Tree Rings Reveal Earth’s Encounter with Largest-Ever Solar Storm Capable of Devastating Civilization


Tree rings indicate that the Earth was once struck by a solar tempest so powerful that it would destroy human civilization if it occurred today. Scientists were able to reconstruct the solar storm using ancient tree rings discovered in the French Alps, which revealed a dramatic increase in radiocarbon levels approximately 14,300 years ago. This surge was caused by the largest solar storm ever discovered by scientists.

Scientists have warned that if a comparable incident occurred today, it could take the power grid offline for months and decimate our communications infrastructure. The authors of the new study argue that the severity of the recently discovered event should serve as a warning for the future.

Extreme solar cyclones may have enormous effects on Earth. Tim Heaton, professor of applied statistics in the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, stated that such superstorms could irreversibly harm the transformers in our electricity infrastructure, resulting in massive and pervasive outages lasting months. “They could also cause irreparable harm to the satellites on which we all rely for navigation and communication, rendering them useless. Additionally, they would pose significant radiation dangers to astronauts.”

According to scientists, additional work is necessary to safeguard the world from recurrences of similar events. And additional research is necessary to comprehend how and why they may occur.

In the past 15,000 years, nine extreme solar cyclones, or Miayake Events, have been identified by scientists. The most recent ones occurred in 993 AD and 774 AD, but the newly discovered one was twice as potent.

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Elusive Natural Phenomena Defy Precise Understanding and Prediction

Researchers do not know precisely what transpired during the Miyake Events, and it is challenging to study them because they can only be comprehended indirectly. This makes it difficult for scientists to predict how and when they might occur again, if prediction is even possible.

 “Direct instrumental measurements of solar activity only began in the 17th century with the counting of sunspots,” said Edouard Bard, a professor of climate and ocean evolution at the Collège de France and CEREGE. “Today, ground-based observatories, space probes, and satellites are also used to collect comprehensive data.

“However, these short-term instrumental observations are insufficient for a comprehensive comprehension of the Sun. In conjunction with beryllium in polar ice cores, measuring radiocarbon in tree rings is the best method to understand the Sun’s behavior in the distant past. 

The greatest solar storm that scientists were able to observe and analyze was the Carrington Event, which occurred in 1859. It wreaked havoc on society, destroying telegraph machinery and producing an aurora so brilliant that animals behaved as though the sun were rising.

Miayake Events, such as the newly discovered tempest, would have been considerably more potent. They were discovered by dividing ancient trees that are becoming fossils into small rings and then analyzing the amount of radiocarbon present in those rings

In the journal The Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, they have published a new article titled “A radiocarbon spike at 14,300 cal yr BP in subfossil trees provides the impulse response function of the global carbon cycle during the Late Glacial.”


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Source: Independent

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