LLOYD’S OF LONDON WARNS OF DEVASTATING $2.6 TRILLION SOLAR STORM
‘The cost of prevention is much smaller than the price of damage’
In 1859, a powerful geomagnetic solar storm blasted the Earth with charged particles, causing spectacular patterns in the sky and auroras visible as far south as the Caribbean. Telegraphs, the closest thing to modern technology at the time, shorted out, causing fires. The occurrence was known as the Carrington Event.
The Earth is just about due for a repetition. And rather than only some telegraphs going down, the consequences could be more catastrophic than any terrorist attack.
According to newly released scientific estimates, there is a roughly one-in-eight chance a massive solar storm will hit Earth by the end of the decade.
Analysts have been quietly studying the possible impact of this increasingly likely event for years. In 2013, the legendary insurance market Lloyd’s of London estimated a Carrington-level storm, which occurs roughly every 150 years, would leave 20 to 40 million Americans without power from 16 days to two years.
The total economic cost for such a scenario is estimated at $600 billion to $2.6 trillion, Lloyd’s claimed.
As the report observed, modern society is “increasingly dependent on electricity,” and even smaller solar storms, which occur more regularly, can create a huge amount of economic damage. The report urges protective measures be taken to secure transformers from these storms.