Arab News Japan
TOKYO: The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Tokyo has announced a preliminary threat assessment for a possible solar flare. Earth has not experienced a major solar flare in the last decade and one is thought to be due. If it occurs it could potentially disrupt all wireless communications worldwide for about two weeks in the worst case, according to a report by TBS.
If the Earth’s magnetic field is sufficiently impacted by such a large-scale solar flare – at an intensity that occurs less than once every 100 years – in the worst case, people globally would be faced with the intermittent inability to access either mobile phone communications or television broadcasting, among others wireless based activities, for about two weeks, the ministry said.
In addition, it is also assumed that errors of up to several tens of meters will be experienced in GPS accuracy, meaning that airplanes and ocean going ships will not be able to operate normally, and that there will be large-scale power outages as well. This could for a short time have a profoundly disruptive effect on the lives of normal people.
The next peak of solar activity is predicted to be around 2025, and the ministry states that it is necessary for Japan and other nations to be prepared to manage such a crisis before it occurs. This will mean assigning specialized employees TO the telecommunications AND aviation industry. The establishment of a “space weather forecaster” has also been recommended.
A local expert has suggested it is essentially the same phenomenon as would be experienced from an EM pulse that would come from a nearby atomic weapons blast. Only in this case the effect is natural. There is a slight increase in solar radiation during such events but probably not enough to make anyone ill unless they spend a long time with their skin uncovered in the bright sunlight. People who live in areas where the sun is strongest might want to cover up during a flare. This is not UV radiation but particulate radiation – high speed electrons, positrons, alpha particles and heavier nuclei. Most of these are stopped by the Earth’s magnetic field and the upper atmosphere, however with greater intensity, more radiation will get through. He finished with, “We see the terrible disruptive effects of Earthquakes. Are we now entering an age of ‘space quakes’?”