Monday, September 27, 2021
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A Huge Solar Superstorm May Shut the Internet Worldwide

Imagine the world without the internet worldwide, how will life continue? This scenario can be possible if a huge solar superstorm happens, according to scientists. 

A report from CTV News says if preparation is not enough to future circumstances when “the sun spits a wave of magnetized plasma at us,” astrophysicists estimate there is a 1.6—12% “likelihood of a solar storm of sufficient strength to cause catastrophic disruption occurring within the next decade,” a new study says. 

Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, an assistant professor at the University of California wrote a paper titled “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse,” that narrates the possibilities in case we get hit by an enormous solar storm:  “submarine cables between countries shut down, power grids offline, data centers from web giants at risk of going dark.”

The study says the current Internet infrastructure has never been tested by “strong solar activity” since “modern technological advancement coincided with a period of weak solar activity”. However, “the sun is expected to become more active in the near future.”

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What is a Solar Superstorm?

As explained in a report, a solar superstorm is a geomagnetic storm that happens when “coronal mass ejection escapes the sun and strikes the Earth.”

According to the report, if our magnetic fields will be affected causing “strong electric currents on the Earth’s surface,” different modern technologies can be ruined. 

The study added the U.S. is one of the most vulnerable locations with a high risk of disconnection from Europe during extreme solar events.” 

What Preparations can be done?

The report mentioned that there is still time to strengthen our current infrastructure. 

Recommendations include reinforcing cables to mitigate the risk of complete disconnection and adding more connections to Central and South America to “help in maintaining global connectivity.”

The report also added that a backup system intended to “patch together available modes of communication, using cables, satellite and wireless” can aid in maintaining the links.

CTV News gave a reminder that preparation for the “sun’s future wrath” is essential to keep the “Internet Age running smoothly.”

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