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Scientists Warn of Worst Case Scenario: “Solar Flares… Will Short Circuit Satellites, Power Grids, Ground Communication Equipment”

grid-down-city

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder recently completed analyzing data from a Coronal Mass Ejection that took place in the summer of 2012. The CME, which was reportedly the most powerful electrical discharge ever recorded from the sun, narrowly missed earth. It was not “earth directed,” meaning the electro-magnetic mass was ejected by the sun when it was facing away from our planet. However, had it occurred just a week prior, the highly charged particles would have struck earth and, according to CU-Boulder Professor Daniel Baker, would have led to nothing short of a technological disaster across the globe.

The CME itself was massive… and its speed was unprecedented, clocking in at 7 million miles per hour.

While typical coronal mass ejections from the sun take two or three days to reach Earth, the 2012 event traveled from the sun’s surface to Earth in just 18 hours.

“The speed of this event was as fast or faster than anything that has been seen in the modern space age,” said Baker.

While early warning systems are capable of detecting CME’s and solar flares ahead of time, this particular event happened so quickly that it is unclear if monitoring groups at NASA’s Solar Shield Project would have been able to send alerts to emergency services teams in time.

Had it struck earth, says Baker, it would have caused damage so significant that modern electrical systems would have been fried.

Had it hit Earth, the July 2012 event likely would have created a technological disaster by short-circuiting satellites, power grids, ground communication equipment and even threatening the health of astronauts and aircraft crews.

We have proposed that the 2012 event be adopted as the best estimate of the worst case space weather scenario

We argue that this extreme event should be immediately employed by the space weather community to model severe space weather effects on technological systems such as the electrical power grid.

I liken it to war games — since we have the information about the event, let’s play it through our various models and see what happens.

If we do this, we would be a significant step closer to providing policymakers with real-world, concrete kinds of information that can be used to explore what would happen to various technologies on Earth and in orbit rather than waiting to be clobbered by a direct hit.

Source: Colorado.edu via Activist Post

Most policy makers have not taken the threat of an earth-directed solar flare seriously, even though a senior member of the Congressional Homeland Security Committee recently warned that there is a 100% Chance of a Severe Geo-Magnetic Event Capable of Crippling Our Electric Grid.

If such an event were to happen Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who has advised people to develop individual preparedness plans based on the threat of massive solar flares or electro-magnetic pulse detonations, says that it would take upwards of 18 months to bring the grid back online because of a decaying national infrastructure.

We could have events in the future where the power grid will go down and it’s not, in any reasonable time, coming back up. For instance, if when the power grid went down some of our large transformers were destroyed, damaged beyond use, we don’t make any of those in this country. They’re made overseas and you order one and 18 months to two years later they will deliver it. Our power grid is very vulnerable. It’s very much on edge. Our military knows that.

There are a number of events that could create a situation in the cities where civil unrest would be a very high probability. And, I think that those who can, and those who understand, need to take advantage of the opportunity when these winds of strife are not blowing to move their families out of the city.

If a solar kill shot were to occur and short out the electrical power grid, it has been estimated that some nine out of ten Americans would be dead within one year as transportation systems broke down, food delivery ceased, commerce systems no longer functioned, communications equipment became inoperable and utilities, such as water treatment plants, were incapable of delivery services.

The ramifications would be serious and almost immediate according to a 132-page NASA funded report on Understanding the Economic and Societal Impacts of Severe Space Weather:

To estimate the scale of such a failure, report co-author John Kappenmann of the Metatech Corporation looked at the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921, which produced ground currents as much as ten times stronger than the 1989 Quebec storm, and modeled its effect on the modern power grid.

He found more than 350 transformers at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people without power.

The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with “water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on.”

If you’ve ever wondered what a massive electrical surge from an electro-magnetic pulse weaponsolar flare or cyber attack might look like, then take a look at this footage shot in Montreal.

Imagine a powerful X-class solar flare striking earth and sending a surge like the one above across the entire U.S. power grid.

Are you prepared for such an event?

