How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe on Earth

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“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” Baker tells NASA. “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”

Transcript of How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe on Earth

  • BY JASON SAMENOW July 23 at 3:48 pm How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earths atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces, physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA. Via NASA: This movie shows a coronal mass ejection (CME) on the sun from July 22, 2012 at 10:00 p.m. EDT until 2 a.m. on July 23 as captured by NASAs Solar Terrestrial RElations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO-A). Because CME captured by NASA July 23, 2012 (NASA) Enlarge & Animate Weather Underground Radar DC Webcam Radar 1 2 3 4 5 Israel calls Brazil a 'diplomatic dwarf' - and then brings up World Cup... The drug that could imperil Medicaid My son has been suspended five times. Hes 3. #westillcoming: The real story behind the viral wedding photo and its 'un... I blamed my wife for our messy house, I was wrong for many reasons Most Read trending articles After leveling Iraq's Tomb of Jonah, the Islamic State could ... Coming Distractions: Trailer for The Death Of Superman Lives:... Israel and Hamas agree to a 12-hour cease-fire At a glance Go to CWG's Full Forecast About Meet the Gang Contact Weather Wall Forecasts Archives CapitalWeatherGang The inside scoop on weather in the D.C.area and beyond Traffic Sign In My Account SUBSCRIBE: Home Delivery Digital Gift Subscriptions PostT V Politics Opinions Local Sports National World Business Tech Lifestyle Entertainment Jobs More
  • the CME headed in STEREO-As direction, it appears like a giant halo around the sun. NOTE: This video loops 3 times. Credit: NASA/STEREO Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded. I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did, Baker tells NASA. If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire. Video overview of July 23, 2012 solar storm A CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely cripple satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid. NASA offers this sobering assessment: Advertisement Analysts believe that a direct hit could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldnt even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. . . . According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair. CWGs Steve Tracton put it this way in his frightening overview of the risks of a severe solar storm: The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general. Solar physicists compare the 2012 storm to the so-called Carrington solar storm of September 1859, named after English astronomer Richard Carrington who documented July 26 F | C D.C. Area Almanac National Dulles BWI Avg. Hi: 88 88 87 Avg. Lo: 71 66 67 Rec Hi: 103 (1930) 98 (2012) 101 (1940) Rec Lo: 54 (1920) 50 (1976) 55 (1976) Sunrise: 6:04 a.m. 6:05 a.m. 6:02 a.m. Sunset: 8:24 p.m. 8:26 p.m. 8:24 p.m. Sponsored Links Pimsleur Discover how you can speak any language in just 10 short days. Pimsleur! Millions Rattled By Website Anyone can access public records & see what some may be hiding. Search now! Buy a link here 66 88 SAT PRECIP: 30% 74 88 SUN PRECIP: 60% 71 86 MON PRECIP: 40% 64 78 TUE 57 81 WED 59 84 THU At a glance Forecast by National Weather Service 73.0 F (22.8 C) Weather: Mostly Cloudy Wind: South at 6.9 MPH Dew Point: 64.9 F Pressure: 1016.3 mb Dulles Airport BWI Airport Right now Go to CWG's Weather Wall Last Updated on Jul 26 2014, 1:52 am EDT National Airport 15 Number of 90-degree days year-to-date More info >> Heat tracker Yearly average: 36 Record most: 67 (1980,2010) Record fewest: 7 (1886,1905) Last year: 35
  • Jason Samenow is the Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist and serves as the Washington Post's Weather Editor. He earned BA and MS degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Virginia and University of Wisconsin-Madison. 881 Comments Discussion Policy the event. In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event, Baker tells NASA. The only difference is, it missed. During the Carrington event, the northern lights were seen as far south as Cuba and Hawaii according to historical accounts. The solar eruption caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices, NASA notes. NASA says the July 2012 storm was particularly intense because a CME had traveled along the same path just days before the July 23 double whammy clearing the way for maximum effect, like a snowplow. This double-CME traveled through a region of space that had been cleared out by yet another CME four days earlier, NASA says. As a result, the storm clouds were not decelerated as much as usual by their transit through the interplanetary medium. NASAs online article about