Next Solar Storm Could Be Worse Than Expected - Space Weather Experts Warn

6 March, 2012 - "We scientists made a mistake.

We thought that the next cycle was going to be quiet. Some of our data was off by a 20 and that's why we are issuing this alert now. We made a mistake.

The next cycle will be much more serious than we previously thought," said Dr. Michio Kaku, one of the world's leading experts in theoretical physics in an interview on Fox News.

Scientists have discovered leaks in Earth's magnetic field.

Earth's magnetic field which acts as our protective shield in space has a hole in it. That could be a problem because a weakened field could leave Earth vulnerable to solar storms.

Every 11 years the Sun releases a shockwave, a tsunami of radiation that could wipe out our communication, weather satellites, GPS, spy satellites, internet television and more.

All this could be wiped out when we have the peak of the sunspot cycle. That's when the Sun's magnetic field flips. North pole and south pole flip, releasing a shockwave of radiation that hit the Earth potentially wiping out a lot of our satellite communications.

Solar radiation can wipe out communication, weather satellites, GPS and more.

"Lets hope that nothing happens. However, what if our communication systems are wiped out?

A massive solar storm can have devastating consequences on our global infrastructure and economy," says Dr. Kaku.

"Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year.

The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years," says Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

The storm will hit most every day items including Sat Nav's which will cause huge problems for drivers and emergency services.

Pete Riley, a senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, California, says there 12 per cent chance of being struck by a solar megaflare.

"Even if it's off by a factor of two, that's a much larger number than I thought," said Riley after publishing his estimate in Space Weather on February 23.

"A geomagnetic storm could shatter nations all over the earth. We cannot wait for disaster to spur us to action," said former US government defence adviser Dr Avi Schnurr.

A massive solar storm can affect everything from home freezers to car sat navs.

"The sun has an activity cycle, much like hurricane season. It's been hibernating for four or five years, not doing much of anything," said Tom Bogdan, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

"Now the sun is waking up. The individual events could be very powerful.'

If Earth is hit by the same force as the worst recorded solar storm in history, 1859's Carrington Event, it would be devastating.

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