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How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth
WaPo ^ | July 23 at 3:48 pm | Jason Samenow

Posted on 07/24/2014 10:11:00 AM PDT by BenLurkin

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

...

Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

. . .

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.

CWG’s Steve Tracton put it this way in his frightening overview of the risks of a severe solar storm: “The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Science
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1 posted on 07/24/2014 10:11:00 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Kartographer

ping


2 posted on 07/24/2014 10:11:23 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Okay, and they still believe that “global warming” is man-made when the sun can put out coronal masses like this?

Mm-hm.


3 posted on 07/24/2014 10:16:05 AM PDT by Thorliveshere (Minnesota Survivor)
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To: BenLurkin

OK, so what does the professor suggest other than give him money to study the problem?

I don’t think I’ll wring my hands or worry too much about this.


4 posted on 07/24/2014 10:21:47 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: BenLurkin

Originally heard about this on Coast to Coast, it is deadly serious. If we had an event like what happened in the 1860’s it would seriously cripple us for many years.


5 posted on 07/24/2014 10:21:57 AM PDT by GraceG (No, My Initials are not A.B.)
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To: BenLurkin

The plain truth is that nobody knows how much or how little damage would be done. The scope of the effect is so broad and diffuse it is impossible to know which specific devices or components of the infrastructure would fail and which would not. This is the same problem as speculating about the effect of an EMP, even as the impact of a solar CME is distinctly different than that of an EMP. (primarily that a CME induces direct current in long wires and an EMP is a pulse with a very sharp rise time and induces a voltage spike that does the damage.)


6 posted on 07/24/2014 10:24:47 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Sequoyah101

There seems to be a common theme that revolves around disaster phenomena — interruption of water supply.

Stock up one gallon of water per person, per day — for however many days it will take for water service to be restored.

How many days is that? No way of knowing. Better to have water stored and not need it than to need water and not have it.


7 posted on 07/24/2014 10:29:00 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Someone need study the handcrafting of tools used prior to the industrial revolution. We will need those tools someday.


8 posted on 07/24/2014 10:33:26 AM PDT by rockinqsranch ((Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.))
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To: BenLurkin

But it didn’t.


9 posted on 07/24/2014 10:34:17 AM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: GraceG

A Carrington event today would kill 50-90% of the population within a year...


10 posted on 07/24/2014 10:36:35 AM PDT by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: GraceG

>> If we had an event like what happened in the 1860’s it would seriously cripple us for many years. <<

More than that. All of us who don’t raise our own food would probably starve to death within a few months.


11 posted on 07/24/2014 10:39:12 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: Sequoyah101
I don’t think I’ll wring my hands or worry too much about this.

Yup.

"We all are gonna die! Or Maybe not!" Whatever.

12 posted on 07/24/2014 10:39:39 AM PDT by wbill
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To: djf
A Carrington event today would kill 50-90% of the population within a year

18 to 30 year olds hardest hit. Most would die due to suicide.
13 posted on 07/24/2014 10:40:23 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: rockinqsranch

Most people think we’d go back to the 19th century. Horses, buggies, real letters instead of email, that sort of thing.

But no one knows how to build a loom anymore. No one knows how to farm without tractors. We are not prepared to process food near where it is raised. The railroads??? Fuel problems, maintenance, etc...

We wouldn’t go back to the 19th century.

We’d go back to the 6th century!


14 posted on 07/24/2014 10:40:58 AM PDT by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: BenLurkin

Here’s a Photo:

http://scostep.apps01.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/solar_sun_1653022c.jpg


15 posted on 07/24/2014 10:52:51 AM PDT by Vinylly (?%)
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To: appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

Preppers’ PING!!

Hat tip to BenLurkin for the heads-up!


16 posted on 07/24/2014 10:53:39 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: djf

What people need to realize is that evolution happens ... It’s a fact of life that supersedes religious dogma.


17 posted on 07/24/2014 10:56:27 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: djf

“No one knows how to farm without tractors.”

There does not exist a “reservoir” of horses, esp. those of the “draft” breeds; IATW, ditto in re tillage, seeding and harvesting machinery suitable for live horse power.
As a child/youth, I worked on a number of Minn./Wis. farms, powered exclusively by horses for routine field operations.


18 posted on 07/24/2014 10:57:19 AM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: BenLurkin

it’s like trying to hit a fly on the far side of the moon with a spit ball


19 posted on 07/24/2014 10:57:49 AM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: BenLurkin

I have been assured by a number of knowledgeable FReepers that there is no such thing as EMP or CME its all just a gimmick to raise money for studies.

One told me if there was such a thing as EMP because the lightening is the same thing and it doesn’t knock all the power out.


