Not just technology.
The Earth’s magnetic field is currently being impacted by two coronal mass ejections (large eruptions of solar wind and magnetized plasma). According to SpaceWeather.com and NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, strong to severe geomagnetic storms are possible today and tomorrow as a result of the consecutive impacts. The two CMEs are expected to ignite the northern lights, and may be visible as far south as northern Indiana.
On Tuesday, Sept 9, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 erupted, producing an explosion that lasted more than 6 hours. Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory observed the first CME racing out of the blast site at nearly 1,000 km/s (2.2 million mph). Billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide. On Wednesday’s the same sunspot spit out an intense X1.6-class flare Both are geoeffective (earth directed).
The first eruption was an M4-class flare and slammed into the Earth’s magnetic field over night. The second X-Flare will impact us later today. Video showing both eruptions. (27 seconds)
A flash of ultraviolet radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, disturbing HF (high frequencies) radio communications for more than an hour. (33 seconds)
What it looks like when a CME impacts Earth (41 seconds)
A solar flare is an explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released. Flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays. Scientists classify solar flares according to their x-ray brightness.
There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.
More about CMEs and geomagnetic activity. 4 minute video
As some of you may know, since 2007, I’ve been doing independent research on space weather, solar cycles and its impact on Earth, physiology and behavior. From NASA:
“Two years ago, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous, but most newspapers didn’t mention it. The “impactor” was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years. “If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” says Baker. “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”
“According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.
Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. ”
Not only do studies show that an extreme, Earth directed X-class flare could put us in the dark and disrupt communication for years, but studies also show that space weather affects humans in a clinically meaningful way. Every day, 24/7, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (part of the National Weather Service), monitors and sends out space weather alerts, watches, warnings. and forecasts about solar and geophysical events which impact satellites, power grids, communications, navigation, and many other technological systems.
What I hope to see in the very near future are space weather alerts, watches, warnings, and forecasts sent out to inform the human population of potential health hazards. As noted in the Journal of the Balkan Geophysical Society, the results of these studies impose the necessity of systematic investigations in this field. Medical professionals should also be educated.
Michael Persinger is a cognitive neuroscience researcher with over 200 peer-reviewed publications. He states that very small changes in the activity of the Earth’s magnetic field, due to alterations in solar activity, can affect all human beings.
“These direct effects are primarily upon the subtle but complex electromagnetic fields that interact with everyone’s consciousness, due to the marked similarity of the characteristics of our brains and our genetic history. Solar activity can change consciousness without our awareness.”
People with health issues, such as those with depression, neurological disorders, cardiovascular and stroke patients, those wearing pacemakers, etc., should especially pay attention to the space weather forecast. Here’s why:
A large number of studies have identified significant physical, biological and health effects associated with changes in Solar and Geomagnetic Activity (S-GMA). Variations in solar activity, geomagnetic activity and ionospheric ion/electron concentrations are all mutually highly correlated and strongly linked by geophysical processes. Source
There is an increasing amount of evidence linking biological effects to solar and geomagnetic disturbances. A series of studies is published referring to the changes in human physiological responses at different levels of geomagnetic activity. Source
CARDIOVASCULAR, CELLULAR DAMAGE, ATHEROTHROMBOSIS:
During the past decades, many studies were published considering cosmo-terrestrial influences on different sites of human homeostasis. Conclusion: Cosmic Ray Activity is predominant in plaque disruption, cellular damage and electrical instability; the GMA (Geomagnetic Activity) in the activation of coagulation and inflammation.
A significant relation was found between the level of GMA (geomagnetic activity) (I-IV) and blood coagulation parameters,” Source
The relationship between Ap indices of geomagnetic storm activity and national suicide statistics for Australia from 1968 to 2002 was studied. Suicide data was a national tally of daily male and female death figures where suicide had been documented as the cause of death. A total of 51 845 males and 16 327 females were included. The average number of suicides was greatest in spring for males and females, and lowest in autumn for males and summer for females.
Suicide amongst females increased significantly in autumn during concurrent periods of geomagnetic storm activity (P = .01). This pattern was not observed in males (P = .16). This suggests that perturbations in ambient electromagnetic field activity impact behaviour in a clinically meaningful manner. Source
HEART FAILURE, SEIZURES, PSYCHIATRIC ADMISSIONS:
Presumably unrelated behaviors (e.g. psychiatric admissions, seizures, heart failures) have been correlated with increased global geomagnetic activity. We have suggested that all of these behaviors share a common source of variance.
They are evoked by transient, dopamine-mediated paroxysmal electrical patterns that are generated within the amygdala and the hippocampus of the temporal lobes. Both the probability and the propagation of these discharges to distal brain regions are facilitated when nocturnal melatonin levels are suppressed by increased geomagnetic activity. Source
The annual percentage of patients with convulsive seizures in the Neurological Department of the Bangur Institute of Neurology, Calcutta, is found to be significantly correlated with the annual values of sunspot numbers and geomagnetic activity indices for the period 1955–1971. For a particular (GMA) geomagnetic activity index the correlation coefficient is significant at a 99% confidence level. Source
EPILEPTIC SEIZURES & DIZZINESS:
Admissions of 762 patients for epileptic seizures and 1553 for dizziness were studied for the connection with the level of monthly and yearly solar activity in the 11-year solar cycle and with four levels of daily geomagnetic activity levels (400 epileptic patients and 802 patients suffering with dizziness). Conclusion: Admission of patients with epileptic seizures and dizziness are related to geomagnetic and solar activity. Source
SLEEP DISTURBANCES, ALTERED MOOD, ANXIETY
Geomagnetic variations of solar origin correlate with appearance of physiological problems, enhanced anxiety, sleep disturbances, altered moods, and greater incidences of psychiatric admissions.
When we employed four-way analysis of variance, the influence of some of the factors on the physiological parameters examined turned out to be statistically significant (p<0.05). Our investigations indicate that most of the persons examined irrespectively to their status could be sensitive to the geomagnetic disturbances and the results impose the necessity of systematic investigations in this field. Source
The monthly number of preterm births showed a significant and direct correlation with solar activity indices (r = .32, p = .0016), and a significant and inverse correlation with cosmic ray activity indices (r = -0.3, p = .008). Source
Arterial bp was found to increase with the increase of the GMA level, and systolic and diastolic bp were found to increase significantly from the day before till the second day after the geomagnetic storm. These effects were present irrespective of sex and medication. Source
Geomagnetic disturbances are associated with reduced nocturnal excretion of a melatonin metabolite in humans. A greater reduction in 6-OHMS excretion was observed when increased geomagnetic activity was combined with elevated 60 Hz MF or reduced ambient light exposures. Source
@ Noel — so now you know why I couldn’t sleep last night. My brain was a buzzin’, but at least I was productive. 😉