End of the World 2013? National Geographic on EMP

Haley Parks /

An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack could permanently disable the electrical systems that run nearly all civilian and military infrastructures. If a large nuclear device exploded high in the atmosphere above the United States it would cause a catastrophe. A similar disaster could result from space weather, according to an article in National Geographic.

A solar storm begins with hot gas from the sun hitting the earth’s atmosphere, causing an electromagnetic catastrophe. A few weeks ago, the world experienced the largest solar storm since 2007; it caused radio communications problems and a disruption of civil aviation. The sun has an 11 year sun-spot cycle; the time of peak activity of sunspots and solar flares is called the Solar Maximum. The peak of the 11-year solar storm is expected to hit in 2013; since 2000, the world has become even more dependent on global positioning systems for navigation and cell phone networks.

Scientists are estimating that a solar EMP today could cost the world economy up to $2 trillion! These scientists have been warning countries like the U.S., the U.K. and Sweden to be prepared for any such storm and to take precautions against it. This storm could shut down communications satellites, cause surges in power lines, and cause power grid failures. (more…)