Has NASA warned of the Internet apocalypse? – Factcrescendo Sri Lanka – English

The internet is a crucial element of modern life. Were it to disappear, it would not only impact human communication, but could also cause disruptions to the energy system, transportation system, economy, and global access to information.

Lately, social media users have expressed concern about the possibility of an “Internet Apocalypse” or the collapse of the Internet, citing NASA’s warning that this could happen soon.

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Upon further investigation, we discovered that the above claim came from an article about NASA’s new artificial intelligence that can predict solar storms in advance.

What is a solar storm?

A solar storm is a phenomenon that describes the release of energy from the sun. The result of a solar storm can cause various events, such as solar flares or solar winds, that can affect Earth’s magnetosphere. These events may collectively be referred to as “Space Weather”.

In this article, NASA explains the possible impacts of solar activity:

“The Sun is constantly emitting solar material into space both in a steady stream known as the ‘solar wind’ and in shorter, more energetic bursts from solar flares. When this solar material hits Earth’s magnetic environment (its “magnetosphere”), it sometimes creates so-called geomagnetic storms. The impacts of these magnetic storms can range from mild to extreme, but in a world increasingly dependent on technology, their effects are becoming more disruptive.”

Therefore, NASA has not issued any geomagnetic or solar storm warnings that could affect technology and the internet. However, they did mention a new AI system that could help cope with and prevent such impacts of solar storms on Earth.

How does space weather affect the world?

As modern society relies heavily on technology, serious space weather it can affect many types of technology, including power grids, oil and gas pipelines, GPS navigation systems, and even radio communication systems.

One of the best known examples of space weather is the Hydro-Qubec power grid failure on March 13, 1989. This failure was caused by geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) resulting from a malfunctioning transformer. GICs were caused by a geomagnetic storm triggered by a coronal mass ejection (CME) ejected from the Sun on March 9, 1989. The power outage lasted over 9 hours and affected over 6 million people. (Source)

Possibility of an “Internet Apocalypse” event.

Although NASA has yet to warn of an Internet Apocalypse event, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, a computer scientist at the University of California, has been studying the impact of solar storms that could affect the world’s Internet infrastructure.

According to his research, “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse,” which analyzes real-world data, solar superstorms are large-scale solar storms that can generate powerful radiation and particle explosions. Research estimates that the probability of a solar storm causing a major Internet outage is between 1.6% and 12% over a decade. These storms can cause damage to satellites, power grids and other critical infrastructure, including undersea cables, which are the backbone of the Internet infrastructure. Research found that undersea cables are more at risk of damage than land-based cables, and that the United States is at a higher risk of Internet outages than other countries.

This research also discusses the prevention of Internet damage caused by solar storms. It recommends that submarine cable service providers take measures to prevent damage to cables caused by solar storms, such as installing protection systems and developing software to improve the system. It also suggests that governments and international organizations work together to develop a unified approach to managing solar storms.

While it is statistically and theoretically possible, James Ball, the author of “The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us,” a book detailing the infrastructure of the Internet, isn’t too concerned about the threat from space. He believes the threat to the Internet may be more terrestrial than extraterrestrial, as problems with infrastructure that no one is ready to handle remain a concern.

As Ball stated, “Basically, I’m not too worried. Those aren’t high on the list of things vulnerable to the occasional glare. In reality, Internet threats are more land-based, infrastructure is creaking, and no one is in charge.” (Source)

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Title:Has NASA warned of the Internet apocalypse?

From: Fatto Crescendo Team

Result: Explainer

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