20 posted on 07/24/2014 10:58:02 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: djf

I’ll always remember this excerpt from Connections, this really brought it home..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKELMR6wACw


21 posted on 07/24/2014 10:59:02 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: BenLurkin
Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts
I believe I'm going to pick the winning lottery number which could lead to a life of luxury.

But I'm not planning on it.

22 posted on 07/24/2014 10:59:04 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: BenLurkin
According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina

That wouldn't even began to cover the cost of the destruction that would take place after the event.

23 posted on 07/24/2014 11:02:04 AM PDT by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: cripplecreek

The cities will burn themselves out very, very quickly. Unfortunately there’ll be no TV for the rest of us to watch it happen.


24 posted on 07/24/2014 11:02:25 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Elsiejay
Those darn Amish again.

Mules are feeling left out.


25 posted on 07/24/2014 11:06:27 AM PDT by Daffynition ("We Are Not Descended From Fearful Men")
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To: djf

You underestimate the amount of common knowledge exists out here.

I may not have all the knowledge to build a generator but I understand the principles better than most people living in 1900 and its actually what I consider to be common knowledge. At the same time I have a neighbor with serious real world experience in both mechanical and electrical engineering.

I’m not a pilot but I understand the basic principles of flight well enough to put the Wright brothers decades ahead of where they were.

I’m not a biologist but I know that evil spirits don’t cause disease.


26 posted on 07/24/2014 11:08:31 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: BenLurkin
No way of telling what a CME induced power spike would, in reality, do.

Lots of *load* (millions of devices) hanging on power lines, each one an eventual path to ground.

I would think that the spike induced in an unloaded power line compared to a loaded power line would be quite different in amplitude.

27 posted on 07/24/2014 11:09:01 AM PDT by The Cajun (Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert....Nuff said.)
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To: cripplecreek

I predict that the Millenials will turn into cold blooded murderers.


28 posted on 07/24/2014 11:26:24 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: GraceG

Originally heard about this on Coast to Coast, it is deadly serious. If we had an event like what happened in the 1860’s it would seriously cripple us for many years.


I heard that, too. Scary.


29 posted on 07/24/2014 11:31:09 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: BenLurkin

And have water purification equipment on hand. Time to buy a Big Berkey or similar.


30 posted on 07/24/2014 11:32:36 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: cripplecreek

Yep. Withdrawal would be tough on the texters, etc.


31 posted on 07/24/2014 11:32:59 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: theBuckwheat

I suggest an experiment: an EMP over, oh, say Gaza or perhaps Mosul, maybe Tehran. Let’s measure the effects and repeat as necessary to accumulate the necessary data. OK, forget Mosul; ISIS is already hard at work moving them back to the 6th century, they don’t need the help.

Of the following three things, which is more likely to occur within our lifetime: 1) Global Warming catastrophe, 2) CME strike on mother erf, 3) Nuclear Winter?

If you didn’t say 3, you’re not paying attention.


32 posted on 07/24/2014 11:34:43 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: Kartographer

From Sam Glasstone’s book:

https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/effects/eonw_11.pdf#zoom=100


33 posted on 07/24/2014 11:34:50 AM PDT by DBrow
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To: Kartographer

I have been assured by a number of knowledgeable FReepers that there is no such thing as EMP or CME its all just a gimmick to raise money for studies.

One told me if there was such a thing as EMP because the lightening is the same thing and it doesn’t knock all the power out.


They’re in some kind of stupid denial.

Thanks for all you do, Kartographer.


34 posted on 07/24/2014 11:35:21 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: BenLurkin

I predict that the Millenials will turn into cold blooded murderers.


Yep!

And I predict many Gun Grabbers will kiss up to Gun Owners.


35 posted on 07/24/2014 11:37:47 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: BenLurkin

More alarmist hogwash.


36 posted on 07/24/2014 11:41:56 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: cripplecreek

I know people talk a lot about the Fortschen book (One Second After), but there’s a really neat series of alt history/scifi novels that started with “1632” by Eric Flint that are worth the read.

The first book was done on a lark, plot was that a circa 1999 West Virginia coal mining town gets picked up and thrown back in time to Central Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. Basically Rednecks save the world by pitting modern firearms etc against arquebusses and pikes.

But the book really took off, and spurred a whole slew of follow ons that deal with the impact, and particularly the technological impact, of the knowlege and skills the West Virginians brought back with them.

The publisher (Baen) even has a dedicated tech section on their internet discussion site, with a LOT of not only STEM types, but also basement/garage hobbyists contributing ideas to ways that the knowledge available in a small modern day town could be applied to advance the technology environment of the mid-17th Century.

Really fascinating stuff, also very easy to lose hours and hours reading through.


