The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a scientific agency that monitors atmospheric and ocean conditions, has predicted a state of maximum solar activity that may strike Earth, causing total darkness this decade.
Forecasters and operators at the agency are keeping a close eye as the sun enters a phase of activity that may cause severe disruption of global power grids, airline communication, military satellites and even GPS applications on mobile phones and cars.
Besides this, US Federal Government studies revealed that this extreme solar activity and emissions may result in complete blackouts for years, in several areas of the US. Moreover, there may also be disruption of power supply for years together or even decades as geomagnetic currents attracted by the storm could debilitate the transformers.
The NOAA has mentioned that similar solar activity was also seen during the year 1859 when a geomagnetic storm triggered by the solar eruptions induced currents that surged through telegraph cables, the electrical systems of the time.
"We now know how powerful space weather can be and how events that begin on the surface of the Sun can end up wreaking havoc here on Earth," stated Tom Bogdan, director of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, or SWPC, in Boulder, Colo.
"This is why NOAA has a Space Weather Prediction Center - to forecast when space weather is coming our way, so we can avoid or mitigate damages," he further said.
However, this decade, forecasters at the NOAA are predicting a major threat to Earth as they are expecting four extreme solar emissions to take place. In fact, NASA scientists are predicting high levels of radiation emission in the year 2013 due to a possible weather storm during the year.
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