Solar Maximum Doom. Hype or real?

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
​Solar Maximum Doom . . . hype or real????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ji-NL2Pb4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

U.S. Must Take Space Storm Threat Seriously, Experts Warn
Content from External Source
http://www.space.com/10906-space-storms-threat.html

"A severe solar storm has the potential to take down telecommunications and power grids, and the country needs to work on being better prepared, said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lubchenco is also the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere."

"The space weather threat is becoming more dire as our sun ramps up toward its period of solar maximum, predicted for around 2013. Activity on the sun fluctuates on a roughly 11-year cycle, and our star has been relatively dormant for a while."

"It is slightly scary, and I think properly so," said John Beddington, the U.K. government's chief scientific adviser. "We've got to be scared by these events otherwise we will not take them seriously."

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March 10, 2006:"This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic
Solar Max of 1958."

"History shows that big sunspot cycles 'ramp up' faster than small ones," he says. "I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007—and Solar Max to be underway by 2010 or 2011."

Who's right? Time will tell. Either way, a storm is coming.
Content from External Source
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/10mar_stormwarning/

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Solar Shield--Protecting the North American Power Grid


http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/26oct_solarshield/

Oct. 26, 2010: Every hundred years or so, a solar storm comes along so potent it fills the skies of Earth with blood-red auroras, makes compass needles point in the wrong direction, and sends electric currents coursing through the planet's topsoil. The most famous such storm, the Carrington Event of 1859, actually shocked telegraph operators and set some of their offices on fire. A 2008 report by the National Academy of Sciences warns that if such a storm occurred today, we could experience widespread power blackouts with permanent damage to many key transformers.

"Solar Shield is a new and experimental forecasting system for the North American power grid," explains project leader Antti Pulkkinen, a Catholic University of America research associate working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "We believe we can zero in on specific transformers and predict which of them are going to be hit hardest by a space weather event."

While the CME is crossing the sun-Earth divide, a trip that typically takes 24 to 48 hours, the Solar Shield team prepares to calculate ground currents. "We work at Goddard's Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC)," says Pulkkinen. The CCMC is a place where leading researchers from around the world have gathered their best physics-based computer programs for modeling space weather events. The crucial moment comes about 30 minutes before impact when the cloud sweeps past ACE, a spacecraft stationed 1.5 million km upstream from Earth. Sensors onboard ACE make in situ measurements of the CME's speed, density, and magnetic field. These data are transmitted to Earth and the waiting Solar Shield team.
Content from External Source
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A 2008 workshop by the National Research Councils Space Studies Board predicted that a "severe geomagnetic storm scenario" would have societal and economic costs of up to $2 trillion in the first year alone, and recovery time ranging from four to 10 years.
Content from External Source
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4008700...-solar-shield-protect-power-grids-sun-storms/
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NASA's Solar Shield to Protect Power Grids From Sun Storms
by Nola Redd, SPACE.com ContributorDate: 08 November 2010 Time: 07:05 AM ET
Content from External Source
http://www.space.com/9484-nasa-solar-shield-protect-power-grids-sun-storms.html

Pulkkinen said the Solar Shield project is still in the experimental stage and more data ? meaning more solar activity observations ? will be needed to refine it. But he hopes that more individual power companies will be able to turn to the EPRI to receive both forecasts and real-time information for the approaching storm.

Each node could then take the action it deems appropriate, based on localized predictions, NASA, he added. ?

These actions could include simple things such as canceling planned maintenance work or having more employees on hand to deal with resulting surges, or stronger tactics like disconnecting the most vulnerable transformers from the grid itself. Such a controlled power outage only would be temporary, and far less damaging than an externally induced blackout.
Content from External Source
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the key words there are "slightly scary". We've always known about this potential problem. There's little political will to do anything about it, so people talk it up a bit. But if there's a massive solar storm there will be no "doom", just a bunch of problems, inconveniences, and economic impact.

