Our little planet faces many poorly understood perils from beyond
Photograph by: Associated Press, NASA , London Daily Telegraph, The Associated Press
Considering the dangers lurking out there, it’s a wonder that our little planet is not in the firing line more often. We are just 150 million kilometres from a star that, while mostly well-behaved, occasionally has temper tantrums that could bring our civilization to its knees. Our solar system is home to a swarm of comets, rocks, boulders and flying mountains, tens of thousands of which are big enough to wipe out anything from a small city to the entire biosphere. And further out lurk delinquent stars whose death explosions are the largest since the Big Bang. If one of these went off nearby, it would be curtains for all of us.
In fact, Earth can be considered rather lucky to have not suffered a total cataclysm in at least 3.5 billion years – the period during which we have an unbroken record of life existing on the Earth’s surface. Before then, global sterilization events, caused by collisions with huge space rocks, almost Read more…
WASHINGTON – The White House, along with the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, say that some 679 widespread power outages over the past 10 years have been due to the effects of severe weather on the U.S. electrical grid system.
The White House report, titled the “Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages,” said the cost of outages take various forms such as lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production, inconvenience and damage to the electric grid.
But left unaddressed is the potential impact that an electromagnetic pulse event would have.
In a just-published 28-page report, the White House said that severe weather has been the leading cause of power outages in the United States between 2003 and 2012, costing the U.S. economy up to $33 billion.
The report pointed out that the resilience of the U.S. electric grid system is integral to Read more…
WASHINGTON – The sun is about to flip its magnetic field, at the peak of its 11-year solar cycle or at the half-way point of what scientists call a solar maximum – when it is at its most violent in terms of solar flares and the Earth is most vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse.
That’s the surge of sun energy that scientists say could in an instant return the developed world to an agrarian society, essentially without any electronics, and leave millions dead.
This mid-way point is expected in about four months – a December/January time frame – putting Earth in a position of greatest vulnerability even as the solar maximum diminishes well into 2014.
Scientists for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, have said the sun will reach its most intense period this year and well into next.
Others have suggested that even until 2020 Earth still could be exposed to solar flares that if they hit Earth directly could knock out the U.S. national grid system and fry electronic components and automated control systems not only in the U.S. but in other industrialized countries.
“It looks like we’re no more than three to four months away from a complete Read more…
Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, speaking from Sheremetyevo Airport’s Hotel Novotel, revealed the CIA’s Project Stargate was a complete success. (Photo: The Internet Chronicle)
MOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, hacker-fugitive and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, revealed Tuesday that a series of solar flares is set to occur in September, killing hundreds of millions of people. Documents provided by Snowden prove that, as of 14 years ago, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) remote viewers knew that the event was inevitable. Ever since, the world’s governments have quietly been trying to prepare for the sweeping global famine to result.
Speaking from his room at Sheremetyevo Airport’s Hotel Novotel, Snowden revealed that government preparations for September’s catastrophic solar flares have been “to only limited avail.” The flares’ results, he said, are known casually throughout the global intelligence community as “the killshot.”
Remote viewers employed by the CIA’s Project Stargate use their ability to perceive geographically and chronologically distant events to protect America. Since 1999 they have known about Read more…
Death Valley in July. (David McNew / Getty Images / July 14, 2013)
Long before scientists began to study global warming, author Raymond Chandler described the violent effects of dry, “oven-hot” Santa Ana winds gusting through the city of Los Angeles.
“Every booze party ends in a fight,” he wrote in his 1938 story “Red Wind.” “Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husband’s necks. Anything can happen.”
While social commentators have long suggested that extreme heat can unleash the beast in man, formal study of the so-called heat hypothesis — the theory that high temperatures fuel aggressive and violent behavior — is relatively new. Using examples as disparate as road rage, ancient wars and Major League Baseball, scientists have taken early steps to quantify the potential Read more…
Something is up with the sun. It has begun to behave very erratically, and scientists don’t know quite what to make of it. Sunspot activity appears to be slowing down with each new cycle and absolutely gigantic holes have started to appear in the sun. At the moment, the sun is approaching the peak of its 11 year cycle, and an increasing number of scientists are becoming concerned about what the next cycle will bring. If sunspot activity continues to diminish, could the sunspot cycle eventually die altogether? Is it possible that we could be approaching another ice age? Even worse, could the increasingly erratic behavior of the sun be an indication that the sun is dying? Traditionally, scientists have taught that the sun won’t die until billions of years from now, but in recent years astronomers have observed stars similar to our own sun suddenly begin to behave very erratically and then Read more…
A solar “superstorm” could knock out Earth’s communications satellites, cause dangerous power surges in the national grid and disrupt crucial navigation aids and aircraft avionics, a major report has found.
It is inevitable that an extreme solar storm – caused by the Sun ejecting billions of tonnes of highly-energetic matter travelling at a million miles an hour – will hit the Earth at some time in the near future, but it is Read more…
A solar flare drowned out radio communications on Earth on February 2. The relatively “tiny” sun spot erupted into a moderately sized Class-C coronal mass ejection. The sound of the waves created by the solar flare cloaked radio waves between 28MHz and 21.1 MHz.
The voices going across the impacted radio signals appeared to be “swallowed” by the solar flare, Wired notes. NASA JOVE project radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft noted how interesting the sound was as the wave from the coronal mass ejection (CME) rolled through.