Insurers Warned of Potential Space Storm Threats Exceeding Hurricane Katrina (Business Insurance)

Insurers Warned of Potential Space Storm Threats Exceeding Hurricane Katrina

Thursday, May 30th, 2024 Catastrophe Insurance Industry Risk Management Technology

Insurers are being cautioned about the potential impacts of severe space storms, which could disrupt radio communications, power grids, spacecraft, and satellite navigation systems. A Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) report highlighted a space storm from May 10 to 12 as a possible precursor to more intense events, with the current solar cycle expected to peak in 2025. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s space weather prediction center in Colorado issued a warning about a large sunspot cluster generating strong solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

CMEs can trigger magnetic storms on Earth, leading to significant disruptions. The G5 rating represents the highest level of geomagnetic storm warnings, and past storms have caused power outages and damaged infrastructure. While the recent storm caused minimal disruption, it highlighted the potential for more severe impacts. Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink experienced temporary service degradation, and GPS errors affected farmers in the U.S. and Canada.

BI emphasized the importance of early warning systems, noting NASA’s use of artificial intelligence to predict solar storms. This technology could provide critical advance notice, allowing for preventative measures to protect power grids and other infrastructure.

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External References & Further Reading

Mid-America Catastrophe ServicesU.S. ForensicNationwide Overspray

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