Solar storms on the sun could cause so much havoc on Earth that our electrical infrastructure could collapse, the European Union research unit has warned.
“A solar storm that could damage the modern world is an issue that is comparably small probability but could have an enormous impact,” Stephan Lechner, head of the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, told MSN.
“We could live in a world where there was a problem in some areas with power supply and there was a problem with the sustainable establishment of communications for some time,” he said.
Scientists have warned that we soon can expect a severe solar storm on the sun, with the peak of solar activity to occur in 2012-2013.
The most recent large solar storm happened about 150 years ago, in 1859, but didn’t make any headlines at the time.
“If such an event reoccurred now we might have quite a different problem,” Lechner said.
”If it did there are some studies around that show a full reconstruction of the North American power grid might take between four to ten years.”
The solar storms have already affected the electricity supply in our modern day era, when in 2003, a solar storm damaged the electrical infrastructure of Canada and Sweden.