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Is there any truth to this "Internet/Electrical Grid Apocalypse"?


Orilander
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Everyone seems abuzz about 2025 and what effects it could have on the power grid. This video for example makes me wonder what'll happen then. Or if such an event described will happen.

Anyone got thoughts and theories on this? Given all the clickbait and other misleading information right now coming from all corners of the internet (including this site, though I won't name names), I am genuinely concerned about what's factual, and what's not.

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1 hour ago, Vancanneyt Sander said:

Don’t fall for the hoax…

the modern electric grid is able to withstand a carrington event. So don’t expect a blackout, it’s a hoax 😉

some further reading: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2021/03/12/the-great-quebec-blackout/

It still concerns me though, especially with how easily everyone latched onto it like they did. Especially since they all think it'll happen in 2025, and many of them saying it'll happen for certain.

 

And like the issue is that it isn't just the usual names, places and conspirators that are saying this (The UK Tabloids, Reddit, YouTube, et.al); but also more reputable (comparatively speaking) places like Washington Post or CNN.

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16 minutes ago, cgrant26 said:

The press loves sensationalism and alarmism. It generates lots of views and thus ad revenue, attention, etc. Don't fall for it.

These days sadly there isn't much in the way of "reputable" journalism in corporate media. As the saying goes "if it bleeds, it leads".

And that's what I'm getting at, there's little difference from a YouTuber peddling their "science findings" and a news outlet like CNN. I have noticed that most of these places and people seem to pull from the same few sources anyhow, including an unreviewed paper about the topic from 2021.

At the same time though, even the things that are supposed to be reassuring, aren't really reassuring. Which only makes me worry more than I should. Even the article linked in the thread is not really easing any fears I have.

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The chances for a super X-class solar flare is very very low. Strongest solar flares often occur after solar max, solar max is predicted for 2025. In last solar cycle we didn’t even have a super X-class flare. It’s been since 2003 that we had a few (Halloween storms) which include an X17 direct hit and caused one of the strongest space radiation storms. It caused Aurora visible till Egypt, knocked out a few satellites and only minor issues to the electric grid. Just to say that with the last big hit it was only some minor issues that we again learned from and now we’re more than ready for the next super X-class flare.

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13 minutes ago, Vancanneyt Sander said:

The chances for a super X-class solar flare is very very low. Strongest solar flares often occur after solar max, solar max is predicted for 2025. In last solar cycle we didn’t even have a super X-class flare. It’s been since 2003 that we had a few (Halloween storms) which include an X17 direct hit and caused one of the strongest space radiation storms. It caused Aurora visible till Egypt, knocked out a few satellites and only minor issues to the electric grid. Just to say that with the last big hit it was only some minor issues that we again learned from and now we’re more than ready for the next super X-class flare.

The problem though, is that many of these sources are predicting it'll be bigger than the Carrington or the 2003 event. That's their major sticking point. They (the news sources, tabloids, Reddit doomers and "Science" YouTubers alike) say we're due for another one this cycle that could easily top either past event. And I'm just wondering what the consensus on that is on this site.

 

Many of these folks also say the event is predicted to happen after the solar max too, which is somewhat concerning.

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43 minutes ago, Vancanneyt Sander said:

We can’t even  accurately predict a solar cycle, let alone predict the strength of a solar flare 😂 so anyone claiming that there will be a huge solar flare then is bullocks. You can only predict solar flares odd (C/M/X) when there are sunspot regions visible on the disk and current predictions of visible regions can only assume the potential. So predicting very strong solar flares years in advance is absolutely bullshit. 

Statistically the strongest solar flares happen in the second part of the cycle. But nobody can predict how strong those will be. At the end of SC23 many claimed that, because of the so called “modern max”, SC24 would be stronger than SC23 and they where all wrong, SC24 was way lower than SC23 and didn’t even produce a super X-class flare. SC25 is predicted to be as strong as SC24, it’s currently only a bit stronger than SC24 but still lower than the modern max of SC23, so the odds of a super flare based on solar cycle statistics is low.

So then that begs the question: For what purpose does any of these claims even have in the first place? Why are they latching on to the whole "2025 is the internet apocalypse" bullcrap to begin with? Even the original author of the paper that coined the phrase is ashamed by this.

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1 hour ago, Orilander said:

So then that begs the question: For what purpose does any of these claims even have in the first place? Why are they latching on to the whole "2025 is the internet apocalypse"

We're in the age where anyone can turn anything into doomsday.

Most people don't know how many factors are at play when it comes to extreme solar storms.

