The International Emergency Management Society

Oslo Conference 2012

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Space Weather and Challenges for Modern Society
Took place in Oslo 22 - 24 -October 2012
 
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Photo: NASA
Background
2012 – 2013 is expected to be years with high solar activity. This can trigger larger solar storms which can generate disturbance on earth. Eruptions on the sun can trigger geomagnetic induced currents (GIC), enhanced UV and X-ray from solar flares can disturb our atmosphere, and high-energy particles can damage satellites. Thus, solar storms can affect the normal operations on specific industrial operations and critical infrastructure that our society depends on (e.g. power grids, oil industry, telecom, navigation systems, etc).
 
GIC can affect the normal operation of specific industrial operations and critical infrastructure (e.g power grids, telecom, navigation systems, etc). During space weather events, like solar storms, electric currents in the magnetosphere and ionosphere experience large variations, which manifest also in the earth's magnetic field. These variations induce currents (GIC) in conductors operated on the surface of the earth. Electric transmission grids and buried pipelines are common examples of such conductor systems. GIC can cause problems, such as increased corrosion of pipeline steel and may disturb and possible damaged high-voltage power transformers and it can also have damaging effects on communication systems, navigation systems and oil and gas operations. Vulnerable industries are the oil and gas industry, railways, telecommunication industry, navigation industry and not at least the society, which is very vulnerable concerning short or long term interruption of critical infrastructure.
 
The conference focused on increasing the general knowledge of solar storms, space weather, GIC, etc., and the possible consequences for different industries and critical infrastructure, and looked into reasonable means of protection, and considered possible early warning solutions.
 
Conference Focus
The conference focused on increasing the general knowledge of solar storms, space weather and GIC and the possible consequences for different industries and critical infrastructure, and looked into reasonable means of protection, and considered possible early warning solutions. The main topics  addressed at the conference were:
  1.  Solar Storms and Space Weather - History and Experiences
  2.  Stormy Sun - our Current Knowledge
  3.  Effects on Satellites, Navigation and Telecommunication
  4.  Predictions of Solar Storms, Warnings, Preparedness Measures and Response
  5.  Expectations and Effects on Electric Power Supply and Oil and Gas Exploration Activity
  6.  Industries Preparedness and Protection Measurers
  7.  A Super Storm - What can happen and how to prepare for and handle it?
  8.  Authorities Handling Strategies and Contentious Level
  9.  Society's Ability to Withstand Short and Long Term Shut Down of Critical Infrastructure
  10.  Future Developments and Expectations
  11.  Other relevant topics related to Risk and Preparedness Measures
 
Conference International Program Committee
  1. Pål Brekke, The Norwegian Space Centre, Norway, Chairman;
  2. Roger Steen, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Norway
  3. Risto Pirjola, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
  4. Peter Wintoft, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden
  5. Peter Stauning, Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark
  6. Alf Olaussen, Statnett, Norway
  7. K. Harald Drager, TIEMS President, Program Organizer and Committee Secretary;
 
Conference Venue
The conference took place in Oslo, Norway at Grand Hotel, www.grand.no, located in the centre of Oslo, with direct access to the main street, Carl Johan and opposite the Parliament building (Stortinget). Grand Hotel is amongst others famous for housing the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates during their stay in Oslo for the Peace Price Ceremony.