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Obama Signs Executive Order on Space Weather

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 14, 2016
Filed under ,
Solar flare and Coronal Mass Ejection from the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory.  (Credit: NASA).

Solar flare and Coronal Mass Ejection from the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. (Credit: NASA).

By Dr. Tamara Dickinson
Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy
White House

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that seeks to coordinate efforts to prepare the Nation for space weather events.

The Executive Order will help reduce economic loss, save lives, and enhance national security by ordering the creation of nationwide response and recovery plans and procedures that incorporate technologies that mitigate the effects of space-weather events.

By this action, the Federal Government will lead by example and help motivate state and local governments, and other nations, to create communities that are more resilient to the hazards of space weather.

The term “space weather” refers to effects on the space environment that arise from emissions from the sun, including solar flares, solar energetic particles, and coronal mass ejections. Space weather is a natural hazard that can significantly affect critical infrastructure essential to the economy, social wellbeing, and national security, such as electrical power, water supply, health care, and transportation.

These emissions can interact with Earth, potentially degrading, disrupting, or damaging the technology that forms the Nation’s backbone of critical infrastructure. Because it poses a significant risk to the Nation’s security, space weather is included in the Department of Homeland Security’s Strategic National Risk Assessment, which outlines threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation and that, therefore, the Nation must prepare for.

Reducing vulnerability to space weather requires an all-of-nation approach, including collaboration across governments, the emergency-management community, academia, the media, the insurance industry, non-profits, and the private sector. Over the past 6 years, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Security Council (NSC) have worked together to coordinate interagency efforts to improve understanding, prediction, and preparedness for potentially devastating space-weather events. These efforts combined the national- and homeland-security enterprise with the science and technology enterprise to create the 2015 National Space Weather Strategy and accompanying Action Plan. Those documents describe how the Federal Government will coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies towards space-weather preparedness, and how the Federal Government will engage academia, the private sector, and State, local, tribal, and foreign governments.

The Executive Order builds on the significant progress of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan by:

  • Establishing a national policy for space weather;
  • Establishing an enduring interagency coordination body within the National Science and Technology Council to implement the national space-weather policy;
  • Articulating department and agency roles and responsibilities with respect to space- weather research, operations, and planning;
  • Ordering the implementation of necessary, high-level activities that were not included in the Action Plan; and
  • Reinforcing the need to work with non-Federal entities, including international partners, to achieve national preparedness for space weather.

We cannot ignore the potential impact space weather may have on key infrastructures and technologies. This new Executive Order will strengthen America’s resilience to space weather and help to build a more secure and resilient Nation.

6 responses to “Obama Signs Executive Order on Space Weather”

  1. JamesG says:

    I am surprised he didn’t suggest creating another agency…

  2. tedesco says:

    A Carrington event could affect the nuclear plants causing a disaster.
    I think that its logic to try to prevent this.

  3. Bruce Voigt says:

    Bruce Voigt posted 03 December 2005 There are violent forces at play. The forces of the Sun, Moon and Earth dance together giving us seasons, tides etc. The Sun recently has been stepping on toes as it glides through this dance sending our north magnetic pole whizzing away a thousand miles to wards Russia then coming home to dance around an 85km oval every 24hr. This seemingly little dance is causing all kinds of hell for a species that thinks its the be and end all of the Universe. This Sun activity can muck around with slivers of Earth energy causing the Earth to tip, compasses to swing, radio reception, gps problems, tornado’s, tsunami, re location of oceans and climate etc. (BUT) The big kahuna Earths NUCLEUS is not PHASED by this UNTIL! Our NINTH Planet third or fourth from the sun comes bar-ling around the Sun appearing to be heading right for us. I Bruce Voigt claim that the recently discovered Asteroid 2002 AA 29 is really a Moon of (and yes I have named this Planet) OLD BRUCE. OLD BRUCE orbits the Sun in close proximity to Earths orbit every 365 point something day’s and the Earth is slowly catching up or visa versa. In approximately sixty five million years from now OLD BRUCE will be close enough to change (like a magnet) Earths Nucleus direction. At that very moment instant freezing takes place and because of no gravity any thing not attached drifts out into Earth orbit to be collected by the Moon. (Good real estate investment for an optimist). These are the Three true Ice ages, one in coming two as Old Bruce eclipses Earth (the really big sleep) and three as Old Bruce again changes the Earths nucleus and
    nuclei direction.
    So after all that you now know what really happened to DINO

  4. Bud Kaye says:

    NEVERMIND Man-made global warming! How about those “Super-Magnets” that can pull out our tooth fillings from a half mile away! How many of those do we have running at any moment? How are those affecting our “Poles”?? 🙂

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