A space weather scientist in England is reporting that a “solar storm” is likely to happen soon which could send cities into darkness as it destroys power grids and other electronic devices.
Mike Hapgood of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford, England has published a piece in the science journal Nature that says the world is not prepared for a truly damaging solar storm.
Hapgood told the Los Angeles Times that we could have a world wide outage similar to what happened in Quebec, Canada in 1989. A solar storm caused the city’s power system to fail in under two minutes leaving 6 million people without power. The cost to repair the system was close to $2.4 billion dollars.
The impact on the economy and daily life will be extremely significant in the event of a massive outage.
“If you don’t have power, you can’t pump fuel into vehicles,” Hapgood said. “We require electrical power…to pump the sewage away. What could happen if the sewage systems are not pumping stuff away?”
Hapgood said a recent paper on the possibility of a storm of this magnitude puts the risk at a 12% chance in the next ten years.
“That’s quite a high risk.”