Experts warn solar storm could be more damaging than Hurricane Katrina
February 26th, 2011 by Lisa Davidson
Scientists have said that a massive solar storm could be more damaging to humans than the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The news comes a week after the largest solar flare seen in four years, as top scientists said that the next major solar storm could cause up to $2 trillion in damage to power grids, GPS systems and communication satellites. Thursday’s flare caused problems in a number of power grids and communication systems for several days but were fairly minor, experts say.
Chief scientific adviser for the UK Government, Professor Sir John Beddington, said that a larger storm could be seriously catastrophic because of the massive growth and dependency on complex electronics seen in the past ten years. He said that the reliance on such technology has made societies much more vulnerable to such an event than they were a decade ago.
However, Beddington noted to the American Association for the Advancement that the current cycle of solar activity had peaked and was expected to continue to subside in the coming years. However he warned that a major solar event was not out of the question and thus governments should be prepared and that space weather needed to be taken very seriously.