Collapsing Grids: Are all CME's created equal Dec 3, 2010 3:33:08 GMT
Post by misselis on Dec 3, 2010 3:33:08 GMT
I am trying to limit the scope my research to a reasonable "need-to-know" base before I either wind up with
1. so much data that I could have another degree
2. too little data that I'm found hidden away needlessly in bunker w/a solar-storm-survival kit.
There is a wide range of info, I prefer to draw my own conclusions based on facts laid out in research or at least reason by trusted sources. It would seem scientists like Richards, Hathaway, and Guhathakurta are good sources but it is almost impossible to find something in between their canned general public statements or their published journal studies.
I've read enough to appreciate the general risk, relative unpredictability, and broad range of variables influencing the potential impact of a solar event and solar weather; from forecasting cycle intensity, determining regional risk-level (surface irradiance at any moment in time) as a function of atmospheric vulnerability, to the direction even a CME will travel (9/12/2010 STEREO), I realize, some degree of uncertainty are unavoidable.
There are, however, predictors: specific variables of solar weather that indicate a greater sign of trouble than others. I was hoping someone would tell me where I can learn specifically about them and how they are measured.
For example, the recent C4 CME in November did not pose much of a threat but it would have if it was an X-level, like the '89 Hydro-Quebec. But what the heck is the C or X actually measuring- what does that mean in terms of a blown generator? And if that is the best classification of solar trouble, why didn't anything crash during the October 28, 2003 X17 CME?
I also understand that X-rays only account for an even smaller fraction of the total energy of possible disruptive forces from a CME but which ones do we need to be concerned about? How, where, and when are they measured or estimated... and is there any real predictive indicators to keep an eye on for a reg gal like me?
So here are my questions (and I love data links so feel free to summarize & link me away to details):
1. What measurement/ index system best measures either the general intensity or the radiation output of a solar flare/ CME specific to the risks posed to our electric power grids? In other words: of the solar weather "rating" scales, which is (are) the best indicator(s) of those variables most likely to interfere with electronic gadgets and our power grids?
2. what is the generally agreed to threshold of "worry". In other words fill-in the sentence: the sun has to emit an ______ that hit earth before it could do the damage caused on a 1989 Quebec level and an __________ before it could actually take out North America's entire grid.
I just want to set my solar storm warning alerts to the right kinds of alerts- to know as far as possible in advance (2-3 three days) if I have to just go
to the grocery store for a few extra non-perishables & batteries, a lot of them, as many as I can afford.... or
just go straight to [glow=red,2,300]church[/glow] and forget shopping altogether...