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Internet death, economy in shambles: the dire consequences of the next magnetic storm

Internet death, economy in shambles: the dire consequences of the next magnetic storm 1

Recently, University of California Sangita professor Abdu Giotti presented a study that described the possibility that the next solar (heliomagnetic) storm could “wipe the Internet off the face of the earth.” The scientist drew the community’s attention to vulnerabilities in the global Internet infrastructure and called for them to be fixed in the foreseeable future.

A few days ago, interestingengineering.com presented a video detailing these weakest points and how to get rid of them.

“It turns out that electronic systems of submarine Internet cables are very vulnerable to strong radiation from a magnetic storm. If they are affected by solar activity, then their repair will take a lot of time, resources and money,” – said in the video.

Scientists interviewed by journalists said that another problem for earthlings could be the “failure” of the global economy.

Inability to access the Web can lead to huge economic losses. The United States alone will lose up to $ 7.2 billion a day.

“The global economy could be hit hard because the Internet is so important to both businesses and governments today. Many businesses would have to shut down, and this would lead to mass layoffs – thousands of people would be unemployed. In fact, research has shown that disconnections Nationwide, the Internet can cost the US economy up to $ 7.2 billion a day,” the video said.

What can be done to protect the planet from such a catastrophic scenario? The video has several answers to this question. It is proposed to improve the infrastructure and make sure that during the impact of negative factors, the cables stop working at full capacity, which will simplify their repair and at the same time not deprive users of access to the Network.

Also a good option is to involve Peer-to-Peer networks (Peer-to-Peer network is a type of computer network, all participants of which are equal. – client computers, which are also servers. Such a set up allows you to maintain network performance with any number and any combination of available nodes and under any circumstances, – ed.).

Another way out of this difficult situation is wireless cell networks. The so-called cell network topology of a computer network has a cell configuration in which network workstations are connected to each other and are able to take on the role of a switch for other participants. Such networks often use emergency services during natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes.

Beyond Internet

The Sun flares, occur due to the redistribution of magnetic field energy on it. In particular, in 1989 a solar flare left the province of Quebec without electricity. And in 1859, a similar phenomenon, called the “Carrington event”, provoked disruptions in the telegraph system of Europe and North America, as well as caused aurora borealis in the Caribbean. 

Solar emissions, which reached Earth in 18 hours, were observed by British astronomer Richard Carrington, hence the name of the phenomenon. According to Bill Murtagh, assistant director of the Space Weather Center at the White House Center for Science and Technology, if such a superflash broke out now, the consequences would be much worse: all essential elements of the earth’s infrastructure, electrical equipment, including satellites, computers

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Solar activity will disrupt land and air transport, banking and financial systems, water supply, food logistics, etc., ie the world will plunge into darkness, destruction, famine and disease. 

Solar flares can destroy the layer of ozone that protects the Earth from solar radiation. As a result, people will get skin cancer en masse, and many animals and plants will die immediately. There will be mass chaos, against the background of which there is a high probability of global military conflicts.

University of Illinois engineer Thomas Overbay says that since solar flares have been little studied, it is difficult to predict what the consequences of the next one will be. 

Modern means of observation allow us to predict the onset of a solar storm at least half an hour before the flow of particles reaches the Earth, and for such a period it is impossible to do anything. 

It is already necessary to create special satellites that track the activity of the Sun. Such a station is currently only available at the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. 

In addition, we need fundamentally new technologies that protect equipment and devices, “shock” electronics of the new generation, as well as backup power supplies. And in case of danger it is necessary to disconnect all transformers in advance to protect them from breakage. 

Scientists are convinced that powerful solar flares should be expected in soon enough. The problem is that solar activity increases over time, and flashes will occur with increasing force.

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