If a massive geomagnetic storm hits Earth, it would wreak havoc on the Internet, mobile phones and more.
A giant geomagnetic storm can knock out the internet, mobile phones and more. Geomagnetic storms have been properly recorded since the early 19th century, and further scientific data from Antarctic ice core samples has shown some horrific evidence of the same emerging. These suggest that geomagnetic storms generate induced currents, which flow through the electrical grid such as transformers, relays and sensors. As reported by Space.com, it is more than 100 amperes and can cause internal damage in the components. If a large geomagnetic storm takes place today, it would affect a majority of the electrical systems that are being used every day by humans. If it happens, it could lead to trillions of dollars of monetary loss and risk to lives of huge swathes of populations everywhere simply because we have enormous dependency on electricity and emerging technology for everything, including medical emergencies. It would send human technology back to the medieval ages.
Geomagnetic storm produces carbon-14 in Earth’s upper atmosphere
Geomagnetic storms take place when the sun ejects a large bubble of superheated gas called plasma. This bubble is known as a coronal mass ejection and it comprises a cloud of protons and electrons, which are electrically charged particles. When these particles hit Earth, they interact with the magnetic field that surrounds the planet which eventually causes the magnetic field to distort and weaken. These geomagnetic storms lead to strange forms seen in the form of aurora borealis. Apart from electrical failures, these storms can also affect high-frequency communication systems such as ground-to-air, shortwave and ship-to-shore radio as well as internet services.
Not just the internet, these Geomagnetic storms can fry the delicate electronics on satellites up in the sky and cause total disruption of mobile phones that are linked by these satellites. These storms can also disrupt Internet and mobile phone connectivity via undersea cables. While the cables themselves are unaffected, the storms will destroy the electronic and electrical connectors attached to them causing disruptions that may last 3 to 6 months even.
The geomagnetic storms are measured on “G scale” from 1 to 5 with G1 being minor and G5 being extreme. The Carrington Event that took place in 1859 is the largest recorded account of a geomagnetic storm and it was rated G5. The strength of the Carrington Event is calculated based on the fluctuations of Earth’s magnetic field recorded by observatories at that time.