Experts have warned of an inevitable major solar storm, noting that the world is unprepared for severe space weather that could cripple the planet’s technology and disrupt the economy by as much as trillions of dollars.
Often times, the sun emits a solar flare, which in turn releases energy into space. Some of these solar flares can strike Earth and are often harmless to our planet. However, the sun can also emit solar flares so strong that they can paralyze Earth’s technology.
Previous studies revealed that the sun emits an intense solar flare every 25 years on average, and the last one, which hit the Earth, was in 1989.
This storm saw power outages in Quebec, Canada, where the conductive rocks on the ground could carry the excess energy from the magnetic shield and wash it into the national grid.
Moreover, a severe solar storm can knock down satellite systems, as the bombardment of solar particles can expand the Earth’s magnetosphere, making it difficult for satellite signals to penetrate.
While it is impossible to predict when and where a massive solar storm will occur, it is inevitable that a storm will hit the planet in the future.
As such, experts have lamented the lack of preparation for an extreme space weather event, warning that it could cost trillions of dollars and cause widespread panic.
Risk advisory firm Drayton Tyler said the question regarding the super-solar storm is “when will it happen?” Not “Will it actually happen?”
“In the worst case scenario, direct and indirect costs are likely to run into the trillions of dollars with a payback period of years rather than months. The UK Royal Academy of Engineering estimates the probability of an event of this magnitude occurring at one in ten in any decade,” the company added. .
Drayton Tyler called on governments around the world to make plans when such an inevitable event occurs.
At the moment, it can be said that the United States is only almost ready. “We now rely heavily on satellites for navigation, communications and accurate time signals for financial services,” said the author of the report, Henry Dodds.
He added, “We have seen in the past that large solar storms can cause power transformers to explode, but the risks to the infrastructure that we all take for granted from a severe solar storm are greater now than anything we are witnessing in the modern era.”
He continued, “Governments and the private sector must rally around this problem and ensure its appropriate preparedness.”