EMP

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Description or Situation

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 Overview

Driving home from work,..... your engine suddenly dies. You quickly shift into neutral and coast to a stop while pulling to the side of the road. As you reach for your cellphone to call for help, you notice that all of the other vehicles around you have stopped as well. As this perplexing scene unfolds before your eyes, you decide to call someone about what is happening only to find that the cell phone does not work either. At this moment you make the decision to get out of your vehicle to get a better look around you. Within a few short minutes you are alarmed by a loud sound you've never heard before. As you spin around to see what the noise is all about there in the sky is a large aircraft falling out of control towards the ground.  In horror and disbelief you and other motorists are witness to an airline crash close enough to feel the heat from the explosion as it hits the ground. People panic and run in every direction. This is the moment when your mind is making rapid shifts in order to comprehend what is happening. Even simple thoughts and decisions seem difficult and confusing. What you haven’t yet realized, but are soon to discover, is that ALL of the modern conveniences upon which you have grown dependent on have suddenly stopped working. without apparent cause or reason. This is a scenario describing what could occur during an EMP, (Electro Magnetic Pulse), event. This scenario could be natural occurring or a purposely initiated act that has the potential to disable a modern civilization for weeks and perhaps even years. It is an event describing a situation without electricity.  A spontaneous condition which has detrimental and deadly consequences for citizens reliant on electrical power. The scenario described above depicts most modern civilizations. This probable includes you and your family.

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What is an EMP?

EMP, (Electromagnetic Pulse). "Electro-magnetic-pulses" are huge outbursts of atmospheric electricity which produce intense magnetic fields that can result in ground currents massive enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment throughout the effected area. An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) is a surge of enormous energy initiated by a variety of catalysts which if large enough in scale can effect life as we know it here on Earth. Regardless of how or why an EMP occurs such an event can cause phenomenal destruction to infrastructures which humans rely on so heavily now days. In fact, ... humans have become so dependent on technology that we have generally forgotten how to live without it. Physical effects are not typically the primary causes for injury or death during an EMP event however,...  Most everything in a modern society has some form or electrical device or computer associated with its operations. This also includes the human brain. The human brain operates on electrical impulses as well so it stands to reason that some effects can be experienced perhaps in the form of confusion and/or an inability to perform certain motor skills such as running for your life or where to run to, .... what to grab for immediate needs etc. Examples or dramatizations of an EMP type disaster are often depicted in cinema type movies at the box office which involve life altering situations for everyone in the effected areas.

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What can cause an EMP?

The two main sources for EMP are super-sized solar storms and atomic weapons. Solar storms are far more than what they may be imagined. A solar storm has characteristics that cause spewing of fire, gases and radiation in what is known as a CME, (Coronal Mass Ejection). Like a dragon shooting flames, ...... most anything caught in the path of a super-sized CME stands the potential of disruption or damage and has serious repercussions for life as we know it. More info can be found on Solar Storms here. [Source]. An EMP can also be caused by a nuclear event. Some strategists claim that EMP bombs will become the weapons of the future which can be used to disable a society long enough to subdue them with military force. This  sort of weapon is typically designed to prevent rendering a region from becoming UN-inhabitable for use. That would defeat the purpose. This sort of weapon is intended to preserve resources to be taken later. An EMP weapon can be detonated above a power grid which is key in distributing power to civilized territories. Read more here. [Source]. Additional causes for an EMP are listed or expanded on below.

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Various types of EMP

Types of natural EMP events include:

Lightning electromagnetic pulse (LEMP). The discharge is typically an initial huge current flow, at least mega-amps, followed by a train of pulses of decreasing energy.

Electrostatic discharge (ESD), as a result of two charged objects coming into close proximity or even contact.

Meteoric EMP. The discharge of electromagnetic energy resulting from either the impact of a meteoroid with a spacecraft or the explosive breakup of a meteoroid passing through the Earth's atmosphere.

Types of (civil) man-made EMP event include:

Switching action of electrical circuitry, whether isolated or repetitive (as a pulse train).

Electric motors can create a train of pulses as the internal electrical contacts rotate.

Power line surges. These can be up to several kilo-volts, enough to damage electronic equipment that is insufficiently protected.

Types of military EMP include:

Nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP), as a result of a nuclear explosion. A variant of this is the high altitude nuclear EMP (HEMP), which produces a pulse of a much larger amplitude and different characteristics due to interactions with the Earth's magnetic field.

