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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • extreme space weather
  • forecasting
  • magnetic storms
  • impacts on humans
  • geomagnetically induced currents
  • impacts on technological systems

Index Terms

  • 7954 Space Weather: Magnetic storms
  • 7934 Space Weather: Impacts on technological systems
  • 7904 Space Weather: Geomagnetically induced currents
  • 7924 Space Weather: Forecasting



Extreme Space Weather: Forecasting Behavior of a Nonlinear Dynamical System

D. N. Baker

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Vulnerability of modern societies to extreme space weather is an issue of increasing concern. Recent assessments are that individual severe space weather episodes can cause tens of millions to many billions of dollars worth of damage to space and ground-based assets. The most extreme events could cause disruptions to society lasting months to years and could cost more than $1 trillion. There are very good reasons to believe that efficient and effective forecasts of certain aspects of extreme space weather are possible and that the benefits of such forecasts would be immense. Data analysis and recent modeling show that the coupled Sun-Earth system is a complex, nonlinear dynamical system. Improved forecasts of severe space weather must take advantage of our increasing understanding of this dynamical behavior of the Earth's space environment. Such forecasts may hold the key to successful mitigation strategies for dealing with extreme conditions and thereby greatly benefit policy makers and society as a whole.

Citation: Baker, D. N. (2012), Extreme space weather: Forecasting behavior of a nonlinear dynamical system, in Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 196, edited by A. S. Sharma et al. 255–265, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2011GM001075.


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