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Recent Uptick In Solar Flares Could Be Real Concern For Power Grid

Solar flareA reversal in the Sun’s polarity has led to an increase in solar activity, and in the past two weeks, nearly 30 solar flares have occurred.

Several months ago scientists agreed that the magnetic field around the Sun was in the process of a “polarity reversal,” according to an Accuweather report. The process normally occurs when the Sun approaches the peak of its solar cycle.

The potential for an Earth-directed X-class solar flare to take down America’s antiquated and overly-taxed power grid is significant. Infrastructure frailties are not a glitzy topic; they are far too mundane for mainstream media to venture away from the latest political scandal to discuss, but they are nevertheless important.

He current solar cycle is known as solar cycle 24. An excerpt from the latest Accuweather solar flare report reads:

With the sun recently completing what is expected to be the most active period in solar cycle 24, we have to ask ourselves if the reversal of the poles had something to do with this dramatic uptick in solar active. In the last 10 days or so, there have been at least a dozen M-class flares and 3 X-class flares. Our experts hypothesize that when the poles are in the process of reversing, the magnetic fields of the sun become twisted. This configuration leads to more openings in the chronosphere which causes more sunspots and other solar activity, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Harness the power of the sun when the power goes out…

An increase in solar flares near the peak of the 11-year Sun cycle shouldn’t but thought of as unusual, but since this solar maximum has been “noticeably mellow” scientists are taking note of the uptick in activity. The Sun remained unusually quiet over the summer months, prompting surprise among NOAA and NASA weather experts when multiple M-class and X-class solar flares began occurring on October 23. X-class flares are the most powerful solar storms.

The majority of the solar flares originated from sunspot AR1884. That section is near the center of the sun and currently facing towards Earth.

Scientists have only been able to view, track, and understand solar flares for about the last 20 years. The most powerful known earth-directed solar flare occurred during 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event. Telegraph lines, the most advanced technology at the time, burst into flames. If such a powerful event occurred today, life as we know it in America would cease for quite a long time. The United States does not manufacture the transformers necessary to bring the power grid back online. The Lights Out Saga movie trilogy, produced by Travis Fox, very accurately details how quickly the country would falter and how many lives would be lost, after such a catastrophic natural disaster. National Geographic’s American Blackout also examined an America without electricity.

In the film and prospective TV series, The Carrington Event, director/producer Rob Underhill paints a bleak picture of civilization turned barbarism just weeks after the short-out of the American electric grid. The grid failure is caused by a solar super storm that envelopes the planet.

Underhill had this to say about the recent increase in solar flares and the upcoming power grid drill:

With the incredible increase of frequency of storms as well as the growing intensity, it is merely a matter of time until a storm the size of the historic Carrington Event of 1859 happens in modern time. So, when it does, we best be ready, or else I don’t have a show to put on the air… there’ll be no TV, no internet, not even mainstream radio to carry my show! It is heartening that more seriousness is being given this real threat. For one, I have hopes more solid good and planning will come out of the November 13 power grid drill.

As previously reported by Off The Grid News, the first ever nationwide power grid drill (GridX II) will take place on November 13 and 14. Such a massive endeavor, along with news coverage about what the host of federal agencies will be doing during the drill, should be making headlines across the country – but barely any information has been shared or published about it.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the power grid a D+ grade during a report to the government about the health of various forms of infrastructure earlier this year.

How concerned about you about solar flares and do you think more should be done to enhance the power grid?

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