Is a 'Katrina-Like' Space Storm Brewing?
Scientists Worry We Aren't Prepared for Event That Could Zap Government, Cost Trillions
U.S. scientists worry we aren't ready for a solar space storm that could knock out our electricity, our cell phones, even our water supply.
The chances of that happening are small, but it is a possibility as we move into an active period of solar storms.
How do they know? Well, it's happened before. Back in 1859, a solar eruption resulted in telegraph wires burning up.
Of course, the world is now covered in wires and wireless devices that could be vulnerable.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) gathered experts from around the country to look at the economic and social costs from these space storms. While they didn't make any recommendations, the scientists hope their report is a wake-up call.
"We're not trying to be alarmist," said Dan Baker, who is the lead author of the report, "but we are trying to show how our systems are interconnected."