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US & UK Team Up to Protect Against Space Weather Threat:
Without waiting for the Visitors or Maia , space weather is' one of the elements belonging to the so called " Black Swan " . In September 2010 it was thoroughly discussed this issue at a special summit held in London and were analyzed the possible impacts that a " solar storm " ( Geomagnetic events) of a certain amount of violence could have on critical infrastructure and people. As a simple amateur astronomer it interested me , but if we look at the phenomenon from the perspective of risk management we are dealing with an event whose probability of occurrence is , presumably , increasing and , therefore , deserves to be analyzed , understood and managed . And the fact that the " space weather " has become part of the UK 's National Risk Register is a signal that you're going in this direction .
on this topic could be another conference in OSLO in October . Here is the link
26/6/2012 - Space.com
The United States and the United Kingdom are teaming up to fight against a growing threat from space: sun storms.
An international space weather
agreement between the two countries will expand collaboration to protect
against the potentially damaging effects of solar radiation, which is
due to increase as the sun ramps up activity toward a maximum in 2013.
The U.S. National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United Kingdom Government
Office for Science announced today (June 26) that the nations will share
space weather resources and scientific expertise to guard valuable
power and electronic infrastructure from solar outbursts.
"To effectively manage space weather threats
strong collaboration is required among scientists, forecasters,
emergency planners, industry and others," Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA deputy
administrator, said in a statement. "I am pleased that, in recognizing
the seriousness of these threats, the U.K. and NOAA are working together
to better understand and forecast space weather and to use that
knowledge to safeguard lives, livelihoods and property."
Powerful solar eruptions can hurl
plasma and charged particles into space, disrupting spacecraft and
satellites in orbit. When these waves of energetic particles are
directed at Earth, they interact with the planet's magnetic field and
can wreak havoc on electronics and power grids on the ground.
With a growing percentage of the
global population using electronics on a daily basis, protecting against
this threat is becoming increasingly vital, experts say.
Today's announcement follows a series of efforts to encourage and expand collaboration across the pond.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron
and U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of a space
weather partnership in London in May 2011, and at the White House in
March of this year, according to NOAA officials.
Earlier this year, the U.K. Met
Office, the government agency tasked with monitoring the country's
weather forecasts, expanded its research to include investigations of how space weather affects the planet
Scientists at the Met Office are
adapting current weather and climate models to incorporate the effects
of solar storms on a layer of the Earth's atmosphere called the
thermosphere, which is a region about 56 to 373 miles (90 to 600
kilometers) above the Earth's surface.
"Space weather is a global
challenge that requires a coordinated response," John Beddington, chief
scientific advisor for the U.K. government, said in a statement. "The
inclusion of space weather in the U.K.'s National Risk Register is
evidence that we are already taking it seriously. Today's joint
statement will build on this and see the U.K. and U.S. working more
closely together to better understand and respond to space weather
The sun's activity waxes and wanes
on a roughly 11-year cycle. The sun recently came out of a slumber and
is now approaching an expected level of peak activity, or solar maximum,