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Earth to face intense solar activity in 2012
Saturday, May 28th 2011, 6:26 AM EDT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
Intense solar activity expected next year can result in a wave of anthropogenic disasters. However, experts say Russia won’t be among the worst affected countries.

Medieval astronomers registered that the number of spots on the Sun`s surface varied from time to time and sometimes vanished completely. In 1843 German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe discovered that sunspots changed in quantity according to strict cycles, from 9 up to 13,7 years- every 11 years on average. We now know that the Sun needs this period of time to change its magnetic pole into the opposite. This leads to geomagnetic storms which have an impact on radio communication, climate and the ozone layer. Undoubtedly, these cycles also affect our health, though this mechanism has not yet been well studied. Over the past 2,5 years we have been experiencing a period of low solar activity when there is not a single spot on the sun`s surface. It`s quite a long time as usually this cycle lasts not more than a year. Director at the Institute of Space Studies for the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lev Zeleny, shared official statistics on the problem…

"In Canada and Alaska transformers used to run out of order in times of intense solar activity, but now we know how to cope with it. There is a special space weather bureau at NASA to monitor the situation and release forecasts before there are any changes in solar activity."

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But solar plasma can cause an anthropogenic disaster only in case the Earth`s magnetic fields have particular characteristics. Nowadays it poses no risk for Russian territory, Lev Zeleny says:

"If we look at how the geomagnetic field extends, we`ll see that its epicenter is in Canada and the US, while our northern areas are much less affected. But the geomagnetic poles are moving over time and by the end of the century it will reach Siberia. Intense solar activity will turn into a serious problem for Russia within 50-70 years, when the North Polar region is expected to have a well-developed infrastructure."

In view of this, sending a special satellite to collect data about space weather would be the right thing to develop a special warning system. Lev Zeleny says that Russia plans to join international satellite navigation system to carry out this kind of monitoring:

"Russia is launching the RadioAstron project this summer to study quasars and the origin of the Universe. A special module will monitor space between our planet and the Sun, and in case there is a rise in solar activity it will send information to Earth 2 hours before a geomagnetic storm reaches the Earth`s surface."
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