In the stone age, the event of a large solar flare may well have gone largely unnoticed, other than the exceptional beauty of the Northern Lights. That was because the cave men were not the most technologically reliant of our ancestors.
The spectacular solar storm of 1859 was another matter.
Named the Carrington Event, after the astronomer who noted the sunspots at the time, the solar flares of 1859 caused widespread problems with telegraph equipment, shocking some of the operators and even causing some telegraph machines to catch fire.
Just imagine a solar storm of that magnitude today.
Our modern world is technologically reliant in a way never before in our history. Smart phones, the power grid, computers – even the computers that control the engine in your car are all vulnerable to solar flares.
Should a solar storm the size of the 1859 event be unleashed, it would bring the world to it’s knees. The collapse of the power grid would plunge us into darkness. Even if the power could be restored, not much else would work, as the majority of electrical devices would be fried. Indeed, it would be catastrophic.
You will be virtually cut off from information. Even if you are lucky enough to have a battery powered radio that survives, the television and radio stations that broadcast won’t. No phones to call friends and family, no radios for emergency responders. The entire world plunged into immediate chaos.
In the aftermath of such a storm, the global economy will be left in ruins.
Indeed, even the ability to provide food to our cities will be severely disrupted, perhaps completely. Tractors and trucks will no longer operate, since every car built after 1979 relies on computerized components to operate – and these won’t survive. Our world will immediately be paralyzed.
These solar events happen periodically – and they will happen again.
Here is a website where you can keep an eye on the latest solar activity:
A significant solar storm won’t be the end of the world – but it will definitely be the end of the world as we know it.
As recovery continues from Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. government reports Thursday that flooding from future storms will likely worsen as global sea levels rise between 8 inches and 6.6 feet by the end of this century.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest assessment, similar to others in recent years, also says higher sea levels — regardless of the extent of global warming — won’t stop in 2100. It says 8 million people live in U.S. coastal areas at risk of flooding and many of the nation’s military, energy and commercial assets are located at or near the ocean.
Despite uncertainty about the extent of sea level rise, “what we do know is that higher mean sea levels will increase the frequency, magnitude and duration of flooding” from storms, says co-author and NOAA scientist Adam Parris. He says the biggest uncertainty is the amount of water that will come from melting glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.
In the United States, NOAA finds the U.S. Gulf Coast and Chesapeake Bay will continue to experience the most rapid and highest amounts of sea level rise, because some of the land there is subsiding. It says parts of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, where land is rising, may experience much less or no sea level change.
Japan escaped largely unscathed on Friday after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake shook the north-east coast. It was, however, a chilling reminder of the 9.0 quake that struck the area in March 2011, triggering a tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people and a triple meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Initially, the appearance on TV screens of a tsunami warning, and repeated announcements to remember last year’s tragedy and flee the coast, prompted fears of a second disaster in less than two years in the worst-affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
Less than an hour later, a tsunami washed ashore in Ishinomaki, one of the hardest-hit towns in last year’s tragedy, where the rebuilding process has barely begun. Mercifully, this time the wave was just a metre high. Two hours after the quake struck 150 miles offshore at 5:18pm local time, the meteorological agency cancelled its tsunami warning.
Narita airport closed briefly for safety checks and phone lines were temporarily jammed by the large volume of calls. Several, much smaller, tsunamis lashed other parts of the coast, including Soma city, which lies just outside the 12-mile (20km) evacuation zone imposed around the Fukushima plant.
The international effort to curb global warming inched forward with an agreement that extends pollution limits under the Kyoto Protocol and calls for work on a mechanism that would pay aid for climate-related disasters.
The deal endorsed by ministers from more than 190 nations in Doha yesterday restrains fossil fuel emissions from the European Union to Australia. It also for the first time suggests a channel for richer countries to compensate poorer ones for “loss and damage” from rising sea levels and drought.
The biggest accomplishment of the annual United Nations conference was to streamline the discussions, paving the way for a global treaty by 2015 that would cut greenhouse gases from 2020. Both diplomats who negotiated the pact and environmental groups expressed frustration it won’t have an immediate impact on the atmosphere.
“The results aren’t in keeping with what’s happening on the planet,” said Delphine Batho, the ecology minister of France, which has offered to host the 2015 meeting. “The impacts of global warming are accelerating. The deal here might appear derisory, but it’s better to have an agreement than none at all. It’s one more stage.”
From Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura – the secret lab at Plum Island. Established by a Nazi Scientist who conducted experiments on concentration camp prisoners, Plum Island is believed to be home of biological weapons development in the US. Coincidentally, the Nazi was experimenting on biological weapons to be spread by ticks and mosquitoes, and Plum Island just happens to be where the first cases of West Nile Virus (spread by mosquitoes) and Lyme Disease (spread by ticks) were reported. Unbelievable!
This is the kind of stuff we don’t need to be messing with – and the best part of all is where they want to relocate the lab to. You have to watch it to believe the stupidity (or arrogance) of our government.
(CBS News) WASHINGTON – We are just over three weeks away from falling over the so-called “fiscal cliff” — that combination of tax increases and deep federal spending cuts. And the back and forth shows no signs of letting up between the White House and the Republicans in Congress.
In his Saturday weekly address, President Obama signaled that he is open to making cuts on programs like Medicare and Medicaid — if Republicans agree to raise tax rates for the rich.
“I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it,” said the president. “And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year.”
His remarks came one day after House Speaker John Boehner announced the talks were stalled.
“This isn’t a progress report because there’s no progress to report,” he said.
Rebel commanders from across Syria have joined forces under a united command they hope will increase coordination between diverse fighting groups and streamline the pathway for arms essential to their struggle against President Bashar Assad.
While many of the brigades involved in the fighting are decidedly Islamist in outlook and some have boasted about executing captured soldiers, two of the most extreme groups fighting in Syria were not invited to the rebel meeting in Turkey or included in the new council — a move that could encourage Western support.
Disorganization has bedeviled Syria’s rebel movement since its birth late last year, when some protesters gave up on peaceful means to bring down Assad’s regime and took up arms, forming the base of what became the Free Syrian Army.
But the movement has never actually been an army. Scores of rebel groups battle Assad’s forces across the country, many coordinating with no one outside of their own area. While some say they want a civil, democratic government, others advocate an Islamic state.
CAIRO—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi may empower the country’s military to arrest civilians, according to the country’s state-run media, as hopes dim for a negotiated resolution to the country’s extended constitutional crisis.
The state-run Al Ahram daily newspaper reported Saturday that Mr. Morsi was preparing to institute a form of martial law a week before a controversial constitutional referendum that could augur more street-level violence.
If the report is true, Mr. Morsi’s decision would turn back the clock on Egypt’s hard-won transition to civilian rule. Following a year and a half of military rule, Mr. Morsi handily cast the army’s leadership aside in August, cutting back the armed forces’ once unimpeachable political authority and appointing a new defense minister loyal to the Islamist-backed president.