Satellite communications, air travel and electric power disruptions are occurring due to solar flares and other space weather hazards, experts told a side event today on Global Preparedness for Space Weather Hazards at the World Meteorological Congress. Vulnerability is growing as more countries adopt wireless technologies and as the next peak in solar activity approaches, which is expected in 2013.
Disruptions affect humanitarian operations, agriculture and mining and many other sectors, said participants.
Earlier today, Kathryn Sullivan, US Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, highlighted solar storms along with tsunamis and climate change as major challenges. Severe space weather events are an emerging concern, due to their potential to affect the worlds technology-based infrastructure, which weve all become more dependent upon, she said. Without a coordinated international plan of action, the next extreme solar storm could well be a global disaster in its economic and social impacts," she told Congress. >> More
Note: The next related side event, Developing a Space-based Architecture for Climate Monitoring, will take place on Wednesday 18 May from 13h30-15h00 in Salle 5.