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Earth Power Grid Almost Destroyed in 2012

We were just a few days away from total blackouts

     

incrediBILL

9:47 pm on Jul 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The Earth barely missed a massive solar storm aka a coronal mass ejection a couple of years ago that had it happened just a few days off, would've fried out power grids and sent us back to 18th century living.

[science.nasa.gov...]
"I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did," says Baker. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.


We'd still be fixing things about now.

Most likely global starvation and war would've erupted, lots of warlords, it would be real-life Mad Max except cars wouldn't run. Forget the elderly, the impaired, or people needing medical attention and medication, they would quickly perish. It would've been a huge culling of the population for sure.

The first thing that came to my mind was how would you prove to the bank that they had your money?

How would you get any cash?

Even if you had it, would it have any value?

I'm guessing people would be trading food, water and fuel and cash would be trash so STOCK UP!

not2easy

11:38 pm on Jul 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Something no one probably wants to think about is what are the odds that such a CME event might NOT miss us? Credible calculations showed the chances that an equally destructive storm would hit Earth in the next ten years...

The answer: 12%.

tangor

3:54 am on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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More important is knowing that those who buy into the end of world scenarios by stellar means actually ignore the built in redundancy of the electric grid. Sigh. Even NASA gets if wrong 90 percent of the time. Grumble grumble... well0maining dolts shining terror lights when such just won't happen, short of a NOVA are a pain in the ...

All we have to do is look back 9over the last few hundred years of electricity in urban use to see that ordinary and frequent solar flares (storms) are not the end of the planet.

What's happening in the Middle East just might be that... the end of civilization as we know it... but not solar flares...

I think we all lived through the terror of the year 2K...

graeme_p

5:57 am on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This is scary. There may be some redundancy in the grid, but this will fry everything at all levels from power stations to homes.

brotherhood of LAN

6:06 am on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like Russian roullette, these CME's.

Does having electro-magnetic things switched off lessen the damage?

incrediBILL

3:55 pm on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What you people don't know is that people that put satellites in space often have to put them in some kind of safe-mode to avoid being fried every now and then.

The trick is, whether those satellites can wake up and be found again after the solar storm passes.

BTW, don't forget that the first men on the moon missed a solar storm by a few days or they'd have been cooked.

Happens all the time, but just not that big intersecting with the earth since we've had electronics.

Wonder if tubes would still work? at least we'd only be reduced back to the 1960s and not the 1860s

not2easy

4:19 pm on Aug 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Does having electro-magnetic things switched off lessen the damage?
No, the micro wiring inside of chips would disintegrate.

There are solar storms and flares all the time, that's what produces the Northern Lights or aurora borealis phenomena high in the ionosphere and determines the effectiveness of radio communications - the difference in these CMEs is in the intensity of the event. You go from a minor sunburn effect to supercrispy when the effect is 800 - 1200 times normal.

tangor

8:29 pm on Aug 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Given the earth's rotation, and the sheer speed of these solar events, at least HALF of the earth will be shielded by the planetary body. We can only hope we are on the "far side" when such events occur. :)

graeme_p

5:04 am on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Taking stuff offline will help, as the induced currents will be small. Shielding may be even better! I am also not sure half the planet will be shielded - the damage is caused by the CME's interaction with the earth's magnetosphere and its a fairly sustained phenomenon. What I have read of the Carrington Event made it sound global.

creeking

6:03 am on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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this thread prompted me to search for 'faraday cages'

[channel.nationalgeographic.com...]