Solar Cycle 25 won’t ravage GPS-dependent economy

St. Petersburg: The peak of new solar activity, the 25th since the observations began, will fall on 2022-2023, Yuri Nagovitsyn, senior researcher from Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg said.

Earlier, media outlets published a forecast from analysts at Denmark’s Saxo Bank, in which the experts assessed the worst possible scenario for the development of the global economy in 2019.

It said, in particular, that the new solar cycle the 25th (Solar Cycle 25) would trigger the most powerful solar storm that would destroy satellites from the side of the Western Hemisphere. This, according to analysts, will bring about chaos in GPS-dependent sectors and losses amounting to nearly $2 trillion.

“As for the new solar cycle, it may start in 2019, but most likely in 2020. This will be only the start of a solar cycle and geomagnetic disturbances are not expected,” the researcher said.

“The solar maximum, when powerful solar flares are indeed possible, will surface somewhere in 2022-2023,” Nogovitsyn said.

He said it is difficult at the moment to assess the power of the flares that people on earth will face in three to four years, however, the possibility of losses running into many billions and the global cataclysms about which the Danish analysts warn of, is next to none.

“If we speak about Arctic aviation during a powerful flare, at the poles, where the geomagnetic impact is stronger, a pilot may catch a year’s dose of radiation, and the health of an astronaut would also be at risk if he happens to be on a spacewalk when hypervelocity particles flow by,” he went on to say. “It is clear that some satellites may malfunction, both big and small, but global cataclysms are unlikely,” he explained.