the science of this solar storm is well-worth the read. Perhaps the scariest finding reported in the article is this: There is a 12 percent chance of a Carrington-type event on Earth in the next 10 years according to Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc. Initially, I was quite surprised that the odds were so high, but the statistics appear to be correct, Riley tells NASA. It is a sobering figure. Its even more sobering when considering the conclusion of Steve Tractons 2013 article: Are we ready yet for potentially disastrous impacts of space weather? Tractons answer: an unequivocal, if not surprising, no! Conversation Live You must be signed in to comment. Sign In or Register 1 And a little research finds there's a chance of even greater 'cosmic ray events' coming from outside our galaxy. Thanks to the InterNet, I may never be able to sleep again... 8:58 AM GMT+0200 JoeStrange Like Reply 1 Bring it on! It would do us good in the long term to get hit by a massive CME. The bigger the better. We need some serious restructuring on this planet. The majority of humans need to experience pain and suffering before they even consider changing their ways. 6:24 AM GMT+0200 Erik Jacobsen Like Reply 8:35 AM GMT+0200 1 Lets start with you. cubanbob Like Reply 2:24 AM GMT+0200 david mike All Comments Newest First
  • 1 On the other handIn March of the same year (2012), the Earth took a direct hit from an X-5 CME which could have caused serious problems. (X-class is the category for measuring the largest solar flares; it has nine sub- divisions.) During the 3-day event, the Earths thermosphere was hit with 26 trillion watts of energy per hour. However, as NASA stated, the CO2 and NO in the upper atmosphere repelled 95% of the energy back into space. Afterwards, NASA concluded that CO2 helps cool the Earthnot warm it. news/science-at-na... Are you wondering why you never heard this? You should. Like Reply 2:58 AM GMT+0200 2 As I said the first time you posted this, you misunderstood the papers. CO2 does not have any effect in reflecting x-rays, and it certainly does not cool the Earth. CO2 blocks some light coming from the Sun from reaching the surface, but at the same time it blocks some light being emitted from the surface from reaching space. Since the Sun is hot, it radiates mostly in the visible range. Since the Earth is the temperature it is, it radiates more in the infrared. The net effect of more CO2 is to keep more heat in the Earth system. jayc1 Like Reply 8:59 AM GMT+0200 Wrong... JoeStrange Like The ionosphere protects earth from solar flares by greatly attenuating their intensity. For a complete overview I recommend reading this Wikipedia entry: 12:30 AM GMT+0200 w8sdz Like Reply 2:50 AM GMT+0200 While CMEs are often related to solar flares, they are different phenomena. A flare is a peak in intensity of light, often energetic light such as x-rays. A CME is an ejection of particles from the Sun, ionized atoms. It also is a disturbed region of magnetic field. A flare often occurs at the time a CME is launched. Flares of course travel at the speed of light, reaching Earth in 8 minutes. A CME may travel at a range of speeds, but takes on the order of a few hours to reach Earth orbit. The cloud of particles travels out from the Sun, generally in the plane of the Solar system. When it encounters the magnetic field of a planet, it disturbs that field. Disturbances of the field can induce large voltages in long conductors. The high-energy ions also are a type of radiation that can cause damage. The atmosphere protects us from most radiation (not just the ionosphere), but in a large event, some penetrates to ground level, particularly at the poles. What the ionosphere protects us from best is ultraviolet light. The Sun puts out a lot of ultraviolet light even when relatively quiet. That is why the ozone (a component of the ionosphere) hole is a problem, and until we listened to the scientists and did something about it, it looked like it was becoming a much bigger problem. jayc1 Like Reply 2 If you take the position as I do that there are so many significant life-threatening issues and potential events, where would the science-minded and objective folks place this risk in order of priorities? Just off the top of my head we have the already imminent (in the southwest and parts of Africa, and looming in other parts of the world) drought and water supply problems, seriously aging infrastructure in western countries (all types -- transportation, utilities, etc.); aging demographics with resultant impacts on abilities of societies to care both for themselves and the next generations; multiple medical problems involving cancer, plagues, AIDS, etc; clean-up of legacy pollution problems (probably China's greatest problem); energy and power generation for the increasing electricity demands of the future, and forecast or predicted long term effects of increased CO2. Any and all of these arguably require more investment than advanced western let alone all societies can afford. Prioritizing everything means assessing relative risk going forward and assessing the severity of an event that, despite being low probability, can have catastrophic consequences. Where do folks believe this need resides within the long and undoubtedly incomplete list I put forth? 7/25/2014 10:58 PM GMT+0200 Illinoistim Like Reply
