Skip to comments.Could a ‘Solar Maximum’ event spark food riots and meltdowns? (One respected scientist says ‘yes!’)
Posted on 11/25/2012 10:18:27 PM PST by cruise_missile
If Earth is struck by a large solar flare, some in the scientific community believe:
The planet will be hit with a widespread loss of power. Air travel would be grounded. Nuclear plants would be crippled and without sufficient back-up power, dozens could meltdown. Satellites would be disabled, causing a serious loss of communication in all areas (military and civilian). Food and medicine would be in short supply, setting up the potential for food riots within days of an outage.
The same scientists who believe that a large solar strike could lead to a very rapid societal breakdown say that steps to avoid the problem are available and at a relatively low cost to all of us. What is a relatively low cost? They estimate the amount of money needed to insulate the power grid (and ourselves) from trouble to be less than one dollar per American. But Congress said no to their proposal.
Is there really cause for concern?
Over the next fourteen months Earth will be on high alert for a huge burst of electromagnetic energy from the sun. This powerful pulse is known as a Solar Maximum an event that could cause catastrophic damage to power grids and communications systems. The peak time for the next big flare is sometime between now and the end of 2013. This possibility has scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on alert. Tom Bogdan, the director of NOAAs Space Weather Prediction Center, is monitoring the situation as closely as possible.
I predict December 21.
Well if Chuck Schumer can trigger a series of bank failures with one comment to the press, so I don’t see why not.
If it is another Carrington type event, we have a lot more electrical wire capture area today compared to 1859. Losing electrical power will be the long term bad news. The immediate impact may be buildings igniting as the wiring catches fire. The telegraph offices caught fire in 1859. Imagine fires and no water pressure to put them out in places where water pressure is derived from electric pumps.
If you run west, time slows down. But eventually catches up.
What kind of science or “science”? At first blush if I had to ask scientists at all, I’d ask sociologists to address that question.
Was there anyone with enough electrical awareness during that event to try to get induced voltage readings off of the lines? These were battery powered, and not constructed to withstand electrical potentials much higher than the batteries’. Modern wiring and insulation practices would survive better, although current surges in unshielded lines could well pop breakers.
It happened before and could easily happen again which is another reason why some people with the means have been building underground shelters in order to protect themselves from the potent radiation. As the story goes Bill Gates is to be one of them. For a more detailed explanation you may want to go to the suggested web-sites.
Geryl has been very accurate of late.
Is there some kind of physics explanation by which we would expect a certain “planetary line up” to induce the sun to shoot flares Earth’s way? Without that it sounds too much like astrology.
Everything I’ve been reading and hearing indicates a planetary line up has nothing to do with it. The sun has a natural cycle. It goes from a long period of relative quiet to one of increasing solar flare activity ending with a climax of a high frequency of sunspot/solar flare activity called the solar maximum. The sun acts like a shot gun and these flares usually blast out into nothingness but, occasionally, the earth will take a direct hit. Last “near” direct hit was in something like 1979 which hit Canada, taking down the grid around Toronto. It really isn’t a question of “if” the earth will take another direct hit, its a question of when. But.......that doesn’t mean we’ll get hit during the time of this solar maximum; could happen next cycle. Its all quite random.
Yes, I believe that’s the general understanding. Any influence of planets upon the sun, as by tidal forces, is way weaker than whatever mighty internal oscillation makes the sun break out in spots every 11 years or so, and can’t “steer” the spots or the manner or direction in which they generate flares.
Things could get interesting but I still doubt that flares could induce potentials high enough to overcome the insulation on most high tension lines. They are more likely to pop breakers with current surges and do no permanent harm.
Well, I’m certainly no electrician and I’m unclear what you mean about high tension lines. When I look at the high power transmission lines in my area, they appear bare, i.e., silvery. My friends talk about the need to “shield” electronic devices by encasing them in something like a metal shipping container situated on rubber feet so the container isn’t grounded. Its my understanding that the newest Navy ships are similarly sheilded but thats because they’re designed to survive an EMP pulse that would precede a nuke blast.
“Tension” and voltage are equivalent terms, with voltage more quantitative and tension more qualitative in connotation. Electricity as delivered by the utility to your house is not distributed at the same voltage level at which it will ultimately arrive. It goes out at levels of tens or hundreds of thousands of volts for cross-country distribution, which is stepped down to a few thousand volts for neighborhood distribution, then to a few hundred volts for buildings.
Certainly, good shielding practices can harden systems to flare-induced electrical surges. The shield gets the surge, but whatever is within the shield does not.
Go to post number 10 and look up the suggested websites.
this ole high tech red neck got a college edumacation in electrickeral injuneering. ya can’t pull a swift one on him.
I am also getting the impression this Christmas for lack of a better word will be “different” globally.
Just a small observation in the last two days the 3G network has been very sporadic here in Alaska, cell outages lasting from less than an hour are happening all through the last couple of days. And there has been no news released as per why by anyone, I have tried several cell phones and they too are also out when mine is so its not just one carrier.
And my Dish Network satellite movie downloads are breaking up and I use a 2 meter dish from yesr before while a pizza pan sized one is sold nowadays. Something is happening.