When harmful radiation from the sun comes towards the earth, the magnetic field of our planet reduces the damage caused by it. However, this can cause a major loss to internet services around the world. During a data communication conference, an assistant professor at the University of California has told that the great storm rising from the sun can end the Internet. This great storm can last from a few hours to several days.
How will the loss happen?
Sangeeta Abdu Jyothi presented this paper during SIGCOMM 2021. He has told that due to the solar storm, the power will go out which may return in a few days but the internet will be stalled for a long time. This will affect productivity. Sangeeta has told in her paper that due to this storm, the internet cables laid under water will get damaged, which will affect the internet between the continents. However, local and regional connections with fiber optic cables will be fine.
‘We are not ready’
In a conversation with WIRED, Sangeeta has told that there is not enough preparation for this. He told that the corona virus Pandemic proves that how our preparedness was. If there was no such protocol, it would have helped to deal with it immediately. The same is with the Internet. Our infrastructure is not ready to handle large scale solar event. However, he has pointed out that such storms are extremely rare. Their effect has been seen on Earth in 1859 and 1921.
storms have arrived
A low intensity solar storm also occurred in 1989. Their intensity can be understood through their impact on the electrical grid and the Internet. According to Sangeeta’s research, the impact on Asia will be less because Singapore is the hub of underwater cables and it is on the equator, but away from here, the impact will be more on the cables lying in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.
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