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2012 Apocalypse and Solar Storm (merged)


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#1    Ashyne

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:14 AM

Is there a relation between the predicted 2012 Apocalypse and the massive Solar Storm that will hit Earth in 2012?

A grim prediction of a world teetering on the edge of apocalypse has come, not from the lips of soothsayers or lunatics, but from space scientists.

In a report funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences earlier this year, space scientists warned of a massive solar storm wreaking havoc on Earth in 2012.

A solar storm - essentially plasma balls spewing from the surface of the sun - can distort the Earth's magnetic field.

A particularly big one can destroy the tens of thousands of expensive and hard-to-build transformers in power grids worldwide.

This will plunge major cities like Singapore into blackouts, which are expected to last months, or even years, as new transformers are painstakingly manufactured.

Meanwhile, with no power, modern life grinds to a standstill.

In the first moments of this catastrophe, trains will collide and planes will crash, as their communications systems fail.

Satellites will crash back to Earth like meteors.

Hospitals, with their life-sustaining support systems, will see some of the most urgent needs at first.

But eventually, millions may die from hunger and thirst.

With no power, food cannot be processed or delivered. Water cannot be pumped from reservoirs into homes.

Back-up generators will help, but only for a few days before their fuel runs out.

As sewage systems fail, diseases will break out.

Horses will replace cars, the financial system will collapse and, in a silver lining of sorts, there will certainly be no more e-mails for you to clear.

Unsurprisingly, the report has generated much buzz.

Some accuse Nasa of scare-mongering in a bid to draw more funding.

But some independent experts have also praised the report as 'fair', 'balanced' and 'thoughtful'.

In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, Dr Mike Hapgood, who chairs the European Space Agency's space weather team, wrote: 'The report brought in expertise from a diverse range of organisations in academia, government and industry...and the ideas were tested by debate in the best traditions of the science and technology community.'

The report is not controversial for its subject, but for its conclusions.

Solar storms are, after all, nothing new. Several hit the Earth every year but most are harmless, resulting only in auroras, the spectacular light shows usually seen in the night sky over the polar regions.

But mankind's increasing reliance on technology has made us vulnerable in unprecedented ways.

Just how exactly does a storm 150 million kilometres away make your bedside lamp go kaput?

A solar storm comes in three parts (see graphics right), harmful in various ways.

It is the third and main force, a sledgehammer of an electrified gas cloud called the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), that delivers the killer punch.

By upsetting the Earth's magnetic field, the CME induces currents in the long wires of power grids.

The grids were not built to handle this kind of destructive overload.

So disaster will strike at transformers in power grids worldwide - where voltage is converted up or down for the transport and consumer use of electricity respectively.

The increased currents create strong magnetic fields that saturate the transformers' magnetic cores.

This gives rise to runaway current in the transformers' copper wiring, which rapidly heats up and melts.

Replacing a fried transformer is not like replacing a spark plug on a car engine. They are expensive machines, and no one keeps a spare transformer around the house in case a solar storm hits.

It will take years before the transformers are painstakingly rebuilt, and the world fully recovers.

Hope may lie in an ageing satellite named Ace.

Short for Advanced Composition Explorer, Ace is a space probe positioned directly between the sun and the Earth, built precisely to study solar storms.

Ace plays a crucial role because no matter how large the solar storm approaching Earth is, we can only predict the potential damage it causes once we know its polarity.

Just like a magnet, a solar storm has either a north or south polarity. If it's north, the storm may bounce off the Earth's magnetic field harmlessly.

But if it's south, we'll have to brace for fried transformers.

There is one way to save these transformers - shut them down before the storm arrives. But that will be a big gamble.

Ace is able to provide between 15 and 45 minutes of warning. But a power station needs about an hour to shut down.

This means the decision to shut down a power station must be taken before the destructive nature of the storm is known.

At stake are billions of dollars in lost business and millions of saved lives.

The sun goes through a 22-year cycle of fluctuating solar activity. The next peak is expected in 2012.

What if the perfect storm arrives then?

The report does not offer solutions. It is intended to spark a discussion but even that is an uphill task.

'It is hard for people to worry about solar storms when there are empty stomachs to feed,' said Mr Ang Poon Seng, vice-president of The Astronomical Society of Singapore (Tasos).

Mr Hapgood agrees that it is hard to prepare for Low Frequency High Impact Events (lingo for catastrophic but rare events like solar storms), but it would be foolish not to.

Apocalypse may be near. But it is perhaps also necessary to maintain some perspective in matters of such colossal nature.

Said Mr Albert Lim, president of Tasos, half in jest: 'You have a higher chance of getting knocked down crossing the road than getting fried in a solar storm.'

http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,...,198328,00.html

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#2    jaylemurph

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:14 AM

...I think you should only be able to say "Space Scientists!" if you end it with an exclamation point, and use "Pigs... In... Space!" style reverb when you say it.

--Jaylemurph

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#3    soulseeker

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:42 AM

The way I see it... this is the most logical and likely option. I don't mind...I know how to live off the land and survive

I wait excitedly for those plasma balls to hit.

Edited by soulseeker, 09 April 2009 - 03:42 AM.

I would like to bring attention to the newest member of the endangered species list: Common Sense.

#4    Emma_Acid

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:12 AM

These 2012 threads are getting stupider and stupider.

Solar maximum happens every 11 years. Did the world end 11 years ago?

No.

"Science is the least subjective form of deduction" ~ A. Mulder

#5    Enigmatic Annasawzi

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:34 AM

Heh, yeah, I remember this one, it's in Nicolas Cage's newest movie, Knowing. Only it doesn't happen exactly on 2012, but then again they didn't exactly give a date for the flare. In the end, the Rapture isn't of the faithful masses of *Snip* Christians, but a crap load of children. Which would make more sense, since children have a vast scape of understanding, will not at first, but they do, so the movie ends with earth being burned to a crisp, the children leaving, and Cage's character finally knowing, persay.




