Editor’s Note: Perhaps the hardest things for people to come to grips with are low probability, high consequence events. Yet, over time, even very low probability events will happen.
Severe space weather is a good example.
Yesterday Space.com published an article (link below) about the Carrington Event. That started us thinking about how we are headed toward solar maximum in 2025, and recent warnings from NASA about the sun’s increased activity.
So today we are offering you links to several articles that you might find of interest. Below are some excerpts to whet your appetite.
And remember, “low probability” doesn’t mean something won’t happen. It means that over time it is inevitable.
An extremely powerful solar storm pummeled our planet 9,200 years ago, leaving permanent scars on the ice buried deep below Greenland and Antarctica.
A new study of those ancient ice samples has found that this previously unknown storm is one of the strongest outbursts of solar weather ever detected and would have crippled modern communications systems if it had hit Earth today.
But perhaps most surprising, the massive storm appears to have hit during a solar minimum, the point during the sun’s 11-year cycle when solar outbursts are typically much less common…
Using annual averages of the top few percent of the aa index the researchers found that a ‘severe’ super-storm occurred in 42 years out of 150 (28%), while a ‘great’ super-storm occurred in 6 years out of 150 (4%) or once in every 25 years.
We find that on average there is a 4% chance of at least one … severe storm per year, and a 0.7% chance of a Carrington class storm per year …
Editor’s note: This is no doubt the best general rule : Our research shows that a super-storm can happen more often than we thought. Don’t be misled by the stats, it can happen any time, we simply don’t know when and right now we can’t predict when.
Ancient solar storm smashed Earth at the wrong part of the sun’s cycle — and scientists are concerned
The Carrington Event: History’s greatest solar storm
Bypublished May 21, 2022
During solar storms like the Carrington Event, the sun ejects material into space, and it can play havoc with technology.
How likely is another Carrington Event?
A new joint study by the University of Warwick and the British Antarctic Survey used historical data to extend scientists’ previous estimates of the likelihood of space super-storms.
Devastating solar storms could be far more common than we thought
Editor’s Post Script: We like to think of ourselves as relatively cheerful and optimistic. Yet we are so often warning about things that could happen, it probably seems to many folks that we are living in a world of perpetual gloom and doom.
They say that optimists are happier people, and pessimists are more often right.
Let’s all be realistic about dangers in the world, and cheerfully undertake the hard work to protect themselves and our children. – Even if it means standing up against apathy and wrong-heading thinking, and making hard political decisions.