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‘Doomsday’ solar storms could knock out power for two thirds of America

Solar storms could cause massive blackouts across America and cost the country up to $41.5 billion a day, a shocking new study has found. Researchers carried out an unprecedented study examining the economic impact of huge solar flares it is feared could knock out power to entire regions. Researchers carried out an unprecedented study examining the economic impact of huge solar flares it is feared could knock out power to entire regions. ‘On average the direct economic cost incurred from disruption to electricity represents only 49 percent of the total potential macroeconomic cost,’ says the paper published in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Under the study’s most extreme blackout scenario, affecting 66 percent of the U.S. population, the daily domestic economic loss could total $41.5 billion plus an additional $7 billion loss through the international supply chain. Unlike the energy and x-rays produced in a solar flare – which can reach Earth at the speed of light in eight minutes – coronal mass ejections are giant, expanding clouds of solar material that take one to three days to reach Earth. Once at Earth, these ejections or CMEs can impact satellites in space or interfere with radio communications.

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