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1 minute ago, Jesterface23 said:

We're in the age where anyone can turn anything into doomsday.

Most people don't know how many factors are at play when it comes to extreme solar storms.

And for some, they do know, but either don't care, or completely ignore it to please the masses and their need for doomsday crap. At least from what I've seen.

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Things that have shown to be probably accurate:

1 - very strong flares exist but are probably rare, most information comes from proxy data (tree rings, polar ice etc);

2 - there has been noted impact on electric grids before more than once;

3 - it is not possible to predict when Earth will receive a very strong impact from a strong solar energetic particle event, but from proxy data it really often occurs (from a 100 year perspective);

4 - most electrical grids have no problems with most frequent events, but are not prepared for very strong flares (on the UK I´m aware of modifications to resist stronger events);

5 - there are many other global dangers for sure.

Edited by Paulo Scaldaferri
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2 hours ago, Paulo Scaldaferri said:

4 - most electrical grids have no problems with most frequent events, but are not prepared for very strong flares (on the UK I´m aware of modifications to resist stronger events);

Please dont believe me because Im not a scientist, but we have protective systems to reroute power, and we have teams of people monitoring the sun 24/7 to make sure that the sun doesnt fry us. while there might be damage if something really strong happens, it will likely be minimal and not cause the electricity apocalypse. also as Vancanneyt Sander said, there have been aurora visible to egypt before and only minor damage happened.

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Past flares on their own wouldn't be as important. We'd need to get hit in the right spot of a CME for the geomagnetic event, and that could be within a 40 degree span of the center of the CME for all we know.

With better preparedness and forecasting, we are probably well better off than we were just 20 years ago. We just need a extreme geomagnetic event to happen again and see what the internet say afterwards.

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16 minutes ago, Lithium4467 said:

Please dont believe me because Im not a scientist, but we have protective systems to reroute power, and we have teams of people monitoring the sun 24/7 to make sure that the sun doesnt fry us. while there might be damage if something really strong happens, it will likely be minimal and not cause the electricity apocalypse. also as Vancanneyt Sander said, there have been aurora visible to egypt before and only minor damage happened.

Evidences against that for me:

1 - articles and reports have calculated possibilities to avoid greater impact (UK report being one of the most well known), but it seems like a RARE EVENT - BIG IMPACT - HUGE INVESTMENT issue; for strong events it is even suggested coastal transmission of power (what exists... near nowhere).

2 - aurora visible in lower latitudes is far from the possible events that proxy data suggest to be possible and has happened many times over millennia, but yes we have strong geomagnetic storms (from the time we have monitored), but is that the stronger it gets? Most probably no. Remember, as a species we have 450k years, around 3-10k of knowledge of history, 150 years of power grids existence, 70 years of the first satellite, 40 years of internet. There´s a good amount of unknown there... There´s also a good number of known impacts.

3 - in my country, Brazil, I have close contact (family) with people inside electrical company management and around here I am pretty sure these possible events are not even considered at all.

No reason for despair, no reason for running for the mountains, surely no doomsday. But the possibility of impactful events is something to really acknowledge.

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Now THAT will be interesting.  😂😂

5 hours ago, Jesterface23 said:

Past flares on their own wouldn't be as important. We'd need to get hit in the right spot of a CME for the geomagnetic event, and that could be within a 40 degree span of the center of the CME for all we know.

With better preparedness and forecasting, we are probably well better off than we were just 20 years ago. We just need a extreme geomagnetic event to happen again and see what the internet say afterwards.

I should add given the seriousness of the subject at hand , us terrestrials have very little to be concerned about. 

Edited by hamateur 1953
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On 9/28/2023 at 9:51 AM, Vancanneyt Sander said:

Don’t fall for the hoax…

the modern electric grid is able to withstand a carrington event. So don’t expect a blackout, it’s a hoax 😉

some further reading: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2021/03/12/the-great-quebec-blackout/

I don't think it is a Hoax, but there is a lot of alarmism and sensationalism, as suggested in the above comments. All true, the only part thats not true, is "hoax".

What are my thoughts based on? Science literature, and certainly not youtube or CNN hehe.

The fact is, we DO NOT know what would happen. It is speculative right now, and fun to speculate. From the data we have currently, it seems that there are a number of events we have observed that give us hints at what COULD happen. However, it doesn't seem we have enough information, or a reliable enough model system make definitive conclusions. Those who are making conclusions would be the people who are "hoaxing".

