reach Earth. If the flare is on either the east or west side of the face of the Sun the flare will also be directed either left or right of Earth.

The Plasma associated with that flare was Electron charged. If the Plasma had been Proton charged the effect would have been worse even though it only gave Earth a glancing blow. Proton flares cause a lot more problems and the higher the level of energy associated with a Proton charged flare the greater the damage to electrical system.

Like the article says our biggest worry is because the world is much more dependent on electronics today than it was during the last solar peak. I don't want to cause alarm, but things could be a lot worse than what they are letting on. A large 'X' class high energy Proton flare that makes a direct hit on Earth can knock out all kinds of electrical system. Not only will it knock out satellites, computer networks, cell phone towers and electrical power grids, but it will fry electrical systems in aircraft and ships. You think the BP disaster in the Gulf was bad? Multiply that by the total number of off shore rigs in the world. Those emergency shut-off valves are electrically operated.

They also under estimate how long it would take to recover from the effects of a big flare like that. To give you an idea of the massive repair job that will be needed, count the electrical transformers in your neighborhood; now multiply that by all of the neighborhoods in just the US. Most if not all of those will have to be replaced. It will take years to manufacture enough to replace all that will be destroyed, not weeks, not months, YEARS. There are not that many manufacturers of those transformers; maybe 20 or 30 in the entire world and the entire world will need new transformers as much as we do.

Thankfully, the odds of such a big 'X' class flare are low and the odds of one being directed directly at Earth are even lower.

Arild Gone for now (174)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 3:31 am
Thanks Anna.

Carol H (229)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 4:18 am
thanks Anna, noted

Tommy Dahlgren (2)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 5:01 am
Noted, thanks!

Cheryl B (64)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 5:05 am

JM W (35)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 5:19 am
noted thanks for information

Vikram Chhabra (394)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 7:40 am
I have heard about this before. Quite scary..

Colin Hope (243)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 7:50 am
Noted, thanks!!

Krasimira B (175)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 8:31 am
Scary... Noted with thanks.

Ian Donelson (149)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 9:20 am
Nothing to worry about until next year. Don't be afraid its all natural.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 9:37 am
Doomsday again!

Dotti L (85)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 9:55 am
Noted and yes it is very scary.

Ann L (15)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 11:14 am
Thanks for the post Anna. Thanks Ralph R. S. for the more accurate info. Not sure what scientists could do?
An early warning system would do what? We are so dependent on electricity, I beleive there is little they can do.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 12:01 pm
There is an early warning system, but the problem is the difference in time from when we know there is a threat and when that threat will hit. Depending on the speed of the CME it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 days.

What can be done to reduce the amount of damage is to turn off electrical systems before the Plasma storm arrives. That will help to prevent most electronics from overloading, but it won't protect everything. That would mean turning off all the satellites, power plants, and unplugging all electronics. That is a lot of switches that need to be turned off in 24 to 72 hours and they would have to remain off for the duration of the storm which could be up to another three days.

There are a lot of systems that cannot operate for that length of time; like hospitals and emergency services. Turning the power off for up to 6 days would cause untold economic damage to the world as well as shortages of food and medical supplies.

Like I said earlier, the likely hood of the Earth being hit by one of these massive CME's is very low, maybe along the same threat level as a really big meteor impact. Don't waste your time worrying about something that we can't do anything about; just enjoy the light shows when they happen.

Roger G (154)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 1:02 pm
thanks !

Tracy G (3)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 2:57 pm
noted, thx!

James h (7)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 2:59 pm
i'll hold my breath.

Mary L (132)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 3:18 pm
Hurray! Gotta love it. Thanks Mr. Sutton, I appreciated your information.

Tysu Jung (2)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 3:22 pm
Thank you for the information.

Eternal Gardener (745)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 4:40 pm
Better hurry with finishing off my cob oven and installing solar lights. First pumpkin crop (90!) is in!

Dee C (9)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 4:54 pm
Wow, thank you! Interesting in a cautionary way.

Jason T (8)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 6:34 pm
Well that would be interesting, but I doubt something like that will happen anytime soon.

Michelle W (9)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 7:12 pm
Listen to 'Coast to Coast AM' on your radio. This is one of many topics discussed. Check their website at I can listen to it on my radio at AM640 or online at and listen live 1AM to 5AM or a rebroadcast 9PM to 1AM, if there's no Hockey game. Enjoy . . .

Jhn Wzt (3)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 8:02 pm
. noted thanks

Kathlene Lentz (30)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 9:13 pm
Thanks for the warning, guys. Now, what are we supposed to do with this information? Duck and cover? Build a giant plastic bubble over our own little corner of the planet? It seems to me that if or when this happens, we are just going to have to deal with it, because no one can control the weather, even on earth. Controlling what happens in outer space is way beyond our capabilities.

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 10:20 pm
Thanks noted please do not scare people GOD has created to protect it's creation from such Solar storm which i am sure is not happening for the first

JustaHuman Here (53)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 11:43 pm
OK! Don't forget to be afraid.

Tim C (2420)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 11:44 pm
how prepare?

Ioana B (132)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 12:01 am

Eugene C (3)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 12:48 am
Fascinating, how fragile we are, and we think we can control nature...time we started to work with the forces of nature rather than against them. Nature has so much to teach us and we seem to always think we know better! Funny that.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 2:39 am
Interesting. People who have really old fashioned cars without any computers would still be able to drive I suppose.

. (0)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 3:50 am
Thank you Anna; noted.

KS Goh (0)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 5:26 am
Thanks for the article.

Süheyla C (234)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 5:29 am

Wednesday February 23, 2011, 7:55 am
Our cable tv company runs a little blurb informing us that solar flares will intermittently interrupt our reception at this time of the year. It's a regular occurrence...just a bit worse some years than others.

Bonnie A (76)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 9:01 am
Thanks! Now I'm more glad than ever that I do not depend on electronics. But if it hits I'll be off care 2 for awhile--unless my wind and solar will keep me safe from the effects.

Nicholas Thibeault (2)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 10:49 am
This is just plain disinformation. The solar blast would have to be many times its predicted strength in order to disrupt power on the surface of the earth. Yes, it may disrupt satellite/GPS service but it will NOT disrupt power supplu on earth.

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 3:15 pm
I agree, Nicholas, but the fact is that large flares have caused disruption of power on the ground. A really huge flare could cause more wide spread power outages as well as damage to electrical systems. In 1973 Canada suffered a power outage that was caused by a much larger 'X' class flare than the X2.2. There was also an outage in 1965 that some scientists believe was caused by a large 'X' class flare.

linda b (186)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 4:36 pm
Noted thanks Anna

Walter Firth (45)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 5:23 pm
Noted I can wait with bated breath.If Armageddon is coming.I wouldn't want to miss for anything.I will be a one in a lifetime event.

David C (131)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 5:55 pm
maybe people will getg back to spending quality time together and not disconnected by our technology...

Shirley S (187)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 7:43 pm
I will take Ralph Sutton's advice & NOT worry about this threat.

Ajay P. (101)
Wednesday February 23, 2011, 9:14 pm

Lynne Buckley (0)
Thursday February 24, 2011, 5:07 am
Thanks for the article. I'm cynical on this. If it happens, it happens. I'm not worrying about it.
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