Friday, September 24

Big Solar Storm May Generate an Internet Apocalypse | Digital Trends Spanish

A large solar storm could cause serious problems with Internet communications, according to a new study by a scientist at the University of California.

The study was presented at the SIGCOMM 2021 conference and its author, Sangeetha Abdu Jyoiti, explains in Wired that a solar storm can cause internet interruptions lasting up to months, which constitutes a “worst case scenario” for the operation of the networks, something that has not happened so far.

The researcher explains that fiber optic cables are immune to the electromagnetic effects of solar storms, since these cables transmit data via light. On the other hand, the submarine cables that connect continents could be seriously affected, since beyond the fact that the internet networks at national levels do not suffer major interruptions, some countries could be disconnected from the rest.

According to Sangeetha Abdu Jyoiti, one of the problems that scientists face is that there is currently no previous data on how a large solar storm can impact internet networks. Because the last major events of this type occurred in 1859 and 1921 and, at that time, communications via the Internet simply did not exist.

The author also explains that there is some understanding of how these solar storms affect equipment on land. But on the contrary, there is no data on what could happen to the submarine cables and repeaters through which internet data is transmitted.

Even more relevant is that the sun has been relatively low for three decades. However, several scientists have warned that solar activity is in an upward cycle, so the arrival of a large solar storm cannot be completely ruled out, even though the probabilities are relatively low: between 1.6 and 12 percent. hundred of chances over a decade.

The study is available at University of California websitethough it still has to go through peer review.

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