A leading scientist has warned of the 'devastating effects' of solar storms when they hit a peak within the next two years. She has predicted a solar storm in 2013.
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Assistant Secetary Kathryn Sullivan said these storms would pose a growing threat to critical infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment. The storms also have a potential to disrupt communication and induce electrical currents in power lines and cables.
The solar eruption occurring in February was the strongest in five years creating spectacular aurorae and disrupting radio communications.
Sullivan is not the only expert to issue a warning about the threat posed by solar storms. In February, astronomers had warned that the human race is now more vulnerable to disaster than at any time in history and that it should be prepared for a global Hurricane Katrina-style disaster.
Experts have warned the intensity of solar storms could lead to crashing the stock markets, damage satellite systems and cause global power cuts for months.
The chances of a disruption from space are getting stronger as the sun is entering the most active period of its 11 to 12-year natural cycle.
The first major solar flare was recorded by British astronomer Richard Carrington in 1859.