Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms

solar storms
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Solar storms can be far more powerful than previously thought. A new study has found evidence for the third known case of a massive solar storm in historical times. The researchers believe that society might not be sufficiently prepared if a similar event were to happen now.

Earth is constantly being bombarded by cosmic particles. However, the stream of particles is particularly strong when a solar storm sweeps past. Solar storms are made up of high-energy particles unleashed from the sun by explosions on the star's surface.

For the past 70 years, researchers have studied these solar storms by direct instrumental observations, which has led to an understanding that they can pose a risk to the electrical grid, communication systems, satellites and air traffic. Two examples of severe solar storms in modern times that caused extensive power outages took place in Quebec, Canada, (1989) and Malmö, Sweden (2003).

Now, an increasing amount of research indicates that solar storms can be even more powerful than measurements have shown so far via direct observations. The researchers behind the new, international study, led by researchers from Lund University, used ice cores to find clues about previous solar storms. The cores come from Greenland and contain ice formed over the past 100,000 years. The material contains evidence of a very powerful solar storm that occurred in 660 BCE.

"If that solar had occurred today, it could have had severe effects on our high-tech society," says Raimund Muscheler, professor of geology at Lund University.

Raimund Muscheler also took part in research that confirmed the existence of two other massive solar storms, using both ice cores and the annual growth rings of old trees. These storms took place in 775 and 994 CE. He points out that even though these massive solar storms are rare, the new discovery shows that they are a naturally recurring effect of solar activity.

"That's why we must increase society's protection against solar storms," he says.

Today's risk assessment is largely based on direct observations made over the past 70 years, but Raimund Muscheler suggests that there is a need for a reassessment in view of the three massive solar storms that have now been discovered. He argues that there is a need for greater awareness of the possibility of very strong and the vulnerability of society.

"Our research suggests that the risks are currently underestimated. We need to be better prepared," concludes Muscheler. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Explore further

Traces of enormous solar storms in the ice of Greenland and Antarctica

More information: Paschal O'Hare el al., "Multiradionuclide evidence for an extreme solar proton event around 2,610 B.P. (∼660 BC)," PNAS (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1815725116
Provided by Lund University
Citation: Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms (2019, March 11) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-uncover-additional-evidence-massive-solar.html
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Mar 11, 2019
Fits nicely with claims by the Suspicious Observers of the repeating Earth Catastrophe Cycle.
https://www.youtu...3APVS8br

Mar 11, 2019
The last time our society was resilient enough was probably back in the 1970's : When we still had enough paper or mechanical backups.
Now everything is enumerated, database driven, licence enabled, sensor dependent, data connected and virtualised. As digital devices get smaller their dielectric breakdown resistance shrinks ( air=3mv/nm ) and they have become more vulnerable.
Now only the military are radiation hardened, optically isolated; can function stand-alone; and maintain obsolete hard backups. (Plus a few off-grid survivalists of course)

Mar 12, 2019
Suspicious Observers, the probably failed lawyer who calls anyone an idiot who questions him. "Eyes wide open, no fear" while doing analysis on his computer at home. What a joker.

Mar 12, 2019
Now only the military are radiation hardened, optically isolated


A metal box solves the problem of protecting thumb drives.

Mar 12, 2019
The problem isn't data backups in metal safes: Its the interdependent hardware infrastructure to reload that data onto which would be sufficiently damaged that the deep-dependency-net wouldn't work anymore. Almost all power and data interconnects over copper would be gone.

Having an old win-XP laptop kept in a biscuit tin isn't going to save civilisation.(even if you get past its dead battery and 1000 nag messages!)

Mar 12, 2019
Even more reason to have colonies on mars... underground.

Mar 12, 2019
Even more reason to have colonies on mars... underground.

Having underground colonies here first would not only be orders of magnitude cheaper and safer but would help identify problems that others will need to know about. If we start growing food and recycling our waste vertically, humans could let nature reclaim the world and still live better than Kings ever dreamed possible.

Mar 12, 2019
A metal box solves the problem of protecting thumb drives.


A grounded metal box...

Mar 12, 2019
Having underground colonies here first would not only be orders of magnitude cheaper and safer
I said even MORE reason.
If we start growing food and recycling our waste vertically
???
humans could let nature reclaim the world and still live better than Kings ever dreamed possible
Well thats nonsense.

You want to build self-sufficient underground colonies here on earth. Who would pay for them? How would they support themselves? Who would live there? Anything you make or grow underground can be done far cheaper on the surface.

Independent mars colonies would have their own independent economies and ecologies. We can create 1000s of cubic miles of underground space on mars with robotic nuke-powered tunnelers and nuclear explosives, methods that wouldnt be tolerated here on earth. Plus, resources are unexploited and easy to mine and process without atmosphere, water, biocontaminents, govt environmental regs, politics, etc.

Mar 12, 2019

A metal box solves the problem of protecting thumb drives. -Old_C_Code

Solar storms create extremely large wavelength EM waves that drive currents in extremely large objects like mile-long metal fences and power lines. Your thumb drive- as long it is not plugged into a device that is plugged into the power network - will be just fine.

Mar 13, 2019
It is like meteorites rather hard to guard against and a low risk scenario with large damage outcome. But one thing we already do in both cases is to have monitoring so we can have a modicum of warning. Isolating important data centers if needed (already EM and grid protection) would not be too hard at a guess. The damages to the power grid would be a more serious problem, but since we are moving to decentralization anyway robustness is increased. Given a few more decades we would be at "top robustness". But I don't think we need to worry too much even now; it would still be a catastrophe of course.

A metal box solves the problem of protecting thumb drives.


A grounded metal box...


A metal box would be a Faraday cage plus proton flow (parts of which could reach ground) shield, no need for grounding to work. A good university would have the walls forming such function (extra iron bars in the concrete walls).

Mar 13, 2019
Just to qualify...
underground colonies here on earth. Who would pay for them? How would they support themselves? Who would live there? Anything you make or grow underground can be done far cheaper on the surface
-Earther underground colonies are indeed possible but they would have to be kept totally secret. The public would have all sorts of issues like freedom and equal rights, and the initial cost and the reasons for even doing them in the first place. Hollywood would want to do compelling movies about kids trapped underground wanting to breathe fresh air and swim in the ocean and go to harvard.

Mars colonies would be entirely different. They could be marketed as humans reaching out, exploring, etc while their main purpose of ensuring the survival of the species could be downplayed.

But if survival in the face of very real and imminent global threat is a reality then we ought to expect that there are indeed self-sufficient colonies right now beneath our feet.

Mar 13, 2019
A metal box would be a Faraday cage plus proton flow (parts of which could reach ground) shield, no need for grounding to work. A good university would have the walls forming such function (extra iron bars in the concrete walls)


Found a thread where this was discussed;

"In any case a Faraday cage isn't electrified. It need not be electrically connected to anything to be effective, in fact. However, the rebar in a typical building is far too widely spaced to make an effective cage, even if they were electrically connected together, which they aren't."

-Probably easier to line walls, floors, clgs with mesh and include doors, windows, penetrations.

But I bet there is similar such construction out there. I heard that the Vandenburg shuttle launch facilities were EMP-hardened. Fusion reactor support structures tend to be stainless steel rebar and isolated to prevent eddy currents.

Mar 13, 2019
"The scan room of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine is designed as a Faraday cage. This prevents external RF (radio frequency) signals from being added to data collected from the patient, which would affect the resulting image. Radiographers are trained to identify the characteristic artifacts created on images should the Faraday cage be damaged."

Mar 13, 2019
@torbjorn, I'd liken it more to living on the slopes of a volcano, or over a known geological fault. Which lots of folks do.

This one, however, is a bit easier to protect against. And we should. Before it happens, preferably.

Mar 14, 2019
The more advanced a society, the more fragile its equipment, furniture, and structures. None last more than a hundred years or so. However certain of the data storage media can last for a long time if not ' bent, spindled, or mutilated'. We KNOW how to make stuff last, but we do not do that because of the expense. Think we are not the first of Earth's children; and at least one of our civilizers was probably reptilian because of the 'Detroit hammer', 150,000,000 years old and made of a steel we do not make. NO carbon in it! 99+% pure and very hard and tough. It had a wooden handle and could have been made by an Amishman would it no be for hte purity of the steel and the wooden handle was partially petrified wood! Found on strata aged as above. Look it up. I'm not Trump. You CAN fact chek it.

Mar 14, 2019
Iron without carbon isn't steel. It's iron, and quite soft compared with steel. It lacks the crystalline structure that makes steel strong and hard.

I googled "detroit hammer" and got nothing remotely to do with an artifact 150 million years old.

Looks like it's all bullshit to me.

Mar 14, 2019
London texas hammer

"Baugh's claims were countered by researcher John Cole, who pointed out that the rock concretion could have been the result of dissolved sediment hardening around the hammer, something which can happen in a relatively short amount of time; Cole also concluded that, judging by its style, the artifact is a 19th century miner's hammer.[6]

"In the conclusion to his own debunking of the artifact, paleontologist Glen Kuban agreed with the recent age of the hammer and stressed that unless Baugh or any others could provide evidence that the hammer was once naturally situated in a pre-Quaternary stratum, it would remain a curiosity, not a reliable out-of-place artifact."

-The fact that osiris was too lazy to check the facts and post them means that he probably prefers making up his own facts to suit his fantasies.

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