Non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) weapons. The Boeing CHAMP (Counter electronics High powered microwave Advanced Missile Project), which is able to direct an EMP with 'pinpoint' accuracy. Some of this technology is being modified to a compact level for hand carry purposes.

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Nuclear (NEMP) and high altitude nuclear (HEMP)

Main article: Nuclear electromagnetic pulse

NEMP is the abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion. The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated hundreds of kilometers above the Earth's surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Typically the HEMP device produces the EMP as its primary damage mechanism. The nuclear device does this by producing gamma rays, which in turn are converted into EMP in the mid-stratosphere over a wide area within line of sight to the detonation.

NEMP weapons are designed to maximize such effects, especially on electronic systems, and are capable of destroying susceptible electronic equipment over a wide area. See fiction [Source].

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What are the effects of an EMP?

It is the reliance we have on technology that if disrupted can result in an array of chaotic and social mayhem. This sort of disruption can force societal regions of civilizations back into living like the days equivalent to those in the frontier ages. EMP's have the potential to trigger regional and global dysfunction resulting in mass casualties over a short period of time. Civilized regions who rely on the electrical power generated by the local utility companies will be exposed to life altering situation as chaos, looting and violent crimes infect the area like a nasty virus. Desperate people do desperate things to survive. Humans are prone to reverting back to a barbaric nature when their needs are not met. It is not our nature to lay down and die without a fight. Most disaster movies depict a ravaging atmosphere during such events. The kind of atmosphere that presents a heavy amount of danger and chaos.

An atomic weapon of sufficient yield detonated between 25 and 500 miles above earth could wipe out most electrical devices and severely damage the power grid. Most telecommunications and electronic equipment can be effected or damaged as well one way or another. [Source]. Effects from a massive EMP can be extended onto foliage and plant life as these cellular life forms are not impervious to such an event. Growth patterns have been known to be effected by large electrical pulses or solar ejections. This can impact the human food chain as well. It is also suspected by the scientific community that natural cycles on Earth can be disrupted causing a shift in the Ecosystem. Ocean currents and weather patterns are cyclic and life forms rely heavily on the stability of these systems.

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EMP in history

  • The first recorded damage from an electromagnetic pulse came with the solar storm of August 1859, or the Carrington Event. It was the largest solar storm in recorded history. Sunspots and flares could be seen on the sun. It was followed by a huge geomagnetic storm. The Northern Lights could be seen across the world, and were bright enough to read a newspaper by. Telegraph systems in Europe and North America threw sparks, set light to paper and gave their operators electric shocks.
  • A similar, but milder, storm occured in March 1989. It knocked out power supplies in Quebec, jammed radio signals and weather satellites and caused aurora as far south as Texas - leading some to believe a nuclear attack was underway.
  • The phenomenon of electromagnetic interference was noticed during the early nuclear tests in the Cold War. British scientists attributed instrumentation failures to what they dubbed 'radio-flash'.
  • Its potential as a weapon was first realized by the US military. In the Starfish Prime test in 1962 a 1.44 megaton warhead was donated 250 miles into space. The pulse knocked out street lights and damaged telephones on Hawaii.
  • On July 9, 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission detonated a 1.4-megaton Hydrogen Bomb resulting EMP shorted out streetlights in Oahu, Luckily,it left the electronic grid intact.
  • A test the same year by Soviet scientists in Kazakhstan triggered power plant fires in the city of Karaganda.
  • The United States set up a commission to assess the threat from an EMP attack in 2001. It concluded that North Korea, Russian, China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Cuba understand how such an attack could work - and that many countries believe the US is able and willing to make an EMP strike "under a broad range of circumstances".
  • In 2010 Dr Liam Fox, then the defense secretary, warned that North Korea and Iran may seek to detonate a device high over Britain in order to disrupt electronic equipment. [Source].

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Videos

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Additional videos:  https://www.google.com/search?q=EMP&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#safe=off&tbm=vid&q=EMP+threats

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  Find "solutions to EMP"  

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References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

http://www.infowars.com/the-devastating-impact-of-an-electromagnetic-pulse%E2%80%A6can-it-happen/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9097706/Electromagnetic-pulses-in-history.html

http://www.futurescience.com/emp/EMP-history.html

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