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Home Science & Environment Massive solar storm likely to hit Earth, may cause global Internet meltdown...

Massive solar storm likely to hit Earth, may cause global Internet meltdown | Space News

New Delhi: As human become more and more dependent on the virtual life this piece of news could be disconcerting for several. As per a new research, a solar storm is likely to strike with the potential to destroy all technical infrastructure causing a massive disruption akin to a ‘internet apocalypse’. 

The research paper has been published by Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi of the University of California, Irvine, and VMware Research. If this massive upcoming solar storm does happen then it can cause an internet blackout and will transform our digital world completely, Abdu Jyothi revealed at SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference last week. 

In her research, Abdu Jyothi noted that local and regional internet infrastructure would be at low risk of damage during extreme solar storms as they mostly use fiber optic. 

In an interview with WIRED, Abdu Jyothi pointed out that the world was unprepared for the reperussion. “Our infrastructure is not prepared for a large-scale solar event. We have very limited understanding of what the extent of the damage would be,” she explained.

Researchers fear that repeaters used to connect fibre optic cables undersea can go offline during a solar storm. It is enough to create an internet blackout for those who rely only on the internet coming from undersea cables. 

Severe solar storms have been witnessed in 1859, 1921, and the most recent one in 1989. The one in 1989 took down a Hydro-Quebec power grid causing a nine-hour power blackout in northeast Canada.

Meanwhile, in an estimate carried out by Forbes, internet outages could cost $7.2 billion per day to the US economy. And this is a number will only rise, particularly as the world is now more dependent to internet amid the ongoing pandemic. 

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