Tech blackout to cost £32BILLION A DAY
New research found the manufacturing, Government, finance, insurance and property sectors would be the most affected when the next solar storm unleashes chaos on the world’s technologies.
Solar storms are caused by radiation which pummels our planet heats up the outer atmosphere, causing it to expand.
This means satellite signals would struggle to penetrate the swollen atmosphere, leading to a lack of internet service, GPS navigation, satellite TV such as Sky and mobile phone signal.
Additionally, increased currents in the Earth’s magnetic field – or magnetosphere – could theoretically lead to a surge of electricity in power lines, which can blow out electrical transformers and power stations leading to a temporary loss of electricity in a region.
Solar storms can lead to power outtages
Research led by University of Cambridge scientists found if a huge solar storm were to occur, with experts previously warning that one could occur by 2020, then there would be huge financial losses in a world that relies so heavily on technology.
A solar storm could hit by 2020
The experts behind the most recent study found the astronomical $32.5billion sum will be accumulated through a loss of power at factories which would lead to a lack of production, while offices would not have the power to allow employees to work on computers.
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Published in the journal Space Weather, study co-author Edward Oughton, of the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School, said: "We felt it was important to look at how extreme space weather may affect domestic US production in various economic sectors, including manufacturing, government and finance, as well as the potential economic loss in other nations owing to supply chain linkages.
Whole cities could be without power
"It was surprising that there had been a lack of transparent research into these direct and indirect costs, given the uncertainty surrounding the vulnerability of electrical infrastructure to solar incidents.”
The countries most likely to be affected by the US’s potential power shortages are China, followed by Canada and Mexico, as "these countries provide a greater proportion of raw materials, and intermediate goods and services, used in production by U.S. firms.”