Solar storm WARNING: MEGA Solar Flare to cause UK blackout costing £16BILLION, Experts say

A MEGA solar storm could knock out Britain’s technology and cost the UK almost £16BILLION in damages, the Met Office has warned.

The country could be blunged into a blackout because it is not prepared enough for solar storms, the Met Office told ministers. Solar storms occur when the sun releases a barrage of solar radiation, either through a coronal hole or a solar flare, into deep space.

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For the most part, these storms miss Earth, but can become caught in the crosshairs.

If such a storm is strong enough, it has the potential to wipe out Earth’s technology.

These type of solar storms are believed to happen about once every 100 years, meaning one is well overdue.

And the Met Office believes the UK does not have sufficient infrastructure to prepare ourselves for such an event.

Research from the weather service said: “We find that for a one-in-100-year event, with no space weather forecasting capability, the gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as £15.9bn.

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Solar storm WARNING: MEGA solar flare to cause UK blackout costing £16BILLION, experts say (Image: GETTY)

“With existing satellites nearing the end of their life, forecasting capability will decrease in coming years, so if no further investment takes place, critical infrastructure will become more vulnerable to space weather.”

Solar storms wreak havoc on global technology as the radiation which pummels our planet heats up the outer atmosphere, causing it to expand.

This means 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.

Additionally, increased currents in the Earth’s magnetic field – or magnetosphere – could theoretically lead to a surge of electricity in power lines, which can blow out electrical transformers and power stations leading to a temporary loss of electricity.

 solar storm

Gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as £15.9bn (Image: GETTY)

The biggest storm known to us was the Carrington Event which occurred in September 1859.

During that solar storm, the sun unleashed a series of powerful solar flares that were so powerful telegraph operators’ offices experienced a surge in electricity which resulted in some buildings setting on fire.

The storm was so powerful its southern auroras could be seen as far north as Queensland in Australia and northern auroras were noted as far south as Cuba.