37 posted on 07/24/2014 11:56:10 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: cripplecreek

“I’m not a biologist but I know that evil spirits don’t cause disease.”

There are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, and many others who believe evil spirits exist and can cause illnesses. Being a biologist or even a medical doctor does not preclude one from such a belief.

There are many Christian missionaries who are medical doctors and have extensive, first-hand experience with both natural illnesses and those with spiritual causes.

In the Bible, Jesus healed those who were sick from natural maladies as well as those afflicted with evil spirits. Some of these had physical manifestations which mimicked natural illnesses such as being crippled, deaf or mute.

The existence of these things does not depend on anyone’s belief in them.


38 posted on 07/24/2014 12:05:46 PM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: tanknetter

The Kindle version is free at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/1632-Ring-Fire-Eric-Flint-ebook/dp/B00BEQLQNE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=


39 posted on 07/24/2014 12:11:48 PM PDT by ansel12 (LEGAL immigrants, 30 million 1980-2012, continues to remake the nation's electorate for democrats)
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To: BenLurkin
Oh, please - EVERYONE KNOWS that only man can cause global or climate disruptions on this scale.

The Sun has nothing to do with anything...

40 posted on 07/24/2014 12:23:48 PM PDT by kiryandil (making the jests that some FReepers aren't allowed to...)
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To: BenLurkin

Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. A miss is as good as a mile.


41 posted on 07/24/2014 12:25:07 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Elsiejay
There does not exist a “reservoir” of horses

Sure there are. And I know where to find a whole bunch of them right close to me. There are a number of areas here in the west that still have wild horses running free. We have a pretty decent # of them (100+) right up the road from where I live, about 20 miles from me, in a local wilderness area.

There are other areas as well. The BLM thins the herds every couple of years. Left unchecked, the populations would actually grow pretty fast, as there is plenty of food for them where they roam. Allegedly, the wild horse population here where I am is descended from the local natives who let their horses loose after losing battles, being pushed out of their territory, etc.

42 posted on 07/24/2014 12:29:41 PM PDT by dware (3 prohibited topics in mixed company: politics, religion and operating systems...)
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To: laplata

I think the best thing we could do it break up our power grid in to much smaller pieces. It wouldn’t prevent them from going down but it would be much easier getting things back up and running.


43 posted on 07/24/2014 12:32:13 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: tanknetter
One additional note you forgot;

Baen Books has a free library where one can download 1632 in any e-Book format for FREE. Dozens, nay hundreds, of other titles are also available for zilch.

44 posted on 07/24/2014 1:11:46 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Can anyone tell me who the head of the Muslim peace movement is?)
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To: BenLurkin
Stock up one gallon of water per person, per day — for however many days it will take for water service to be restored.

And if you have a town sewer service, call a plumber soon and get a backflow prevention valve installed asap. If power goes out, no one on the line can flush. And where do you suppose all the effluent that WAS headed for the sewage treatment facility will be headed? Into your bathroom, shower, bathtub, kitchen sink an toilet. Not a good scenario for starting out on your quest to survive a SHTF situation.

45 posted on 07/24/2014 1:15:57 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Can anyone tell me who the head of the Muslim peace movement is?)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Well, I can’t cover everything in one post, y’know?

;-)

Anyway, the best tech development story in the 1632 series, IMHO, is how they came up with a working alternator for downtime manufactured radios ...


46 posted on 07/24/2014 1:24:13 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

I started it last Summer but put it down for some unknown reason. I’ll have to get back in to it.


47 posted on 07/24/2014 1:32:26 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Can anyone tell me who the head of the Muslim peace movement is?)
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To: tanknetter

Thanks for the review Tank, I will look this series up.


48 posted on 07/24/2014 2:06:08 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: laplata

Lightning is similar but not the same in critical ways, the primary one being the frequency spectrum. Lightning is something like 100 KHz to 1 MHz, while EMP is something like 100 MHz. This means that shorter wires can act as antennas and that voltage can be induced inside shield with smaller holes.

One example that use is that we have thousands of broadcast, 2-way and cell towers in the US. A few get direct lightning strikes each day. Some have equipment failure as a result. A lot do not.


49 posted on 07/24/2014 2:20:02 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: cripplecreek
Ain't that the truth. I was looking at a group of hipsters/hippies earlier today in downtown Boise. While they probably have admirable gardening skills, I doubt very seriously they'd survive the first wave of civil unrest...they'd either shrivel up and turn to dust, or be killed outright, standing slack jawed and stupid while the world turned to shi'ite around them.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

50 posted on 07/24/2014 2:22:47 PM PDT by wku man (Veterans, it's up to us to save the Republic...let's roll.)
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