In August, 2010, NASA reported that there would be a solar storm sometime in 2012. Every 11 years or so, changes in our star’s magnetic field bring on an increase in sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The result is a barrage of charged particles hurling toward Earth. A solar storm is a sudden burst of very fast, charged particles from the Sun. It could be the result of a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection (CME) or both. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of solar wind (stream of charged particles ejected from the sun). A solar flare is a sudden eruption of magnetic energy released on the surface of the sun, usually accompanied by bursts of electromagnetic radiation. Ultraviolet and x-ray radiation from solar flares often induce electromagnetic disturbances in the earth’s atmosphere.
Solar storms would affect power grids, thus losing electricity. The Solar Storm itself would not cause an apocalypse, but it would bring about a sort of domino effect. People would then lose access to their heat/air conditioning, refrigeration, phone service and GPS. Also, drinking water distribution systems could break down in a couple of hours. Normally, a “Faraday Cage” protects the satellite’s internal equipment from external electrical charges, but constant bombardment of charges would cause satellites to break down. There are over 936 operating satellites in space, worth an estimated $200 billion to replace. Magnetic storm currents acting on gas pipelines are known to enhance the rate of corrosion over time, with potentially catastrophic cumulative effects.