For example, if you ask if the sun can hurt our electrical and communication infrastructure. That would be a clear "yes", and we know why/how. Will it send us into an apocalypse? Probably not, but of course it is still possible. I would never tell people that won't happen, that would be a lie, just like telling people it would happen, could be the same lie.

Why can't you say it like that, instead of saying "hoax"? I would prefer to say it how it is, instead of giving people a false sense of security (im not being hostile, in fact im not even trying to single anyone out, I'm just being maximally respectful to all). I invite everyone to try to be maximally accurate, that way you don't spread misinformation. Ok, lets just be real. We don't know, because a large event has not happened to our infrastructure as it stands now. If it did happen, there is likely no consistent effect we could expect. For example, researchers have suggested exactly that, which is that you may have some systems affected and others not, you can take an educated guess at which systems that would be... no promises. A large eveny could knock out some stuff and NOT other stuff. Perhaps it would knock out ALL stuff or NO stuff.

I think currently, when it comes to the sun. We can only speculate. Keep it as speculation, and say the word "speculation", and avoid other conclusive words like hoax. The only "hoax" would be someone (even a scientist in the field) saying they know what WOULD or WOULD NOT happen.

Maybe the sun doesn't send us into darkness, maybe it is our emotions, worry, anxiety, and human nature to send us there....or maybe the sun. 

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On 9/29/2023 at 9:53 PM, SpaceWhiskey said:

I don't think it is a Hoax, but there is a lot of alarmism and sensationalism, as suggested in the above comments. All true, the only part thats not true, is "hoax".
 

For example, if you ask if the sun can hurt our electrical and communication infrastructure. That would be a clear "yes", and we know why/how. Will it send us into an apocalypse? Probably not, but of course it is still possible. I would never tell people that won't happen, that would be a lie, just like telling people it would happen, could be the same lie.

Maybe the sun doesn't send us into darkness, maybe it is our emotions, worry, anxiety, and human nature to send us there....or maybe the sun. 

I believe you have heard of the term "self fulfilling prophesy". Based on what we currently know and can estimate, the likely reason for an apocalypse is indeed what you call 'human nature'. As sad as it is. The media sensationalising everything, the people reacting to that and the least nice part of society reacting with looting and widespread general mayhem. That's a very likely scenario and quite frankly I hope to be far away from large civilisation centres at that time.

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On 9/28/2023 at 11:51 AM, Vancanneyt Sander said:

Don’t fall for the hoax…

the modern electric grid is able to withstand a carrington event. So don’t expect a blackout, it’s a hoax 😉

some further reading: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2021/03/12/the-great-quebec-blackout/

Modern day electric grids are not weak telegraphs wires many people in the media and fearmongers forget this. 2003 Halloween storms and the 1972 solar storm were both Carrington class events and nothing happened to our electric girds.

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14 hours ago, SpaceWeather5464 said:

Modern day electric grids are not weak telegraphs wires many people in the media and fearmongers forget this. 2003 Halloween storms and the 1972 solar storm were both Carrington class events and nothing happened to our electric girds.

Not only that but most electronic devices are equipped with surge protectors, are sleeved, and a lot of infrastructure isnt even exposed to the open air. On top of that, for most other electronics that are, like satelites, they literally just need to be reset/restarted and they continue function fine (except STEREO behind, RIP big dawg in the sky)

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2 hours ago, Hayday said:

 

Not only that but most electronic devices are equipped with surge protectors, are sleeved, and a lot of infrastructure isnt even exposed to the open air. On top of that, for most other electronics that are, like satelites, they literally just need to be reset/restarted and they continue function fine (except STEREO behind, RIP big dawg in the sky)

stereo behind died because of this???? 

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It all depends on who you ask. Some people dont see the stuff that does happen and blindly say there is no risk. Others put satelites up in the sky and watch billions of dollars worth of damage to blips smaller than a "carrington event". See the sun in my moniker description did exactly that much damage from something much smaller than a Carrington event. I think Elon/Naveen alone lost 100-1000 satellites during that storm. Satellites that were less than a year old. Good luck grounding equipment in space. The Carrington event may have actually been a rather small blip relative to what could happen on the sun anyways and not worth making the comparison relative to the claims of people from thousands of years ago (backed up by research today)

 

I think Apocolypse  is a strong word. If it happens it would be more like an Epoch. Everything breaks and the engineers and technicians all cry until the new and improved grid is up. 

 

See the storms and earthquakes though. My company spends real efforts studying the correlation between your suns activity and those. Been rudely laughing at naysayers since Turkey (also the sun in that moniker pic). Dont let anyone tell you what to believe. Research for yourself.

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