The report’s data indicated that damage from a massive solar storm could cause prolonged blackouts that would primarily affect the underwater cables connecting the various continents and those responsible for the world’s computer networks. However, regional connection cables would be at less risk, as they are not affected by solar storm emissions.
Although governments and businesses were able to install electricity again in a few hours or days, the damage it caused could prevent the connection from working for long periods of time.
A solar storm is caused by a massive coronal mass ejection from the Sun that is composed of ionized gas at high temperatures and which can create an electromagnetic field high enough to affect the electrical grid.
This way, although local networks remained intact, entire countries could be disconnected from the Internet.
“Our infrastructure is not ready for large-scale solar planning. We have a very limited understanding of how much the damage will be,” said Sangeeta Abdu Jyothi.
The last solar storm was detected in 1989 and caused a nine-hour blackout in northeastern Canada. Abdu Jyoti now believes that another similar event may be more likely as it has been more than 30 years since the previous event.
Finally, scientists warn that the solar storm is also likely to disable satellites, which would disrupt network access around the world. Underwater cables most at risk of damage are those that cross the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at high points, while those connected to Singapore are at low risk because they are closer to the equator.
Currently, researchers are continuing studies to more accurately estimate the damage caused by solar storms to avoid further complications by preparing agencies and governments around the world.