Thursday, December 1, 2016

Uh, @daily_express - @predsci and @Gizmodo told us about the possible 2020 solar storm in 2012

There is a chance that Donald Trump may become President of the United States!

Does this sound like old news?

Well, how about this piece, dated November 30 (yesterday), from Sean Martin of the Daily Express?

Researchers have warned that there is roughly a 12 per cent chance that a solar storm could smash into Earth by the end of the decade....

This means that satellite signals will struggle to penetrate the swollen atmosphere, leading to a lack of Internet service, GPS navigation, satellite TV such as Sky and mobile phone signal.

Obviously this would have huge implications for our modern world - and we have less than four years to prepare!

According to Martin, this prediction was made by Pete Riley of Predictive Science. And you know he's a scientist because of his URL - is your typical UNIX-like user name. We're not dealing with a DOS guy here.

And like a good scientist, Riley realizes that his calculations are approximations. According to Martin, Riley stated:

He said: “Even if it’s off by a factor of two, that’s a much larger number than I thought.”

So I went to the Predictive Science website and searched for a recent report detailing Riley's prediction - and couldn't find one.

This seemed odd, so I kept on poking around until I found this article - FROM 2012.

Pete Riley, a senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, told Gizmodo that there is roughly a 12% chance that the Earth will experience an enormous megaflare within the next ten years. "Even if it's off by a factor of two, that's a much larger number than I thought," said Riley.

Riley published his prediction in Space Weather: The International Journal of Research and Applications.

So Martin basically resurrected a four year old story. And how is the respected press covering it?

According to Express, senior scientist, Pete Riley of Predictive Science in San Diego, California said that the chance of huge solar storm by 2020 is high.

Modern-daay researchers have warned that there is a 12 percent chance that a solar storm will smash Earth in the end of this decade. This powerful event will be as big as the Carrington event which occurred in 1859, according to Express UK.

As reported by the UK’s Express , experts believe there is a one in eight chance that earth will be hit by a major solar storm before 2020, which would wipe out nearly all technology that is not hardened against EMP events – so, pretty much every piece of technology that is not owned and operated by governments.

Great scoop, Express. But what will you do when someone scoops you in 2018 and doesn't reference your "work"?

And as for Predictive Science itself, it only offered this comment.

Obviously Predictive Science doesn't put a lot of stock in Twitter. After all, USENET is just fine for scientific discussion.

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