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Jul 082014
 
An  interesting depiction of some of the many impacts from a major solar storm.

An interesting depiction of some of the many impacts from a major solar storm.

Here’s a rather simplistic article that talks about the potential for solar storms to disrupt many aspects of our modern-day life.

What is interesting however is their pie chart analysis of some of the derivative disruptions from a solar storm (shown on the left and more easily seen full size in the linked article).

Like so much that appears in public about our society’s underlying vulnerabilities, we feel their chart is more optimistic than perhaps is appropriate, particularly if the storm were to be a massive scale ‘Carrington Event’ rather than a more moderate storm.  But, optimistic or not, it still shows a wide and – hopefully – eye-opening range of negative outcomes and impacts from a single strong solar storm.

It is a shame this was not prepared with more care.  See, for example, the assumption that a solar storm would simply disrupt satellite communications during the (short) period of the storm, and that things would then quickly return back to normal.  That assumption implies that the satellites would not be damaged, and that’s an assumption we’re not sure is fully valid.

Some things appear  twice on the wheel as well – for example, aviation,  which is shown as having widespread outages (as a result of disruptions to the power grid) but only short-term disruption elsewhere on the wheel.  How can it be both?

There is an interesting point in the article.  It is common to plan for 100 year floods, but few if any businesses seem to be prepared for a once in 100 year solar event.

What about you?  How prepared are you for the disruptions that would follow a solar storm?

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David Spero[suffusion-the-author display='description']

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