[ExI] An 'Internet apocalypse' could ride to Earth with the next solar storm, new research warns

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 18:12:47 UTC 2021

Can you imagine this and a global pandemic happening at the same time?

"In short, a severe solar storm could plunge the world into an "internet
apocalypse" that keeps large swaths of society offline for weeks or months
at a time, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, an assistant professor at the University
of California, Irvine, wrote in the new *research paper*
<https://www.ics.uci.edu/~sabdujyo/papers/sigcomm21-cme.pdf>. (The paper
has yet to appear in a peer-reviewed journal).

"What really got me thinking about this is that with the pandemic we saw
how unprepared the world was. There was no protocol to deal with it
effectively, and it's the same with internet resilience," Abdu Jyothi *told
"Our infrastructure is not prepared for a large-scale solar event."

Part of the problem is that extreme solar storms (also called coronal mass
ejections) are *relatively rare*
scientists estimate the probability of an extreme space weather directly
impacting Earth to be between 1.6% to 12% per decade, according to Abdu
Jyothi's paper.

In recent history, only two such storms have been recorded — one in 1859
and the other in 1921. The earlier incident, known as the *Carrington Event*
created such a severe geomagnetic disturbance on Earth that telegraph wires
burst into flame, and auroras — usually only visible near the planet's
poles — were spotted near equatorial Colombia. Smaller storms can also pack
a punch; one in March 1989 blacked out the entire Canadian province of
Quebec for nine hours."

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