Sunday, April 09, 2017

solar flares: The really big WAGD worry

a massive solar flare could wipe out out electrical grid and most of our computers.

As in the Carrington event.

but as scholars are busy trying to find evidence of past weather and climate problems in the past, not just in the west but in Eastern literature, they are now checking if anyone noticed solar flares in the past.

True, they had no electrical grid back then, but solar flares did cause aurora borealis which people could notice.

From Science alert:

In Meigetsuki, Japanese poet Fujiwara Sadaie mentions seeing red and white vapour in the night sky on the 21st and 23rd of February, 1204 – interpreted as a sign of a magnetic storm hitting Earth at the time. "Red vapour appeared in the north and north-east," he wrote. "It was like a distant mountain burning. It was very dreadful." Meanwhile a large sunspot, a sign of intense magnetic activity on the Sun, was also recorded during the same period in Song Shi.
"We found about 10 incidents of prolonged aurorae during this period," says another of the researchers, historian Hisashi Hayakawa.

headsup Instapundit. 

portents in the sky.
most Catholics remember the 1938 solar flare as predicted by a visionary of Fatima that it would presage a new war. But I also remember reading that in Speer's autobiography, when he saw it, he knew the Germans were discussing war and he thought it was a portent of  gotterdammerung..

on a more scientific level, StartsWithABang blog remembers that event.

Most flares are too small, too slow, and sub-optimally aligned to get past the Earth’s magnetic field...
These particles are bent by our magnetic field (as are all charged particles moving through a magnetic field) and will mostly be deflected away from the Earth. The ones that are bent into the Earth will crash into our upper atmosphere; this is the cause of nearly all auroral events.
he has lots more explanation plus photos at his blog.

You are probably safe from the particles, but elecronics, unless hardened, would be vulnerable...

his NASA photo shows some of the problems that might occur: There goes your GPS system, and probably your car.

Photo credit: NASA
Future science has a long article on the need to harden the power grid etc. against solar flares and EMP (electromagnetic pulses) from atomic bombs or other weapons.

BackDoor Survival has a similar article on what to do...

basic survival stuff, like have lots of candles and stored food ad water.

yup. sort of like how we cope when we have typhoons and prolonged brownouts.

I have to laugh however: Like most prepper sites they insist you need weapons to protect yourself.

Uh, maybe in the big cities, (the blackout riots of the 1970's come to mind) but here we actually helped each other: The neighbors recharged their cellphones on our generator, they filled large containers with water from our private pump, and during the last flood, slept in our second floor and stored their cars in our garage which is three feet higher than street level.

ah, but what would happen if an earthquake or disaster caused millions of people from Manila to flee?

Well when World War II started and Manila was bombed, Lolo and his mom walked to the farm... and he guaranteed that if I lived here, I would always have rice to eat.

a after typhoons, most of the "crime" was petty theft or looting by ordinary people to get supplies. Many of those who drowned in the Visayas after that huge typhoon a couple years ago died from the storm surge... they stayed behind to protect their homes and shops from looters... (when I talk of our typhoon, back then, it was actually a different typhoon that hit us two weeks earlier but didn't get a lot of publicity because of the larger typhoon put our disaster in the back pages. We flooded, but are inland so no storm surge).

the preppers always imagine a lone isolated family facing a gang of thugs, but in reality it would mean a neighborhood of people who knew each other bringing in supplies and keeping each other safe.

Even after Katrina, most of the "horror stories" were found not to be true.

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