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Scientists foresee stronger solar storms in next 11 years
Latest Updated by 2006-03-08 15:06:12
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Scientists foresee stronger solar storms in next 11 years

Scientists announced Monday that increasingly severe solar storms are likely to take place in the next 11 years.

Scientists announced Monday that increasingly severe solar storms are likely to take place in the next 11 years. (file photo)

 

Scientists announced Monday that increasingly severe solar storms are likely to take place in the next 11 years. 

 

When the solar cycle reaches its peak in 2012, it will hurl at Earth mammoth solar storms with intense radiation and clouds of high-speed subatomic particles millions of miles across, which could  short-circuit a world increasingly dependent on giant utilities and satellite communications networks, scientists warned.

 

The solar storms in the past have knocked out huge power grids and screwed up global electronics and data communications, but "the next sunspot cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last one," the scientists said in Monday's statement. 

 

Monday's forecast was announced by scientists from agencies including NASA and the National Science Foundation, based on research centered at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.

 

There is disagreement on exactly when the new cycle will begin. One researcher predicted that the cycle will likely start in late 2007 or early 2008 while another said it could begin as either as late this year. But they did agree that the most severe storms won't begin popping on the solar surface for several years, but when they do, they'll be huge.

 

Solar storms can happen at any time during an 11-year solar cycle. However, by far the worst storms are likeliest to occur during the period known as "solar maximum," or solar max for short. The last solar max was in 2001.

 

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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