National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

As evidenced in both ancient legend and the historical record, human activities, institutions, and technologies have always been prey to the extremes of weather—to droughts and floods, ice storms and blizzards, hurricanes and tornados. Around the middle of the 19th century, however, society in the developed parts of the world became vulnerable to a different kind of extreme weather as well—to severe disturbances of the upper atmosphere and the near-Earth space environment driven by the magnetic activity of the Sun. Although the nature of the solarterrestrial connection was not understood at the time, such disturbances were quickly recognized as the culprit behind the widespread disruptions that periodically plagued the newly established and rapidly expanding telegraph networks. During the following century and a half, with the growth of the electric power industry, the development of telephone and radio communications, and a growing dependence on space-based communications and navigation systems, the vulnerability of modern society and its technological infrastructure to “space weather” has increased dramatically.
The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology—power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals, spacecraft anomalies—are well known and well documented. The physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood, although our ability to forecast extreme events remains in its infancy. Less well documented and understood, however, are the potential economic and societal impacts of the disruption of critical technological systems by severe space weather.

1 thought on “National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

  1. shinichi Post author

    Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts:
    A Workshop Report

    National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

    National Academies Press (NAP)

    The National Academies Press (NAP) was created by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to publish the reports of the National Academies of Sciences,


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