Alarmism: Exaggerations aplenty

1. A solar storm yes, but hardly a Tsunami

The headlines were alarmist as usual: NASA scientists braced for ‘solar tsunami’ to hit earth, but reality was a little less alarming. A C3 flare caused a G2 geomagnetic storm  (G1 being the weakest and G5 the strongest) with a Kp value of 6. (Kp of 5 at G1 and 9 at G5).

image:http://solarcycle24.com/

The Northern lights could be particularly spectacular but a moderate G2 storm can be expected to have some relatively minor but significant effects:

  • Power systems: high-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms, long-duration storms may cause transformer damage.
  • Spacecraft operations: corrective actions to orientation may be required by ground control; possible changes in drag affect orbit predictions.
  • Other systems: HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes, and aurora has been seen as low as New York and Idaho (typically 55° geomagnetic lat.).

From http://www.spaceweather.com/ The solar storm of August 1st sent two CMEs toward Earth. The first one arrived yesterday, August 3rd, sparking mild but beautiful Northern Lights over Europe and North America (see below). The second CME is still en route. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of major geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on August 4th or 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

In Solar Cycle 24  sunspot activity continues to undershoot Solar Cycle 5.

2.The media and the environmental community were up in arms about “the worlds worst environmental disaster” and BP has been demonised by the US press but we now learn that 75% of the oil leakage in the Gulf of Mexico has already dispersed and that the Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk.

The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.

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One Response to “Alarmism: Exaggerations aplenty”

  1. Defence lobbies enlist the sun « The k2p blog Says:

    […] A few weeks ago the talk was of a Solar Tsunami which turned out to be little more than a pretty ripple. https://ktwop.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/alarmism-exaggerations-aplenty/. […]

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