Is Your iPad Solar Storm Ready?
There’s a good chance that solar flares will send large amounts of magnetic energy our way soon — “sometime around 2013” (let’s ignore that the popular doomsday, December 21st 2012, falls within that time frame). This solar storm could knock out power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications — well, anything sensitive to electromagnetic disturbance.
Normally, I’d be more than a tad skeptical, but here’s what Richard Fisher of NASA’s Heliophysics Division has to say:
The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we’re getting together to discuss.
The Telegraph elaborates:
Every 22 years the Sun’s magnetic energy cycle peaks while the number of sun spots – or flares – hits a maximum level every 11 years. Dr Fisher, a Nasa scientist for 20 years, said these two events would combine in 2013 to produce huge levels of radiation. He said large swathes of the world could face being without power for several months, although he admitted that was unlikely. A more likely scenario was that large areas, including northern Europe and Britain which have “fragile” power grids, would be without power and access to electronic devices for hours, possibly even days.
Of course, the important question here is whether the iPad is resistant to these solar storms, or if such technology — let’s call it ‘Flare Guard’ — will be introduced through a software update to the Retina Display at a later stage. I’ve reached out to Steve Jobs for a comment, but have not yet received a response.