A potential solar storm could trigger life-or-death situations for people and businesses across the country, according to a study released Monday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The study found that a large-scale solar storm in the U.S. would be “generally a benign event that would not pose a threat to human life or the environment.”
The study, “A Large-Scale Solar Storm and Its Implications for Life-or -Death: A Risk Assessment,” found that it would not cause any significant changes in the environment, such as damage to plants or crops, or a shift in human health or welfare.
The report said that the impacts on the economy would likely be limited to minor damage to the economy.
However, it noted that a storm that “can cause substantial disruption to the electricity system” and can disrupt communications, transportation, and power grid could have a significant impact on the health and well-being of people and families, as well as the environment.
“The most significant adverse impacts of such a storm would be the disruption of public and private infrastructure, with potential negative effects on human health and the environment,” the study found.
“This would likely cause significant economic costs for individuals and families as well,” the report continued.
“These economic effects may also be felt across the broader public and public sector as people are forced to choose between their own needs and the needs of others,” the authors wrote.
The National Acadamines concluded that the potential for a potential solar event “is likely to be a moderate- to severe-event event” that would require some mitigation.
“However, given the likely severity and scope of the event, it is likely that these impacts will be much greater than the impacts of a natural disaster,” the analysis said.
“While these potential impacts would not be large, they would be large enough to significantly reduce the economic impact of a solar event, which is likely to cause a substantial and significant loss of economic activity,” the assessment said.
While it is not known whether the potential solar system is causing significant damage, it could “cause a significant disruption in the electricity grid, with possible negative impacts on human life and the environmental environment,” according to the report.
“In order to mitigate these impacts, policymakers should consider the potential economic impacts of large-system solar events,” it said.