Something you can recover from in 4-10 years is not "doom" any more than 9/11 was doom. It was just a huge event with lots of consequences. And a minor event is more likely. Personally I'm more worried about asteroids.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I think the key words there are "slightly scary". We've always known about this potential problem. There's little political will to do anything about it, so people talk it up a bit. But if there's a massive solar storm there will be no "doom", just a bunch of problems, inconveniences, and economic impact.

Something you can recover from in 4-10 years is not "doom" any more than 9/11 was doom. It was just a huge event with lots of consequences. And a minor event is more likely. Personally I'm more worried about asteroids.

While I don't disagree . . .seems like this was the most intense campaign I have seen from NASA regarding global consequences . . . and of course Hollywood added their drama in Knowing . . .

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Really? It hardly seems like a big campaign to me. Certainly no more than is warranted.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Really? It hardly seems like a big campaign to me. Certainly no more than is warranted.
So what is your feeling about the probability of a 2 Trillion dollar hiccup between now and say the end of 2014 . . . ????

A 2008 workshop by the National Research Councils Space Studies Board predicted that a "severe geomagnetic storm scenario" would have societal and economic costs of up to $2 trillion in the first year alone, and recovery time ranging from four to 10 years.
Content from External Source

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40087000...ds-sun-storms/
 

solrey

Senior Member.
Michio Kaku is a media whore who twists real science into his particular version of sensationalism. What kind of journalist drags out a theoretical physicist specializing in string theory to talk about solar physics? What kind of scientist, other than a media whore, would even agree to do an interview covering a subject far outside their area of expertise? There are plenty of solar physicists out there that could have been interviewed.

Lazy Journalists and Media Whores

In the post at Phyrangula, Myers shows a video of Kaku talking about evolution and wonders if he's an idiot because what he's saying betrays a complete ignorance of evolutionary biology. I was reminded of this because a couple of days ago, I was in my car listening to NPR and who were they quoting about the Japanese earthquake? That's right, Dr. Michio Kaku.


The potential for geomagnetic storms to damage electrical grids is real, however there is an ongoing international effort to monitor solar activity and protect critical infrastructure.

Managing Critical Disasters in the Transatlantic Domain – The Case of a Geomagnetic Storm

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to have had the opportunity to
partner with the European Union, European Commission, Swedish government, U.S. National
Weather Service (NWS), and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) to
discuss readiness for a widespread, catastrophic disaster—a geomagnetic storm.
[..]
The Workshop on Managing Critical Disasters in the Transatlantic Domain – The Case of a
Geomagnetic Storm strengthened transatlantic emergency management ties and increased
awareness among both U.S. and EU stakeholders of the dangers posed by severe space weather.

Workshop participants accomplished the workshop objectives and identified several specific
opportunities for stakeholders to increase preparedness and enhance transatlantic ties and
communication. While these areas were identified within the context of a space weather event,
workshop participants agreed that there were improvements to be made across all-hazards
planning.

Some early predictions for Solar Cycle 24 indicated it would be the most intense in fifty years and those were the predictions that the media focused on. Certain scientists and the media hyped those predictions into doom and gloom scenarios. They were wrong. Predictions for SC24 were systematically downgraded as it became evident that this was not going to be a strong cycle. The latest prediction from NASA states SC24 will be the weakest cycle in a hundred years.

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 60 in the Spring of 2013. We are currently over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.

The original hype has blown up in their faces, imo.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Michio Kaku is a media whore who twists real science into his particular version of sensationalism. What kind of journalist drags out a theoretical physicist specializing in string theory to talk about solar physics? What kind of scientist, other than a media whore, would even agree to do an interview covering a subject far outside their area of expertise? There are plenty of solar physicists out there that could have been interviewed.

Lazy Journalists and Media Whores




The potential for geomagnetic storms to damage electrical grids is real, however there is an ongoing international effort to monitor solar activity and protect critical infrastructure.

Managing Critical Disasters in the Transatlantic Domain – The Case of a Geomagnetic Storm



Some early predictions for Solar Cycle 24 indicated it would be the most intense in fifty years and those were the predictions that the media focused on. Certain scientists and the media hyped those predictions into doom and gloom scenarios. They were wrong. Predictions for SC24 were systematically downgraded as it became evident that this was not going to be a strong cycle. The latest prediction from NASA states SC24 will be the weakest cycle in a hundred years.

