Feb 21, 2011

Solar Storms Could Create $2 Trillion ‘Global Katrina’

The Guardian - The threat of solar storms that could wreak havoc on the world's electronic systems must be taken more seriously, the UK government's chief scientist has warned. A severe solar storm could damage satellites and power grids around the world, he said, leading to a "global Katrina" costing the world's economies as much as $2tn (£1.2tn).

"It's reasonable to expect there will be more [solar storm] events," said Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The watchwords are predict and prepare."

The sun's activity goes up and down on a roughly 11-year cycle, and the next period of maximum activity is expected in 2013.