A 12-hour Warning For Earth To Prepare For Major Disruption
Experts have said that we will have less than a day to prepare in the event of a solar storm hitting earth.
A new report, titled ‘Space Weather Preparedness Strategy,’ from the UK cabinet office has said that based on the last major solar storm — the Carrington Event of 1859 — Earth would have “12 hours from observation to impact.”
The severity of this impact will be marked by power loss, aviation disruption, communication loss, and disturbance to (or
loss) of satellite systems, the reports states.
What makes this natural phenomenon more deadly is the challenge of predicting these events and monitoring the effects, once the storm has hit.
In the report, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills explain the science behind a solar storm. It states:
“Solar activity can produce X-rays, high energy particles and Coronal Mass Ejections of plasma. Where such activity is
directed towards Earth there is the potential to cause wide-ranging impacts.”
So far, the measures we have taken to prepare planet Earth for this “extreme space weather” include the National Grid increasing the resilience of its Transmission Network and the UK Space Agency amping up its solar storm observation capabilities.
However, the reports highlights that more needs to be done in order for us to truly cope with the power outages and GPS disruption that will take place.
“The main challenge we face is that awareness of the risk is low. Much more needs to be done to encourage potentially vulnerable sectors to adopt measures to mitigate the likely impacts.”