Image title: Space weather effects Image credit: European Space Agency / Science Office, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
The Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate (JSWSC) published yesterday a strategic report with recommendations for future consolidated and coordinated European activities in the domain of space weather risk assessment and mitigation, commissioned by the European Space Science Committee (ESSC) of the European Science Foundation (ESF) and compiled by the European Space Weather Assessment and Consolidation Committee.
Space weather refers to the environmental conditions in space as influenced by solar activity. In extreme events, space weather can be highly disruptive, causing radiation hazards for satellites and health risks for astronauts, electric power blackouts navigation problems in satellite and airline operations, interference in radio communication systems , degraded accuracy or total loss of GNSS navigation, to name the most important ones.
How can Europe explore further, understand more and prepare better for adverse space weather effects? This special report from international experts discusses on-going European space weather efforts and issues, and gives recommendations for future coordinated and better consolidated activities.
The first author of the article published in JSWSC, Prof. Hermann Opgenoorth from Umeå University, Sweden, explains: “Space weather is one of these areas where scientific knowledge, societal aspects and economic interest are intrinsically linked”. Commenting on the output of the report, Prof. Opgenoorth, adds: “From observations, modelling and refined understanding of solar, heliospheric and geospace plasma processes on one side and user requirements and the definition of the principles of an operational network on the other, our study committee identified actionable recommendations that would strengthen Europe’s knowledge and preparedness”.
The article summarising the report is published in the new Agora section of JSWSC, a place for the space weather community to discuss, evaluate and distribute non-traditional scientific output in the field of space science and space climate, such as public outreach papers, historical accounts, and strategic or programmatic articles. The full report is published as supplementary material to the article.