A severe solar storm will end the world’s Internet connection….
A severe solar storm will lead to catastrophic submarine cables
An investigation reveals that a severe solar storm can cause catastrophic failures in the undersea cables that support the Internet, Wired explained.
According to scientists, this phenomenon can damage power grids and cause prolonged blackouts, with repercussions everywhere, from supply chains to internet or GPS access.
Sangeeta Abdo Jyoti, of the University of California, has researched the effects that a fast-moving cloud of magnetized solar particles can have on global connectivity.
The study contemplates a scenario in which massive internet outages persist, even if electricity returns within a few hours or days.
Abdo Jyoti points out that local and regional infrastructure will have a low risk of damage because the optical fibers themselves are not affected by magnetically induced currents.
However, for the long submarine cables connecting the continents, the problems are even greater.
A solar storm that destroyed many of these cables around the world could cause a massive loss of connectivity.
In an interview with the same outlet, the researcher points out that global infrastructure is ill-equipped for a large-scale solar event, since there is limited knowledge of the extent of the damage.
“With the pandemic, we saw how unprepared the world was, and there was no protocol to deal with it effectively, and the same goes for the internet,” he says.
The information gap mainly comes from the lack of data. Severe solar storms are so rare that there are only 3 major examples that can occur in recent history and they occurred before the advent of modern internet infrastructure.
However, Abdu Jyoti and other researchers agree that, although it does not occur frequently, after 3 decades of low intensity for this phenomenon, the probability is increasing. And if that happens, the world will lose internet connection and it will take a long time to get it back.