  • 7/25/2014 11:29 PM GMT+0200 1 You are right, it is difficult to assess risks for all the possible and very different types of events. This one, however, is pretty clearly something that we can and should do more to address. That is because the cost of doing something that would protect pretty well against a fairly likely, and very expensive event is not very high. In the meantime, there are lots of smaller events for which we can prevent all damage with the same precautions. Otherwise those small events would cost us something. This one is a lot like earthquakes in risk assessment. Small ones happen frequently, large ones more rarely, and very large ones will happen sometime in a century or so. When a large CME hits, however, the risks will be on a much larger geographic scale, practically global, than an earthquake. I think we can justify at least as much effort spent on CME preparedness as on earthquake preparedness. But I think it fortunately won't actually cost as much as we do spend on earthquakes. Numbers thrown around range from a few billion to a few hundreds of billions. Cost estimates can quickly get very technical, and I only know about what I have heard from experts in talks. Papers published on the subject probable include the keywords "space weather" and "risk assessment", if you want to search. There are people who spend all their time assessing various risks; many of them work for insurers. Their perspective is a little different from the average citizen, of course. Some problems we already have, and spending is about cleaning them up. Some are about gradual things where something catastrophic will happen without some expense, such as deterioration of bridges, for those the calculation is pretty straightforward. Some, like this, are events that will occur, but are unlikely in any given year or so, and we don't know how big a big one will be and when. Those are the hardest to cost. In addition, the knowledge about these events is spread across many fields. jayc1 Like Reply 9:01 AM GMT+0200 1 Global warming is actually the result of the heat generated by me never getting laid. Please help... JoeStrange Like Reply CME's causing massive ion storms in our upper atmosphere are beautiful wondrous things I have seen as far south as Louisville, Ky. Thankfully, high velocity ions entering a magnetic field turn so we do not get them on us in full force. Plasma however is a different story when it gets as far as Earth. Everything that works because of a computer can die easily, and all telecom works are computer based. All automobiles are computer based too. All electricity supply is computer based now. If a really big one hits, we have nothing we do not provide for ourselves through hard manual labor. No trucks haul groceries to stores. You walk or ride a bike to get around. If you have food to cook it's over a wood fire. You may have shelter where you are, but no water in the pipes, no electricity in the walls, and no heat or AC. And the most important is no sanitation. Only the hunters and farmers eat. 7/25/2014 8:37 PM GMT+0200 Mr. H. Like Reply 7/25/2014 8:54 PM GMT+0200 1 Yes, aurorae are beautiful. You are generally correct. I point out, however, that plasma is actually the same as high velocity ions. It is subject to magnetic fields. So whatever vulnerabilities there are, radiation as well as voltage spikes, increase toward the magnetic poles. Spacecraft orbiting at lower latitude are less vulnerable, though not invulnerable. Power grids in Canada are more vulnerable than those in Mexico, though the high degree of interconnection even across national borders may introduce vulnerability. jayc1 Like Reply Coronal mass ejection is very similar to an EMP. There was a Congressional study in the last decade (and the report is available to be read/downloaded); but, little has been done - outside of some military hardening of their facilities. We can give billions away to other countries, but can't harden out own electric grid? WHY? What will happen if we lose most of or the entire electrical grid? Is everyone aware of the damage done to the electrical sub- station in San Jose a couple of years ago? It almost took down the western grid. 7/25/2014 8:16 PM GMT+0200 [Edited] dmounts Like Reply 7/25/2014 8:27 PM GMT+0200 Government has many priorities. Dan Baker's research, and this article, are steps to modifying the priorities a jayc1