Related reading:

When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready (Ready Nutrition)

Getting Started: Prepping for a Two Week Power Out (The Organic Prepper)


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Larwyn’s Linx: Hold Your Ground and Shut John Cornyn Up

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Find Your Representative, call them, and tell them to HOLD THEIR GROUND

Hold Your Ground and Shut John Cornyn Up: Erick Erickson
Obamacare Kills People — Starting Now (No, Really): Karl Denninger
The Obamacare Fight is Just Beginning: Rich Lowry

Obama spitefully chose closing WWII Memorial to veterans: Ace
Park Service threatens to arrest WWII vets who try to visit their memorial: ST
Video: House GOP Crashes Park Service Barricade for WW2 Vets: Tatler

Government Shuts Down. People Point And Laugh.: Tammy Bruce
Democrats Vote For Shut Down and Exempt Themselves From Obamacare: RWN
Joe Manchin is Duplicitous Coward: Daniel Horowitz

Economy

Destroying Household Jobs: Thomas Sowell
It’s the end of the federal government as we know it and I feel fine: AWD
Second-largest U.S. Drugmaker to Fire 8,500: Drew Armstrong

Student Debt Crisis Passes Another Milestone: Walter Russell Mead
Vallejo, Mired in Pension Debt Again; Lesson for Stockton and Detroit: Mish
“Adult Daycare” in DC for furloughed workers affected by shutdown: Quinton

CT’s ObamaCare CYA of the Day: Unsolicited
CT Health Exchange Sees 28K Visitors But Only 167 Applications For Insurance: WZ
Conservatives Sue to Enforce Obamacare Employer Mandate: Elizabeth Harrington

Scandal Central

Judge delivers blow to Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious scandal: BPR
Fresh DOJ loss in ‘Fast and Furious’ docs fight: Politico
Dr. Benjamin Carson Gets His First Visit From a Politicized IRS: Jeff Poor

Non Profit Sued For Fraud 18 Months Ago Now Enrolling People In Obamacare: LoneCon
Obama Pals Crafted Disastrous Fed Health Exchange Website: JW
Obamacare: “Please Wait”: Boker Tov Boulder

Climate & Energy

IPCC: Fixing the Facts: Climate Audit
IPCC Backpedals on Extreme Weather Claims: S. T. Karnick

Media

Liberal New Republic Suggests Obama Use Military Against the Tea Party: Joe Newby
#NewTone: WaPo Ponders Ways to Punish Congress for a Shutdown: “Line ’em up and shoot ’em”: JWF
Will this nightmare never end? Shutdown hits FLOTUS Twitter feed: Tatler

Low-info Obamabots find out they must pay a fee for not having health insurance: Poor Richard
Gerson Is Ignorant to Political Consequence.: Jen Kuznicki
Creepy Propaganda: High School Bands To Play Obamacare Songs: RWN

World

Netanyahu tells UN: ‘We will stop Iran alone if we need to’: Matzav
So, Obama wishes God’s blessing on leader of terrorist state but threatens to arrest our WWII vets. Got it: ynet
80 Airmen Threatened, Harassed For Refusing To Support Gay Marriage: RWN

Violent Illegal Alien California Refused To Deport Kills His Wife: RWN
Biden Criticized for Calling Palestinians ‘Least Ideological and Sectarian’ Mideast Arabs: Algemeiner
Where Jihad and Christian persecution run rampant: Raymond Ibrahim

Sci-Tech

Public release of IE exploit could spark widespread attacks: Lucian Constantin, IDG
iOS 7 nausea and cybersickness: What causes it, and why it’s a sign of things to come: Sebastian Anthony
Split, a diminutive, bite-controlled music player in earbud form: Timothy J. Seppala, Engadget

Cornucopia

Dr. Roberts Day: the Official Birth of Obamacare 10-01-13: MOTUS
Oath Keepers is Going “Operational” by Forming Special “Civilization Preservation” Teams: Oathkeepers
Judith Miller blows the whistle on “Special Counsel” Patrick Fitzgerald?: IP2P

Sponsored by: CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW AND TELL THEM TO HOLD THE LINE

QOTD: “The Vitter amendment and the medical device tax are shiny objects designed to make you clap like a seal while Boehner, Cantor, Cornyn, and McConnell cave on funding and implementing Obamacare… Friends, you absolutely must keep the pressure on congressional Republicans to hold the line. The longer they keep passing appropriations bills to fund the government, the more this is clearly about Barack Obama. The President would rather starve veterans than spare America his healthcare plan.” —Erick Erickson

Bonus QOTD: “…there is something the president could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. A reasonable position. ‘I will not be blackmailed’ he said. But he should be talking. They should be meeting, discussing this, because as I think Steve Ratner showed earlier, the American economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the Presidency of Barack Obama. Speaker Boehner, indeed, is playing a role on this. Go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. I’ll bet no one can name who was the speaker of the House at the time. Henry Thomas Rainey. He’s not in the history book it’s on the President’s head. He’s got to lead. He’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here, I think, is baffling element.” —Bob Woodward

Doug Ross @ Journal