Space weather can already have a detrimental effect on Earth-based technology which is reliant on satellites, but researchers now warn it can intensify weather patterns. A barrage of particles from the Sun can intensify weather patterns on Earth, which could lead to stronger cyclones. This could mean that typhoons such as Mangkhut, which smashed into south east Asia with wind speeds of 180 miles per hour and killing more than 130 people in 2018, could become more common.
Although there is not conclusive evidence yet that space weather can affect the climate on Earth, Professor Richard Clark of Millersville University in Pennsylvania, strongly suspects this is the case.
He believes strong solar storms can intensify the Aleutian low and the Icelandic low – two weather patterns which play their part in the frequency and intensity of cyclone activity.
Prof Clark told 21 News: “There are hints, I’ll say that. Hypothetically a strong expanded thermosphere during a solar event could intensify the larger scale circulations on the planet, the Aleutian low, the Icelandic low, but don’t take my word for it, the evidence is still out.”
Space weather also has the capacity to affect technology.
For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humans from the barrage of radiation which comes from sunspots, but solar storms can affect satellite-based technology.
Solar winds can heat the Earth’s outer atmosphere, causing it to expand.
This can affect satellites in orbit, potentially leading to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV such as Sky.
Additionally, a surge of particles can lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to higher than normal electricity in power lines, resulting in electrical transformers and power stations blow outs and a loss of power.
The higher amounts of radiation also leave people vulnerable to cancer.
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