  • little. While I think that the danger of CMEs is much more important than the emphasis it has received would indicate, I would not say that it should supersede, for example, all foreign aid, which is also given for various important reasons. Fortunately, we are wealthy and can do a lot of things at once. In fact some efforts are being made, although only at the glacial pace that most infrastructure improvements have in the present political environment. Dan's research, for example, like almost all science research, is government funded. Like Reply 7/25/2014 8:39 PM GMT+0200 [Edited] 1 Some experts have said that for $1-2B, we could harden the nat'l grid. My point was that is for about what we send to just ONE country in ONE year, we can get basic protection. If we don't protect ourselves, how will be able to help any other countries that are not sufficiently protected. And compared to the consequences (which I agree are realistic expectations) you pointed out, it is a small investment for significant returns. dmounts Like 7/25/2014 8:47 PM GMT+0200 I think that estimate is low, based on my reading. But as pointed out at length by my creepy stalker, I am an expert on CMEs, not on electrical engineering. As a space physicist, I can give information about how big and how often events are expected. Politicians and engineers have to work out how much to spend on what preparation. jayc1 Like 7/25/2014 9:54 PM GMT+0200 How much do you think we need? Provide some links if handy. Curious about solar storm Like View More Replies 7/25/2014 10:08 PM GMT+0200 CME is essentially an EMP. ovocop Like Reply 7/25/2014 10:08 PM GMT+0200 Jayc1, I just wanted to say I've appreciated your posts on this over the past couple of days. Newspapers these days are woefully understaffed on science issues, so any experts chipping in to add to the discussion are helpful. Thanks. B2O2 Like Reply 3:00 AM GMT+0200 I appreciate your saying so. jayc1 Like 2 it's not a matter of if, but when. 7/25/2014 7:48 PM GMT+0200 ignatius ibsage Like Reply Repost 7/25/2014 7:32 PM GMT+0200 [Edited] tcu93 Like Reply
  • We need Jack Bauer. Now. We're running out if time. 7/25/2014 7:32 PM GMT+0200 tcu93 Like Reply If there ever is an end of humans it will be a result of something like this...or a plague. And not much we can do about either. 7/25/2014 7:21 PM GMT+0200 MadMan0433 Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:27 PM GMT+0200 3 In both of those cases we can do, and are doing, a great deal about it. We can't stop it, but we can take many relatively low-cost steps to avoid and mitigate damage. We can't do anything about some things, or at least not in the foreseeable future, such as a very large meteor strike. We may not be able to do very much about human stupidity and cupidity either, but we can try (not calling you stupid). Fortunately a very large meteor strike is very unlikely in any human time frame. Some smaller strikes will happen, as they have already. Stupidity is inevitable, but at least it is somewhat self- limiting. jayc1 Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:53 PM GMT+0200 [Edited] 2 Thanks for all of your input Doc. I just came back to this article after posting some basic objective questions yesterday when there were only 20-30 posts. Well over 800 posts now!! I agree with you that if there are inexpensive emergency procedures that could be planned which might prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of expense later, and hundreds of thousands of lives, why not make some plans? Like you I am clueless as to why some folks choose to be antagonistic rather than prudent. Isn't the definition of being conservative to reduce risk? johnnyboy4 Like 7/25/2014 10:18 PM GMT+0200 It's a good question, johnnyboy4, about why some are so antagonistic. I suspect they are right wingers, for whom *anything* the government does when the "wrong" party is in the White House is an anathema to them. It's childish, self-destructive, and downright psychotic, but they have convinced themselves and each other that it's somehow their "patriotic duty" to trash our civilization just as much as they can manage to. Today's "conservatives" are anything but, yes. They are betting they know more than scientists do, and the stakes are just the well being of civilization. That is the very opposite of conservative in my book. B2O2 Like 7/25/2014 7:48 PM GMT+0200 or more likely, an asteroid strike. ignatius ibsage Like Reply If it happens every 150 years who cares? It is like worrying about meteorites, they are very rare events and you can't stop them, it's much less investment to just clean it up afterwards if and when it happens. 7/25/2014 7:17 PM GMT+0200 gsboy286 Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:20 PM GMT+0200 jayc1
