Space & Astronomy
Solar storm could cause 'Internet apocalypse'
By T.K. Randall
September 12, 2021 · 23 comments
Could you survive an 'Internet apocalypse ?' Image Credit: NASA/Steele Hill
Scientists have warned that a devastating solar storm could disrupt the world's Internet for months.
The last time a coronal mass ejection from the Sun hit the Earth was in 1921, a time long before computers, mobile phones and many of the other things that we now take for granted.
More recently, however, scientists have warned that if a major solar storm happened now, it could cause serious disruption to our way of life due to our reliance on electronic communications.
According to new data presented at the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference, such an event could cause an 'Internet apocalypse' that could take down online systems for months.
Given that everything from card payments to messaging services rely on the Internet to function, a disruption of this nature and of this magnitude could prove disastrous.
"What really got me thinking about this is that with the pandemic we saw how unprepared the world was," said study co-author Abdu Jyothi from the University of California, Irvine.
"There was no protocol to deal with it effectively, and it's the same with internet resilience. Our infrastructure is not prepared for a large-scale solar event."
With the likelihood of a coronal mass ejection occurring being only around 1.6-1.4% per decade, however, it's possible that we may be able to avoid this particular disaster scenario - at least for now.
Source: Live Science
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