How the Next Solar Storm Could Wipe Out the Earth's Internet

A new research paper outlines how the next solar storm could wipe out the internet globally.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Recently, UC Irvine professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi wrote a research paper that outlined a horrifying possibility that the next solar storm could wipe out the internet globally.  The world took notice as the academic explained the vulnerabilities present in our current global internet infrastructures.

It turns out that the electronic systems of undersea cables responsible for the internet are very vulnerable to the resulting radiation from a solar storm. If they were to get damaged by a big solar storm, it would take a lot of time, effort, and money to fix them. But the trouble would not end there.

Global economies would suffer as the internet is so crucial to businesses and governments today. Many businesses would have to close their doors and therefore many employees would have to be fired. In fact, studies have found that an internet outage on a national scale could cost the U.S. economy up to $7.2 billion per day.

So what exactly happens during a solar storm? How does this affect internet cables? How likely is it that's such a powerful storm would occur? And what can be done to protect the planet from such a disastrous scenario? We answer all these questions and more in our video. 

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