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Oh shit, an earth directed Solar Storm ejecting in our direction! Looks like there is some Solar Weather news this week!

youtu.be/HKqDr7GKcxQ

@freemo Solar Flare that destroys all electronic infrastructure in its path. Natural EMP. First observed in 1880's

@se7en Oh, you meant Carrington Event, lol. No as far as solar storms go this one is pretty minor. We are in a solar minimum so nothing major like that is likely to happen for many decades.

@freemo I've constantly heard from seemingly reliable source that we are overdue not only for that, but also for San Andreas Fault to go so active half of California goes into the sea, Mt. Saint Helens erupts again, and so many other things we're "long overdue for". Have I been misled?

@se7en Sort of... In the terms of solar activity, absolutely. Being "overdue" is a bit of a statistical fallacy. If i flipped a 100 coins and they are all heads you might say "we are overdue for a tails" yet the chance of a tails coming up on the next flip is the same as it is on any other flip.

When we talk about the sun what matters is the minimums and maximus. They tend to cycle in semi-predictable ways. Each cycle will be slightly more or less active than the last but generally you wont have low activity that just suddenly errupts into a lot of activity. It goes through several cycles of slowly increasing or decreasing. I attached a diagram to show you the solar cycles historically.

Right now as you can see we are in a minimum. So its a pretty sure bet we can say that we are safe from such an event for at least 30 - 50 years. At which point we may be at another maximum and then there is some risk of such an event. But it has nothing to do with being "overdue"

As for earthquakes, there is some validity to being overdue in that case. Faults that go long periods without a quake but are otherwise active regions will have MUCH bigger quakes when they occur. Other active faults that have quakes often tend to have much smaller quakes consistently and are at low risk for massive quakes despite their high activity. So in this case the whole "overdue" argument may have some validity. But as for the idea of california sinking into the ocean, well thats just bullox, but we may have a pretty massive quake, thats possible, its something we have a hard time predicting though.

@se7en Solar storms are basically the earth being bombarded with radiation, so much so that when you fly in a plane you recieve a much greater dose of radiation than you would in, say, an x-ray machine. Even more so during solar maximums and less during solar minimums.

This radioactivity effects the percentage of radioactive paricles in the air. We can measure the air at any time and get an idea of the solar activity based on the concentrations of certain radioactive atoms.

As such we can use techniques similar to radioactive carbon dating in order to look at layers in ice or dirt to measure their radioactivity and extrapolate the solar activity at the time the deposit was created.

So we know the beast is coming, but there's nothing we can do to stop us all being devoured. Kinda like a gamma ray burst.
@freemo @se7en

@cowanon

Unless we are talking about a burst well beyond anything that has occured in millions of years we will be well protected by the earth's natural defences. The risk is more to electronic infrastructure than to humans. Though I wouldnt want to be flying in a plane at high lattitudes when that happens thats for sure.

@se7en

That's good to know! Especially after years of watching sciency TV and YouTube that present so many means of our imminent demise from the void above the clouds! :blobhyperthink: But that's the kind of programming that puts asses in seats.
@freemo @se7en

@cowanon

Yup, same reason the news is nothing but bullshit. They say what gets them an audience and not much else.

In all reality we probably have plenty of reasons to fear mass extinction, but nearly all of them are going to come from us humans, if it comes at all. Even then it is often over exaggerated for viewers, but at least there is some truth in those fears whether its a nuclear bomb, famine from overpopulation, or climate change issues, at least those are valid concerns with potentially devastating outcomes. Sadly with all the exaggeration though people tend to dismiss it.

@se7en

>climate change
Yanno, there's a whole lotta alarmism and bullshit on both sides of this issue, from the many "town criers" doomsaying about the oncoming ice age for at least 100 years of newspaper clippings and Time magazine covers (if le dank maymayz from #pol and #gab are to be believed :3010: ) to, well, claims of wind farms and lithium mining (for electric car batteries) doing just as much environmental damage as fossil fuels. Oh and all the conspiracy theories with makes-you-think questions like "China produces much more greenhouse gasses than Europe and the America's combined, so why isn't Greta yelling at the Chinese?" and such n so.

I forget where I was going with this (I'm just killing time standing by the #cofe pot waiting for it to fill :blobcatpurplegem: ) but, well hell, i guess I should file this under" yet another issue I don't really understand but the memes sure are dank!" Hey, at least I can admit it!
@freemo @se7en
@cowanon @freemo Perhaps this argument would be good to play The Glass Plate Game over? Would you two be willing?

@se7en

Dont know what it is or how to play it. So hard for me to say if I'm down for it or not.

@cowanon

I looked it up and it DOES sound interesting, though in afraid I wouldn't have much to say :cirnoShrug:
@se7en @freemo

@cowanon

The truth is, when something is a big deal, people tend to make it an even bigger deal. No one is motivated if we say "We probably wont make it another 100 or 200 years" but if they say "OMG I wont live to see old age" then people start to care. A lot of it is people just want to see action so when they know something is catastrophic they exagerate it to its utmost extreme because they feel desperate to motivate people to get moving. Obviously this isnt a healthy pattern, but it doesnt really negate the fact that there is a serious problem all the same.

That said all the hype aside there is one undeniable fact. Never in the hsitory of the earth has the temperature and CO2 levels risen as quickly as they have in the last 200 years. Even during the extinction of the dinosaurs it was a **much** slower process than what we are seeing now.

Despite any predictions or doomsday comments, that alone, in isolation, should be enough to be worried about. and know that things are serious.

@se7en

@cowanon

One other quick side point. Most of the alarmism about the future is on the assumption that we dont do anything to correct current habits. Since we **did** do a lot to address the issue then past predictions were not necessarily untrue, only avoided.

Consider, if we still had a complete lack of regulations like there were in the 1800s I can guarantee you even right now there would be a **lot** of pollution related death.

So just because we managed to avoid or delay a grim future doesn't imply it was fabricated either (though I do agree it is often exaggerated)

@se7en

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