Monday, November 2, 2015

Aw--now space weather?

Cool now, but you never can tell...
The US Geological Survey says a severe solar storm could distrupt the nation's power grid for months, leading to blackouts and a trillion buck pricetag.

Extreme space weather events...well, ducky. But never fear, the government has an action plan.

There are only a few geomagnetic storms per century, but still... What if they knock out electricity, GPS, and communications--even our TV system has occasional warnings about solar events interfering.

In November 2014, a task force was formed and is developing a National Space Weather Strategy.

Among other things, it will establish benchmarks for geoelectric fields ibnduced inside the Earth by storms from space. This will allow the power grid folks to create new engineering standards, determine vulnerability, and decide what the thresholds for action are.

For more info--go to the USGS website at and read the factsheet titled "Monitoring the Earth's dynamic magnetic field." There is also a raft of other information there.

Too wonky for Monday? Probably. But if I can stand it, you can.

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