Scientists: Extreme Solar Flares More Common, 5X Stronger Than We Thought
Here’s some news that’ll make you want to re-check your EMP preps: scientists have uncovered evidence of two solar storms in the past 1,300 years that are “at least five times stronger than any instrumentally recorded solar event.” Like, five times stronger than the Carrington Event.
Scientists studying ancient ice cores extracted from Greenland and Antarctica have found further evidence of two very powerful solar storms in the last 1,300 years, raising concerns about similar events in the future. Extreme solar storms pose a threat to all forms of electronic technology…
The new analysis of these past solar storms also confirms that they were several times stronger than the most intense solar storms that have been recorded on Earth. The largest solar flare ever measured came in 1859, during the so-called Carrington Event. Named for British astronomer Richard Christopher Carrington who discovered and tracked the solar outburst, the event disrupted telegraph service around the world.
From the abstract of the paper itself:
The origin of two large peaks in the atmospheric radiocarbon (14C) concentration at AD 774/5 and 993/4 is still debated. There is consensus, however, that these features can only be explained by an increase in the atmospheric 14C production rate due to an extraterrestrial event. Here we provide evidence that these peaks were most likely produced by extreme solar events, based on several new annually resolved 10Be measurements from both Arctic and Antarctic ice cores. Using ice core 36Cl data in pair with 10Be, we further show that these solar events were characterized by a very hard energy spectrum with high fluxes of solar protons with energy above 100 MeV. These results imply that the larger of the two events (AD 774/5) was at least five times stronger than any instrumentally recorded solar event. Our findings highlight the importance of studying the possibility of severe solar energetic particle events.
If a storm 5X the strength of the Carrington Event were to hit the planet, it well and truly would be lights out for civilization. And at some point, it will happen. The ~$10 trillion USD question is, when?