Many are aware that weather-dependent and elderly people get sick from fluctuations in solar activity. It turns out that headaches, dizziness, nausea, joint pain, fatigue, and insomnia are not the worst consequence of high solar activity. Humanity risks being left without a single means of communication and information for an indefinite period.
We have all heard that the age of a plant can be determined by tree growth rings but we hardly guessed what tree trunks can tell about magnetic storms.
On October 9, 2023, Planet today published new discoveries by an international group of scientists led by French climatologist Edouard Bard.
Their research proves that more than 14 thousand years ago there was a magnetic storm of such strength that humanity has hardly ever encountered before.
The fact was established using the growth rings of subfossil (not completely petrified) trees in the French region of Provence.
The analysis method itself was invented by the Japanese physicist Fusa Miyake back in 2012, when, using the accelerator mass spectrometry method, she studied the content of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in the tree rings of Japanese cedar.
Physicist Fusa Miyake discovered two precise markers of time in ancient cedar tree rings: emissions of the isotope carbon-14, now called Miyake events.
Carbon-14 is formed in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation and is then absorbed by plants.
It is clear that if a peak in the isotope content is detected in one of the tree rings, it can be correlated with a specific astronomical event. And the date of the “outbreaks” can also be found out exactly.
Until recently, only 8 “Miyake events” were recorded (as the phenomenon was named after the physicist).
However, an international team of researchers led by French climatologist Edouard Bard managed to detect the 9th event. Scientists used more than 140 fossil trunks to analyze and found radiocarbon in rings that formed 14,300 years ago.
To be sure, they compared this peak to beryllium levels in Greenland ice cores because beryllium forms in a similar way to carbon-14.
By coincidence, the researchers concluded that they were dealing with traces of a powerful geomagnetic disturbance, which arose due to the strongest bombardment of the Earth’s atmosphere with high-energy solar particles.
Of course, that was a long time ago and there was no trace of the Internet or gadgets then. Therefore, for obvious reasons, it is difficult to judge the extent of the impact of that storm on technology.
But scientists are a meticulous bunch. They compared the discovery with the relatively recent event of 1859 – the strongest magnetic superstorm “Carrington”. According to eyewitnesses, this storm caused a lot of damage. In addition to superstitious fears, she “knocked” on progressive technologies.
The entire telegraph system in Europe and North America failed.
So, “Carrington” compared to the Bard’s discovery is a small storm in a teacup.
What if there’s a storm like this again?
If there were now a storm of power comparable to the 9th event, all our nanotechnologies would go down the drain. The Internet, mobile communications and traditional electricity will disappear. The benefits of civilization will become unavailable.
You come to work in your office, but there is nothing to work with – the computers won’t turn on, the coffee maker won’t brew, the phones won’t work. Everything is lost! Shops, cafes, clubs, transport have become inaccessible.
Tree rings have scientifically proven that such a development of events is not science fiction but a completely possible incident. That is why all options for protecting technical systems and developing technical security are so important.
So that the energy and communications collapse does not last for decades.
What is snow to us, what is heat to us, what is a storm over our heads
Although there is still debate about the impact of solar flares on health, people over 40 are increasingly noticing a deterioration in their health on days of geomagnetic disturbances.
According to sociological surveys, more than 50% of the planet’s population reacts to magnetic fluctuations. Therefore, whoever is informed is armed.
Solar flares are expected in the second half of October. The strength of the disturbance will reach six points out of nine possible. And by the end of the year, scientists predict only an increase in geomagnetic activity.
October of this year, atypically for autumn, is rich in “stormy” days:
- 15th – a storm of up to 4 points is expected;
- October 25-26 and 27 – power will increase to 5 points;
- October 29-30 – at the end of the month we will experience an outbreak of 6 points.
Doctors recommend taking this calendar more seriously. Do not abuse alcohol, coffee, tea and fatty foods on these dates. More fruits, vegetables, water and fresh air. Getting enough sleep is a great way to weather a storm. Just remember, in order to get a full night’s sleep, you need to go to bed early, and not get up later.
In the meantime, let’s hope that magnetic storms are an integral part of the natural process and, as usual, will go unnoticed.