Home > Cosmic Craziness > NASA Scientists: Solar Storms Beginning 2012 Could Be Unprecedented, Create an ‘Avalanche of Blackouts Carried Across Continents’

NASA Scientists: Solar Storms Beginning 2012 Could Be Unprecedented, Create an ‘Avalanche of Blackouts Carried Across Continents’

“NASA officials said Wednesday that Earth is likely to face a barrage of increasingly common solar storms over the course of 2012 and 2013.

The solar storm, which is technically known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), is a massive eruption of solar plasma into space. The storm is expected spark major and moderate geomagnetic storms at high latitudes on Wednesday and Thursday, said officials on Wednesday.

The storm could interrupt cell phone use in a number of countries, however, it remains unclear what effect the solar storm will have on everyday life. Experts says the storm is likely to cause temporary radio blackouts in some areas. Scientists at NASA and NOAA say they have provided warnings to electric companies, spacecraft operators, and airline pilots before a CME comes to Earth so that these groups can take proper precautions.

An avalanche of blackouts carried across continents by long-distance power lines could last for weeks to months as engineers struggle to repair damaged transformers, NASA officials say. Planes and ships could face problems with GPS, and banking and financial networks might go offline.

The Sun often ejects billions of tons of hot plasma, at speeds up to 5 million miles per hour, bathing the solar system in large doses of radiation. Scientists say they upcoming solar storm is just one of many upcoming flares that are part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which runs in 11-year cycles. The latest storm is expected to peak around 2013, say experts.

That said, the storm is likely to put on quite a show for stargazers. Officials at NASA said the solar storm would produce some unprecedented auroras, noting that astronomers should be on the look out.” Read more.

Flashback: Experts Call Attention to Possible Solar Katrina – “Picture the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Now imagine that simultaneously hitting 100 American cities. That’s the threat severe solar weather poses to the United States, according to Dr. Richard Andres, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU) Andres joined a diverse mix of scientists, engineers, and politicians on Capitol Hill on Thursday to warn the public that the United States is woefully unprepared for the possibility that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) triggered by a solar storm could knock down the national electrical grid with potentially catastrophic cascading effects.” Read more.

Flashback: Solar flare could unleash nuclear holocaust across planet Earth, forcing hundreds of nuclear power plants into total meltdowns – “Forget about the 2012 Mayan calendar, comet Elenin or the Rapture. The real threat to human civilization is far more mundane, and it’s right in front of our noses. If Fukushima has taught us anything, it’s that just one runaway meltdown of fissionable nuclear material can have wide-ranging and potentially devastating consequences for life on Earth. To date, Fukushima has already released 168 times the total radiation released from the Hiroshima nuclear bomb detonated in 1945 … What if a global tidal wave could destroy the power generating capacities of all the world’s power plants, all at once? Such a scenario is not merely possible, but factually inevitable. And the global tidal wave threatening all the nuclear power plants of the world isn’t made of water but solar emissions.” Read more.

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