The economic impact of space weather – where do we stand?

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Title: The economic impact of space weather – where do we stand?
Author(s): Eastwood, J
Biffis, E
Hapgood, MA
Green, L
Bisi, MM
Bentley, RD
Wicks, R
McKinnell, LA
Gibbs, M
Burnett, C
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Space w eather describes the way in which the Sun, and conditions in space more generally, impact human activity and technology both in space and on the ground. It is now well understood that space weather represents a significant threat to infrastructure resilien ce, and is a source of risk which is wide - ranging in its impact and the pathways by which this impact may occur. Although s pace weather is growing rapidly as a field, work rigorously assessing the overall economic cost of space weather appears to be in its infancy. Here we provide an initial literature review to gather and assess the quality of any published assessments of space weather impa cts and socio - economic studies. Generally speaking there is a good volume of scientific peer - reviewed literature detai ling the likelihood and statistics of different types of space weather phenomena. These phenomena all typically exhibit ‘power - law’ behaviour in their severity. The literature on documented impacts is not as extensive with many case studies, but few statis tical studies. The literature on the economic impacts of space weather is rather sparse and not as well developed when compared to the other sections , most probably due to the somewhat limited data that is available from end - users . The major risk is attach ed to power distribution systems and there is disagreement as to the severity of the technological footprint. This strongly controls the economic impact. Consequently, urgent work is required to better quantify the risk of future space weather events.
Publication Date: 23-Feb-2017
Date of Acceptance: 8-Dec-2016
DOI: 10.1111/risa.12765
ISSN: 0272-4332
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Risk Analysis
Sponsor/Funder: UK Space Agency
Funder's Grant Number: N/A
Keywords: Strategic, Defence & Security Studies
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Accepted
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School
Space and Atmospheric Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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