If you are an avid reader, chances are you might have come across the term ‘Internet Apocalypse’ recently. You might be wondering what it is and how it can affect you. Here in this article, we will look into the details and try to answer your questions.
The phenomenon termed ‘internet apocalypse’ is likely to occur in the next two years due to the sun likely reaching “solar maximum” leading to an unprecedented disruption in internet services. The event is expected to take place in 2025 with our sun reaching solar maximum and our digital world is not yet capable of handling it.
Recently, the sun’s solar cycle has piqued the interest of scientists as it sends out solar storms which can be very devastating sometimes leading to all means of communication on the Earth getting snapped.
Social media users have come across terms like ‘internet apocalypse’ which has led to a lot of barrage of misinformation. However, NASA did not immediately comment on the possibility of the end of the internet as it is caused by the 2025 solar storm.
What remains to be seen is what the people who are “always online” would do in case of such an event. The conundrum facing most people are that is just a hoax doing the rounds on the internet and will die down with time or something so monumental is actually just around the corner. According to reports, the concerns may not be entirely unfounded.
A Washington Post report said that a strong solar storm is likely to hit the Earth, a very rare event that has not happened in the interconnected world so far, and it is expected to cause widespread internet outages.
The report cited the 1859 Carrington Event when telegraph lines sparked and operators were electrocuted, and the 1989 solar storm that caused a blackout at the Quebec power grid for hours.
A computer science professor at the University of California at Irvine, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi was quoted in the report as saying, “We've never experienced one of the extreme case events, and we don't know how our infrastructure would respond to it. Our failure testing doesn't even include such scenarios.”
The report mentioned that her paper titled ‘Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse’ played an important role in popularizing the term.
According to the report, Jyothi said that a severe solar storm is expected to affect large-scale infrastructure like the undersea communication cables interrupting long-distance connectivity.
Such outages are expected to last for months with catastrophic economic consequences, the report said, adding that the US faces an estimated loss of more than USD 11 billion due to the possible blackout.