EA




Edited by Tiggs, 13 April 2009 - 08:08 AM.
Removed Flamebait

"There are times when the end justifies the means. But when you build an argument based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil."
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#6    oranged

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:10 PM

Enigmatic Annasawzi on Apr 9 2009, 06:34 AM, said:

Heh, yeah, I remember this one, it's in Nicolas Cage's newest movie, Knowing. Only it doesn't happen exactly on 2012, but then again they didn't exactly give a date for the flare. In the end, the Rapture isn't of the faithful masses of *Snip* Christians, but a crap load of children. Which would make more sense, since children have a vast scape of understanding, will not at first, but they do, so the movie ends with earth being burned to a crisp, the children leaving, and Cage's character finally knowing, persay.


Thanks for ruining the movie for me.

And for this post, Emma Acid is right.
We've been recording Solar Cycles for a long time (http://en.wikipedia....of_solar_cycles) and we've never had a destructive solar storm on the scale you are speaking of. I'm not saying its not possible, but theres no evidence saying it's going to happen in the future.




Edited by Tiggs, 13 April 2009 - 08:09 AM.
Removed quoted flamebait


#7    As a Matter of Fact

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:10 PM

I don't know if it 's going to be any of the above. But in all honesty I do feel that something has gone wrong and some type of trouble is on it's way for all of us. The real deal that is provoking this is two modern ways of living and thinking. There is a conflict between the western hemisphere of the world of living , thinking and survival. And there is the eastern hemisphere of the world of living, thinking and survival. I believe it is because one or the other is trying to dominate or conquer each others way of life that is going to be the Armageddon for the whole world.
In view of the west I'm going to use an example. We need oil to keep our lives and our machine to operate. So we look to the middle east because they have plenty of it.
The east has all this oil and probably at one time thought 'we are blessed' to have this source. But I'm willing to bet that some now regret having all this oil because the west wants it and they have to deal with our needs.
Here is the hypothetical option that probably won't work: "If the middle-east told the western civilization that they would put say ten huge barrels of oil on there ocean fronts every month for the west to have for free. They want no money from the west. All they want in return is for the western civilization to leave them alone and let them live according to what makes them happy.
Would the western civilization go for this?? After all isn't our motto "In pursuit of happiness??"  ohmy.gif


#8    HerNibs

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:34 PM

Emma_Acid on Apr 9 2009, 02:12 AM, said:

These 2012 threads are getting stupider and stupider.

Solar maximum happens every 11 years. Did the world end 11 years ago?

No.



I was just coming in to point this out, as usual, Emma is right on top of it.  original.gif

________________________


Oh, and regarding the bold of your statement.  Yes, yes it did.  We all escaped on a giant space ark.  You were dozing.  Did no one send you the memo?

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#9    digitalartist

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 04:46 PM

It was a what-if study funded by Nasa and done by the National Academy of Sciences.  You can find the review here Severe space weather study

I especially like the part at the end of the page:

Quote

At the moment, no one knows when the next super solar storm will erupt. It could be 100 years away or just 100 days. It's something to think about the next time you flush.


So all this talk about it definitely happening in 2012 is just that talk.


#10    schizoidwoman

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 05:02 PM

jaylemurph on Apr 9 2009, 04:14 AM, said:

...I think you should only be able to say "Space Scientists!" if you end it with an exclamation point, and use "Pigs... In... Space!" style reverb when you say it.

--Jaylemurph



That sounds like a plan!  thumbsup.gif


#11    burt_ie

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:56 PM

Funny how this theory has suddenly popped up not long after Knowing is released..hmmmm


#12    Piney

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:01 AM

Emma_Acid on Apr 9 2009, 04:12 AM, said:

These 2012 threads are getting stupider and stupider.

Solar maximum happens every 11 years. Did the world end 11 years ago?

No.


     yes.gif


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#13    jaylemurph

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 01:33 AM

Piney on Apr 9 2009, 08:01 PM, said:

yes.gif


     Lap....piiii......chehhh....


Aw man, he's an Indian and he has secret ancient prophecies and tribal lore behind him, so he must be right. Man. I enjoyed thinking I wasn't dead and thr world was still here.

--Jaylemurph

"... amongst the most obstinate of our opinions may be classed those which derive from discussions in which we affect to search for the truth, while in reality we are only fortifying prejudice."     -- James Fenimore Cooper, The Pathfinder

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#14    Enigmatic Annasawzi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:48 AM

oranged on Apr 9 2009, 06:10 AM, said:

Thanks for ruining the movie for me.

And for this post, Emma Acid is right.
We've been recording Solar Cycles for a long time (http://en.wikipedia....of_solar_cycles) and we've never had a destructive solar storm on the scale you are speaking of. I'm not saying its not possible, but theres no evidence saying it's going to happen in the future.




It had to be ruined, it's a great movie, but should of been watched at the movies, and ignored during the release to dvd, as all would and should do so. Yes the theatres worldwide got gay, with the whole rent a seat for two hours idea, but lets remember folks at least if we watch them in the theatres, we won't have to go to the movie rentals to get it for an antagonizing day or two. GO TO THE MOVIES AND WATCH, just don't rent it, that whole rent dvd's thing is a scam of all arts and forms.


EA

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#15    DarkNova@

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:23 PM

Enigmatic Annasawzi on Apr 11 2009, 10:48 AM, said:

It had to be ruined, it's a great movie,

EA


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