April 21, 2009

A massive solar storm could be catastrophic for the United States and other countries, scientists warn.

[efoods]Such a storm could knock out power nationwide, reported, leading to a nightmarish scenario that could include failures of transportation, communication and financial systems; shutdowns of government services; and a lack of safe drinking water, food and medication.

Solar storms form when intense bursts of plasma erupt from the surface of the sun, creating what’s called a coronal mass ejection (CME). These eruptions can produce electromagnetic interference that wreaks havoc with electricity-dependent technology on Earth.

Although the probability of a worst-case scenario solar storm event is low, researchers say that our increasing reliance on technology makes it crucial to be prepared for such a calamity.

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