Registration for ESWW 2021 is now closed.

ps01 Space Weather preparedness, risk, policy, and strategy in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Location: Main Auditorium (and any potential overflow to Level 1)

Convener: Brent Gordon; co-convener: Lee-Anne McKinnell

Space weather can have far-reaching effects on our complex and highly interconnected societal infrastructure. Impacts to satellite and airline operations, communications networks, navigation systems including GNSS, and national power grids, can have significant consequences on economic and security interests worldwide. Consequently, the potential impacts of, and government preparedness for, space weather events is attracting the attention of government leadership in many countries and is driving needs for new and improved space weather services. Operational space weather forecasting capabilities, products, and services have become a focus of scientific research and development efforts.   We have seen a shift from mostly basic research of space weather phenomena to more applied research focused on space weather forecasting needs. 

Having said all that, the widespread, disruptive and damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to considerable impacts on the developments detailed above.  For example, some countries may now view space weather as a less serious risk, while on the other hand, changes in social behaviour as a result of the pandemic (eg increased use of contactless payment transactions) may mean others consider the space weather risk to be even more important.  We propose this plenary session to highlight the policy efforts currently underway worldwide to prepare societies for extreme space weather events, and to discuss how these activities have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We invite abstract submissions to showcase plans, policies, and strategies that improve our ability to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the potentially devastating impacts of space weather events, and which highlight the impact of Covid-19 on these activities.