Solar Flares Could Cause "Serious Damage to Human Welfare"

By Gary Cutlack on at

Those words come from the UK Cabinet Office's latest National Risk of Civil Emergencies report, which warns that "space weather" is a very real threat to our cosy way of life.

The latest government guidance on things that may ruin our happy existence adds unpredictable space weather and solar flare eruptions to the risk register, where the chance of a dangerous, petulant eruption from our Sun sits alongside terrorist attacks and flu pandemics.

The report warns: "Severe space weather can cause disruption to a range of technologies and infrastructure, including communications systems, electronic circuits and power grids."

It also added that "the disruptive consequences of a severe solar storm could be significant," and with the Sun about to enter its peak solar flare period, the effects are about to reach their maximum. [Guardian via Techradar]

Image credit: Solar flares from Shutterstock