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Britain adds volcanoes, solar storms to floods and terrorism on national risk register

 
Anonymous Coward
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03/18/2012 04:36 PM
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Britain adds volcanoes, solar storms to floods and terrorism on national risk register
[link to www.washingtonpost.com]

'LONDON — Britain has added volcanoes and solar storms to floods, flu and terrorism on a list of threats to national security.'

“Severe space weather” poses a threat to communications systems, electronic circuits and power grids, the list said. Solar storms — eruptions of magnetic energy and charged particles — are part of the sun’s normal 11-year cycle, which is expected to reach a peak next year.'

'Volcanic eruptions have been added to the list since the last edition in 2010. Ash from the April 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano grounded European air travel for several days.

But the British government says a more serious risk is posed by an effusive, or gas-rich, eruption. The 1783-84 Laki eruption in Iceland sent out noxious gases that spread as smog across Europe, causing crop failures, famine and thousands of deaths. The government said such an eruption “is now one of the highest-priority risks” Britain faces'

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