Magnetic Storms: The Nature and Effects! Who Should Worry and How to Protect Yourself?
More and more often, warnings about turbulent geomagnetic conditions caused by magnetic storms appear in news feeds. Specialists and doctors warn about this phenomenon in advance: they note the highest phases of magnetic storms, make forecasts, and also give recommendations on how to cope with the effects of invisible radiation. And the body’s reaction to them varies: from mild physical fatigue to severe migraines and mood swings.
What Was the Largest Solar Flare Ever Recorded?
In ice cores mined in Greenland, scientists have found evidence of a geomagnetic disturbance of enormous strength that occurred 162 years ago. If it had occurred today, it would have caused significant disruptions in communications and navigation systems around the planet. The geomagnetic storm of 1859, known worldwide as the “Carrington Event,” named after the British astronomer who observed a solar flare on September 1 of that year that caused a magnetic storm, is considered one of the strongest geomagnetic storms in observational history. Northern lights on that day and the next were even observed in Mexico, Senegal, Colombia, Hawaii, and Cuba. At that time, the solar activity reached the level of G5, which knocked out many magnetic devices and telegraph systems. Experts say that such a powerful particle emission from the Sun occurs once every 500 years.
Geomagnetic Storm Definition
A geomagnetic storm is what happens when the Earth’s magnetic field is desturbed. The planet has an invisible shell, the magnetosphere. It is a kind of protection from solar disruption. The magnetosphere is affected by the solar wind flow, and in the normal state, the pressure of the magnetic shell of our planet and the pressure of the solar wind are equal. However, at different periods there are so-called solar flares, which increase the speed of the solar wind. The magnetic shell has to react somehow, and it shrinks over the Earth. These changes that occur in the magnetic field of the planet under the influence of high solar activity are called geomagnetic activity or geomagnetic storms.
Weather-sensitive people are the first to be affected by magnetic storms. Some doctors explain the deterioration of health of such people by the fact that under the fluctuations of the magnetic field oxygen starvation of tissues occurs, and capillary blood flow slows down. It can also lead to high blood pressure, headaches, decreased efficiency and exacerbation of chronic diseases, physical and emotional fatigue.
Magnetic Storms and Human Health
Magnetic storms are the result of which of the following. Many areas of human activity are affected by geomagnetic storms, including disruptions to communications, spacecraft navigation systems, the occurrence of surface charges on pipelines and transformers, and even the destruction of energy sector systems.
These storms also affect human health and well-being. They are dangerous first of all for those who suffer from heart diseases, and arterial hyper-/hypo- tension. More than 60% of hypertensive crises, heart attacks, and strokes occur during solar storms.
The physical symptoms of solar flares are migraines, headaches, insomnia, palpitations, decreased vitality, and pressure fluctuations. Anywhere from 50 to 75% of the Earth’s population is exposed to the negative influences of magnetic storms. At the same time, the moment of the beginning of a stress reaction may be shifted relative to the beginning of a storm for a particular person. Many people’s bodies begin to react not during the magnetic disturbances, but 1-2 days before them, i.e. at the time of solar flares. It is also noted that up to 50% of the planet’s population have achieved some level of tolerance, that is, their bodies have become accustomed to the effects of magnetic disturbances and they experience minimal adverse effects.
Not everyone agrees that magnetic storms have effects on living organisms., Some think that the gravitational disturbances associated with changes in the relative positions of the Moon, the Earth, and other planets in the solar system are much smaller compared to those to which people are exposed in normal life.
There is no unequivocal scientific opinion on how this natural phenomenon affects humans and animals. Some of them even believe that magnetic storms have a positive effect on health because they help adapt to difficult environmental conditions. Others believe that there is no connection between a magnetic storm and a heart attack or headache. That’s because there are still no major studies on the subject.
Geomagnetic Storm Levels
- Extreme level (R5): occurs once in 11 years.
- Severe level (R4): occurs 8 times in 11 years.
- Strong (R3): occurs 147 times per 11 years.
- Moderate (R2): occurs 300 times per 11 years.
- Minor (R1): 950 times per 11 years.
How to Protect Yourself from the Radiation Storms?
If you are dependent on geomagnetic conditions, it is worthwhile to change your daily routine for a while. When magnetic storms are active, you should avoid emotional upheavals and stressful situations. If you have a high meteorological sensitivity, take care in advance about the necessary medications. To protect yourself from the negative influence of a geomagnetic storm, you should:
- reduce your workload for those 3 days;
- get more rest and sleep – at least 7-8 hours a night;
- give up alcohol, coffee,and energy drinks;
- drink more tea (preferably herbal);
- eat light foods and avoid fried or fatty products;
- take more walks outdoors;
- pay attention to your blood pressure.
Despite technological progress, humans remain defenseless against the forces of nature. Geomagnetic storms can make adjustments in our lives, affect our well-being, and cause problems for our energy systems.
Perhaps someday it will be possible to create protection from solar activity. In the meantime, the only thing left to do is to follow the recommendations of experts, so as not to harm your health. We stress that the main thing is to treat and control your chronic diseases in time. Because they are the biggest risk factor during magnetic storms.