$40 billion a day for solar super-storms


Artist’s concept of events on the sun changing the conditions in near-Earth space. Image via AGU/ NASA.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) reported on January 18, 2017 that electricity blackouts from an extreme space weather event – generated by a super-storm on the sun – could cost the U.S. up to $40 billion daily, or more. The AGU journal Space Weather published a new study on this subject, which indicates that more than half the financial loss would happen outside the blackout zone. An AGU statement said:
Under the study’s most extreme blackout scenario, affecting 66 percent of the U.S. population, the daily domestic economic loss could total $41.5 billion plus an additional $7 billion loss through the international supply chain.
Previous studies focused on direct economic costs within the blackout zone, and did not take into account indirect domestic and international supply chain loss. Study co-authors include researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at University of Cambridge Judge Business School; British Antarctic Survey; British Geological Survey and University of Cape Town.