GICs: The Bane of Technology-Dependent Societies

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In a recent AGU editor's Vox Discussion, Delores Knipp explores the societal impacts of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). GICs can cause voltage swings, transformer heating, and reactive power loss in high-voltage power transmission systems. In this special collection we have surveyed Earth current and GIC-related manuscripts from all American Geophysical Union (AGU) journals in the last 55 years to highlight what is known about interactions between GICs and technological systems and the present gaps in understanding of GICs as an electromagnetic hazard. (See Vox Discussion)

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Credit: K.L. Turnbull, J.A. Wild (Lancaster University) and the SOHO/EIT consortium

Dr. Knipp emphasizes that "although the problems of space weather and complex power system responses are intellectually challenging, decision makers need to be informed even if they do not come from a scientific background." In an effort to address these concerns, Space Weather editors and a group of guest commentators reviewed over a hundred AGU manuscripts to create a special collection or "living document" that highlights what is known about interactions between GIC and technological systems and the present gaps in understanding of GICs as an electromagnetic hazard.

As Editor in Chief of AGU's Space Weather (Journal) Dr. Knipp has been asked to write and share material for a broader audience in AGU's Eos and blog space. See links below:

Editor's Vox Discussion
AGU's Blogosphere
Space Weather, an AGU Journal, DOI: 10.1002/2015SW001317.

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