Magnificent eruptive solar prominence

NASA Warns 2012 may Bring Dangerous Solar Superstorms

Magnificent eruptive solar prominence
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"NASA Warns 2012 may Bring Dangerous Solar Superstorms"
Caption: Magnificent eruptive solar prominence
Image by: STEREO Project, NASA
© This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA.

Could a 2012 magnetic superstorm generated by the sun destroy America or northern Europe's fragile technology?

No less than NASA thinks it's a distinct possibility. In a remarkable move the normally conservative US space agency has taken the extraordinary step of issuing ongoing warnings.

The headlines reverberating around the world speak volumes: "Leaks discovered in Earth's magnetic field," "Solar storms to wreak havoc," "The end of life as we know it," "Magnetic shift to cause global superstorms."

Can such things really happen?

NASA and the European space agency say yes.

2012 and the rising specter of doom

Among all the countries with exposure to the solar devastation, the United States is perhaps the most susceptible.

As The Daily Telegraph recently observed: "National power grids could overheat and air travel be severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the sun reaches its maximum power…"

Solar scientists are very concerned as they see the sun awaking from its unusually long slumber with a violence unseen for generations. That violence could be in the form of mammoth magnetic storms. Those storms hitting the Earth will be like a giant's fist slamming into the fragile electronic technology that runs the modern world. Hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis pale by comparison.

“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of NASA's Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigation, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world. “

A menacing electronic Doomsday

A giant solar superstorm could lead to martial law, mass starvation and eventual societal collapse.

“Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the earth that is rapid and like a lightning bolt. That is the solar affect,” Fisher added.

Since the sun's last upheaval caused worldwide disruption and destruction in 1859, civilization has rapidly advanced a society based on a technological infrastructure that can be whisked away in mere moments by severe geomagnetic storms.

During 2008, the National Academy of Sciences issued a dire report: "Severe Space Weather Events—Societal and Economic Impacts." The report outlined-in excruciating detail-the potential demise of America's 21st Century technological base and the havoc resulting from electronic collapse economy.

The US would be slammed into an electronic Doomsday.

That gloomy report went under-reported and unheeded by the governments of the world. Now NASA is desperately trumpeting the danger and still most politicians turn deaf ears towards the warning and blind eyes towards the angry sun.

How severe is the threat?

People in the first world countries rely heavily upon technologies at risk from solar storms—a technology that runs financial systems, electrical power grids, water plants, air travel, farming, transportation, GPS navigation of aircraft and sea going vessels…even the daily operation of government at all levels.

During a solar superstorm most communication will be blasted out of existence; power will fail. Cities will be left without light and water and food will run out. Civil unrest will surge as society collapses in a matter of days. The US federal and state governments will be hard-pressed to restore order amongst 300 million people as mass starvation sets in and sources of fresh water rapidly dwindle.

Millions could die

Some experts of global transportation and the delicate infrastructure worry aloud that if a severe enough storm hammers Earth restoration of the infrastructure could take years—even a decade or more. During the interim millions of people could die worldwide from starvation, exposure, lack of critical medical attention and disease. More people are at risk if warfare breaks out between countries desperate for scarce resources.

Dr. Michio Kaku adds his voice to the warnings

World renown American astrophysicist Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York and the co-founder of string field theory, is worried about a potential catastrophe and has joined in NASA's warning.

Appearing recently on FoxNews, Kaku said, "We're talking about a potential Katrina from space." Such a Katrina would not only affect the Gulf states but potentially much of the Northern Hemisphere exposed to the solar superstorm.

Kaku sees the disaster as 10 times greater than Katrina—perhaps even worse than that. "We'd be thrown 100 years into the past," he explained. The transition to the 1800s would occur as quickly as flipping a light switch off.

The last storm of this magnitude that hit the US occurred in 1859. If such a superstorm hits again it would paralyze the United States for months and possibly take years to recover from.

Fox report with Dr. Michio Kaku: "NASA Warns Of Super Solar Storm 2012"

More about this author: Terrence Aym

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