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Nature vs Infrastructure

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
Telegraph (UK) • Thu 2016 May 12, 10:05pm

A raccoon's nighttime caper led to nearly 39,000 electricity customers in 12 suburbs losing power overnight after it entered a Seattle, Washington substation.…

John McLaughlin at • Mon 2012 Jul 16, 2:12pm

The Solar Super Storm of 1859 -- named the Carrington Event after the amateur English astronomer who first reported it -- began as a sunspot array spotted on the morning of September 1. As Carrington watched, the spots suddenly erupted into two brilliant flares, twice as bright as the sun itself, peaking within 5 minutes and subsiding.

The following morning, brilliant aurora displays became visible over much of the world as far south as the tropics. Suddenly, telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed as wires melted and sparks sprayed out over telegraph poles igniting widespread fires. • Thu 2009 May 14, 12:00pm

OKC -- High winds early Wednesday broke in two a piece of granite that is part of the fallen law officer monument... • Fri 2009 May 8, 2:01pm

SunIt's time for the sun to move into a busier period for sunspots, and while forecasters expect a relatively mild outbreak by historical standards, one major solar storm can cause havoc with satellites and electrical systems here.... • Wed 2009 Mar 25, 10:55pm

Sunthe skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power. ... A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event — a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun. ... an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that. • Mon 2009 Mar 23, 11:51pm

VolcanoIT solution providers in Alaska are watching the skies with trepidation as the ash fall from Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano begins to creep closer to the downtown Anchorage region. ... Volcanic ash is known for its ability to wreak havoc on desktops, servers, and basically any type of IT infrastructure that has moving parts. And it also contains silica sand, a conductive material that's capable of destroying circuit boards.... • Sat 2009 Jan 10, 10:46pm

"Whether it is terrestrial catastrophes or extreme space weather incidents," writes Baker in a statement released with the report, "the results can be devastating to modern societies that depend in a myriad of ways on advanced technological systems." According to the report, the U.S. has grown so dependent on modern technologies without respect of what the sun can and has done, that it's risking major communications, finance, transportation, government and even emergency services meltdowns.