NOAA Scientists On High Alert: Massive Solar Flare Could Damage The Power Grid
Solar Maximum could cause “catastrophic” damage to the power grid and communications systems if the huge solar flare hits Earth sometime over the next 14 months as predicted. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are reportedly on high alert for the massive electromagnetic energy burst from the sun.
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center Director Tom Bogdan is reportedly monitoring the potential solar flare as closely as possible, according to The Blaze. Bodgan had this to say about the possibility of a Solar Maximum event:
“We now know how powerful space weather can be and how events that begin on the surface of the sun can end up wreaking havoc here on Earth. This is why NOAA has a Space Weather Prediction Center, to forecast when space weather is coming our way, so we can avoid or mitigate damages.”
Some in the scientific community believe that if a large solar flare hit Earth the entire planet would experience a widespread loss of power, nuclear plants would meltdown without necessary back-up power, communication satellites would be disabled, and food riots would occur just days after the power outage.
A group of scientists concerned about the impact of a Solar Maximum flare that could lead to a “societal breakdown” reportedly want Congress to insulate the power grid. The cost to protect the power grid is allegedly less than $1 per American, yet no such legislation has been approved by the governing body. The American Physical Society (APS) feels that the United States should take an aggressive stance regarding preparations for a major solar flare.
According to NOAA estimations, the peak time for a massive solar flare is between now and the end of next year. A 2008 study on the fiscal impact of a Solar Maximum event places the damage in at least the $1 trillion range.
Bogdan pointed to “The Carrigan Event” of 1859 to illustrate the damage which can be caused by a massive solar flare. Back before electricity and telephones were a mundane part of everyday life, the telegraph ruled the communication realm. During the summer of 1859, a geomagnetic storm spurred by a solar eruption, impacted telegraph offices around the globe. Telegraph operators suffered electric shock, nearby papers caught on fire, and some telegraph systems continued to received signals even though their batteries were disconnected, according to the History Channel.
The popularity of Doomsday Preppers and the growing success of the prepper industry indicate that a significant number of Americans are taking precautionary measures in case such a natural disaster does occur.