Monday, May 24, 2021

Early Warning Signs Of 'Electronic Apocalypse' ?

This Small Taste Of An Electronic Apocalypse Recently Experienced By Some Americans A Dire Warning Of What May Be Ahead For All Of Us To Prepare While We Still Can

Peter Vincent Pry 

“A long-term outage owing to EMP could disable most critical supply chains, leaving the U.S. population living in conditions similar to centuries past, prior to the advent of electric power. In the 1800s, the U.S. population was less than 60 million, and those people had many skills and assets necessary for survival without today’s infrastructure. An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease and starvation. While national planning and preparation for such events could help mitigate the damage, few such actions are currently under way or even being contemplated.” — Congressional EMP Commission (2017) 

Sen. Hall, a former Air Force officer and an EMP expert, has been warning Texas for years that electric grid vulnerability to EMP and cyber attack could have catastrophic consequences. The Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s electricity infrastructure, proved in February that they and the utilities are not even prepared to cope with a severe ice storm, let alone existential threats from EMP and cyber warfare. 

In South Carolina, Ambassador Henry Cooper, a former Air Force officer, EMP expert and engineer, is working with Duke Energy on the Lake Wylie project to protect a nuclear reactor from EMP — a pilot project that could result in converting 100 U.S. nuclear reactors into “islands of survivability” to help the nation recover in the event of an EMP or cyber attack, or both. The Lake Wylie project began, and continues, as a local grassroots initiative receiving no financial or technical support from the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or other agencies of the federal government. 

Ambassador Cooper says he has lost faith that Washington will ever act to protect the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures from EMP and cyber warfare. According to Cooper, if America is to be protected, it won’t be done by an incompetent federal government but by the people and the states, working “from the bottom up.” 

Now the recent Colonial Pipeline cyber attack appears to prove the ambassador is right. The official story is that Russian hackers made a ransomware attack on the business side of Colonial Pipeline’s information technology network, moving the owners, Koch Industries, to shut down the pipeline to exercise “an abundance of caution.” So supposedly, turning off the 5,500-mile artery that supplies 45 percent of petroleum to the eastern U.S. for civilian and military use — causing gas shortages and panic-buying — was self-inflicted. 

Or maybe not. 

Yesterday, May 22nd, sunspot AR2824 unleashed a sequence of solar flares unlike anything we’ve seen in years.

In only 24 hours, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded 10 C-flares and 2 M-flares.

The rapidfire explosions hurled multiple overlapping CMEs into space. According to NOAA models, at least one of them will graze Earth’s magnetic field on May 26th.

During yesterday’s frenzy, the sun emitted a shortwave radio burst so loud that “it drowned out lightning static from a severe local thunderstorm,” reports Thomas Ashcraft, who recorded the noisy signal using a radio telescope in rural New Mexico. Listen to the huge solar storm noise in the audio below:

The radio burst coincided with an M1.4-class solar flare at 21:30 UT. “This was a very hot and dynamic flare for sure,” says Ashcraft. “I was recording audio at 22 MHz and 21 MHz, and my radio spectrograph was operating from 30 MHz down to 15 MHz. Strong solar radio emissions were present at all frequencies.

This event was so intense, radio operators in the Arctic heard it at midnight. Rob Stammes chart-recorded the outburst from the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway:

Waves of ionisation rippling through Earth’s upper atmosphere have caused shortwave radio blackouts over North America on May 21st and southeast Asia on May 22nd.

Ham radio operators, aviators and mariners might have noticed unusual propagation at frequencies below ~20 MHz.

Astronomers classify solar radio bursts into 5 types. Ashcraft’s radio spectrograph is able to determine which ones were present in the May 22nd outburst. “It was a mixture of Type II and Type V,” he says. These are caused, respectively, by shock waves and electron beams moving through the sun’s atmosphere in the aftermath of strong flares.

The flaring of sunspot AR2824 continues apace on May 23rd, so more radio bursts may be in the offing. The impact of the CME’s dense flank could spark G1-class geomagnetic storms and auroras. [Space WeatherDaily Express]

No comments: