Panel Discussion 6 Space Weather Mitigation: Recovery from a Carrington Event

Wednesday, 2 April 2014: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Auditorium (AAAS Building)
Host: 2014 AMS Washington Forum
Christina Cody, Senior Program Officer - Critical Infrastructure, National Assn. of Regulatory Utility Commissions, Washington, DC
Genene Fisher, Senior Advisor for Space Weather, National Weather Service, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD

The Committee on the Societal and Economic Impacts of Severe Space Weather Events by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council published its last Workshop Report in 2008. They said: “The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology -- power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, GPS disruptions of aircraft flight systems, spacecraft anomalies -- are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood. Less well documented and understood, however, are the potential economic and societal impacts of the disruption of critical technological systems by severe space weather,” like having a re-occurrence of the 1859 Carrington Event. Today Americans are familiar with all types of natural hazards and understand how to prepare and mitigate their disastrous effects. The question must be asked if the government exists to safeguard the people, why hasn’t the federal or state government done more to educate and prepare the public for the dangers of space weather that could potentially cripple electrical power systems on Earth? Why haven’t more studies been conducted to examine the socioeconomic impacts of extreme space weather events and develop risk assessment strategies to deal with severe space weather? It’s a matter of probability that we will experience another Carrington event. As today’s presenter, Lika Guhathakurta and her colleague Dan Baker of the University of Colorado asked in a June 17, 2011 New York Times op-ed: "What good are space weather alerts if people don’t understand them and won’t react to them?" This panel will focus not on solar physics or what is a Coronal Mass Ejection, but to have experts discuss how the nation can prepare for an event of this magnitude and what does society do afterwards. How do we recover from another Carrington Event?

Madhulika Guhathakurta
Madhulika Guhathakurta, Lead Program Scientist, Living with a Star Program, NASA, Washington, DC

Handout (7.0 MB)

William Lapenta
William Lapenta, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD

Handout (6.4 MB)

Peter Vincent Pry
Peter Vincent Pry, Task Force on National and Homeland Security, Shelbyville, TN

Lisa Wei
Lisa Wei, AER, Lexington, MA

Handout (5.1 MB)

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