Solar storms can affect power grids in midlatitudes

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Australian scientists have determined that a solar event can have destructive effects moderate to middle latitudes.This study contradicts the general theory that only objects far above the Earth’s surface or in polar latitudes could be affected by solar flares.


In 1989 the ‘Halloween solar storms’ of Canada left without power, while in 2003 a similar event features caused the same consequences in Sweden.Without emabargo, experts point out that in both cases the eruption causing solar flares were the most powerful of which have been recorded in history.

   Therefore, scientists held the belief that only a large-scale storm could affect the midlatitudes. Now, the study, published in ‘Space Weather’, determines that this is not so.

   This information coincides with a time when international attention around the evolution of the solar cycle has increased significantly after several reports of NASA, the OECD and the World Meteorological Organization to determine the possibility of occurrence in 2013 known as the ‘solar storm of the century’ for their power.

   Therefore, the governments of United States and United Kingdom have just recently concluded a new agreement Atlantic cooperation in this matter and by formally recognizing space weather as a “significant natural hazard.”

   “We recognize the space weather as a significant natural hazard impacts on social and economic infrastructure and key technologies, including power grids, positioning systems, air operations and safety of satellites” says the document signed by the heads of the two governments.

   This year has been of high solar activity, as reported by the experts. The last storm was detected on Aug. 31, by NASA’s SOHO satellite. While scientists already are preparing for the most current solar cycle 24, scheduled for next year.

   From Space Climate Observatory  have pointed out that during the month of August the sun has released 17 coronal mass ejections in just eight days, all aimed away from Earth, something “proper and normal moment of the solar cycle. “

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