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml



The original hype has blown up in their faces, imo.

Good info . . . why do you think their projections from 2008 were so far off ?? . . . Seems the ultra quiet sun . . . what happened?? Seems someone should have some major egg on their face . . LoL!!!!!!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Good info . . . why do you think their projections from 2008 were so far off ?? . . . Seems the ultra quiet sun . . . what happened??

It's essentially a weather forecast. Often incorrect, as it's a chaotic system that not well understood or modeled.

A repeat of 1859 is inevitable at some point. It will mess up a bunch of stuff, and we'll move on. And like solrey says, it's not like people are doing nothing about it.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
IMO, several appearances on major networks by Carl Sagan's Heir Apparent announcing the potential magnitude of the problem is more than a weather forecast . . . it is an attempt to gain public awareness at the least and purposeful doom mongering at its worst . . . I think someone was dead serious . . .
 

solrey

Senior Member.
IMO, several appearances on major networks by Carl Sagan's Heir Apparent announcing the potential magnitude of the problem is more than a weather forecast . . . it is an attempt to gain public awareness at the least and purposeful doom mongering at its worst . . . I think someone was dead serious . . .

Michio Kaku doesn't hold a candle to Carl Sagan. For somebody who passes themselves off as some kind of know-it-all super-scientiest, Kaku is more of a self-promoting peddler of cowpatties than anything.

There is a reason for the term spaceweather. It's a chaotic system that's actually not well understood, despite the confidence, or arrogance, someone like Kaku might exhibit. What most people who don't follow science closely aren't aware of is there were many different predictions for SC24 from a variety of organizations and university programs, some of them even predicted a weaker than normal cycle but that news isn't "sexy". The problem with mainstream science "journalism" is they tend to focus on the most dramatic sensationalized predictions because it's exciting and draws viewers. In short...doom sells. Remember this year we had a couple of early tornado outbreaks and some were warning about a devastating storm season? How did that work out so far? Heatwaves, drought and a record low number of tornadoes in July.

There is a fleet of spacecraft monitoring solar activity and thanks to the STEREO spacecraft we can now monitor the far side of the sun. SDO provides much more detail of the sun than was previously possible allowing scientists to formulate a better understanding into the processes that affect spaceweather. I believe at this point, all electric utilities have plans to protect their equipment and the grid as a whole in the event of a damaging geomagnetic storm. And thanks to that fleet of spacecraft and ever increasing understanding, we now have enough lead time to take action should a massive CME erupt.

Don't get me wrong, we should be vigilant and prepared for the worst but let's just be honest about the situation.
 

Charlie Primero

Active Member
. . . it is an attempt to gain public awareness at the least and purposeful doom mongering at its worst .

It's a bid for increased funding.

Modern science depends upon government subsidy for sustenance. Government subsidy is driven by mass media. Scare the masses, get more funding. It's an old grift.

The fraudulent nature of the Terror Protection Industry and the Climate Change grift are slowly becoming more well-known to the public. Those who suckle at the government teat need new Boogie Men with which to frighten the public.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So Charlie, you think there's no danger at all from solar storms? That nothing should be done at all? How about asteroids?

Can't you conceive that SOME scientist might be good people, who actually want to help?
 

Charlie Primero

Active Member
Of course there is danger from solar storms. That's why I subscribe to space weather forecasts and own a Honda backup generator and store gasoline.

I believe most scientists are good people who want to help.

That being said, I also understand political economy and how public policy is formulated and executed.

Have you read Edward Bernays' famous 1928 treatise on Public Relations? If not, I've attached a copy to this post for you.
 

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Clock

Senior Member.
Honestly, this has happened before. It`s nothing new: it just got lots of excitement because it was supposed to happen in 2012, where lots of CTs used it as evidence. This is what they had to say about them: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html#solar
...solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.

I think that quote stands for itself. Plus, now they are saying that it might happen in 2014, not 2013.
 
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