  • 1 That is true for the size of meteorites that occur on the order of once in 150 years. It is not true for the size of CMEs that hit the Earth on the order of once in 150 years. The cost of preparation will be much less than the cost of cleaning up afterwards. Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:25 PM GMT+0200 I don't know where you get your figures about the cost of hardening our grid from but note that what just happened did not happen to us, because it was not pointed at us. You might have to reach back thousands of years for that to have happened, I don't know. When was the last major meteor event, Tunguska in 1908? In an isolated area that describes about 99.9% of the earth's surface. How would you take measures against that? You don't, because you can't and even if you could you have to ask whether it is worth it. I think things like hacking and use of electro-magnetic-pulse weapons are a much greater risk to our grid. gsboy286 Like 7/25/2014 7:33 PM GMT+0200 2 No, the Carrington event 150 years ago, mentioned in the article, would have been a major problem for our current systems. We have had damage from smaller events. I am not saying that a meteor strike cannot be a disaster, but a civilization-ending size strike is not likely in any given year. Even the recent Russian event would have been worse over a more densely populated area. A very large CME, on the other hand, which can cause a huge amount of damage, is more frequent. That is what looking at the 2012 event shows, something about the character and frequency of such large events. Measures taken to protect against a CME would have some effect against EMP attacks, if that is what you worry about. On the other hand, some of the CME defense would require more remote and automated control of systems, which might enhance vulnerability to hacking. Fortunately, we are aware of that problem, and can work on and maintain some protections. jayc1 Like 7/25/2014 7:37 PM GMT+0200 1 Because the last time it happened was 150 years ago. johnnyboy4 Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:42 PM GMT+0200 1 And whether or not one occurred recently or long ago, the probability that one will occur next week is still significant enough to worry about. jayc1 Like 7/25/2014 7:46 PM GMT+0200 I love the example in the NASA article of a solar event affecting a grid: 1989 Hyrdo Quebec, a sub-standard grid at a northern latitude with extremely long runs, no monitoring capability, and low trip voltages. The grid was back up and fully functional in 9 hours, and since then the deficiencies have been corrected. It is indeed a shame that jayc1 can't stick to his area of expertise! It is also interesting to note that, while highly published, he is "currently seeking employment" according to his page here: Sorry to wax "Ad Hominem" on you, Dr. Cummings, but your alarmist cries for our need to research this and do something about it seems to be self-serving. And do stop it with the "unplug the appliances" bit. Appliances weren't damaged in droves during the outage of Hydro Quebec in 1989; they merely sat idle for 9 hours and resumed working when the grid came back up! Joe Dick Like Reply 7/25/2014 8:10 PM GMT+0200 That was an example of what a much smaller event can do. It was not a worldwide disaster, but it cost money. It is prudent to spend a relatively small amount of money now to avert a very, very large cost when a large event does hit. Hydro Quebec agrees, that is why they put measures in place to protect against events, unfortunately after they had already suffered some damage. The only way to know if measures are adequate to protect against events that are likely to occur is to study how large events get, and how frequently they happen. The study mentioned in the article shows that they jayc1
  • 2 how large events get, and how frequently they happen. The study mentioned in the article shows that they can get much larger than the 1989 event, and that they occur often enough to worry about. I can't rival you in creepiness, but I contend that your stated qualifications in this subject area, in Aeronautical Engineering, are inferior to my own in Solar Particle Physics. Like 7/25/2014 8:43 PM GMT+0200 Appliances would probably be fine, except that more and more basic items include microelectronics, which are often vulnerable to even rather small fluctuations. A lot of expensive stuff should at least be on surge protectors, to protect against thunderstorms if nothing else. But a large CME could produce voltage spikes at the plug that are larger than experienced in such storms, except maybe for nearby lightning strikes (a very nearby lightning strike can fry even non-electronic stuff; that however is not a disaster except for a few people). Ordinary hardware-store surge suppressors might not be sufficient if the local power connections don't have safeguards. Better than nothing though. I repeat, however, the most costly vulnerabilities are to the nationwide power grid and satellites. But fortunately, solutions to the vulnerabilities can be implemented throughout. There will always be some local vulnerabilities, but those we should probably just plan to repair afterward. jayc1 Like View More Replies 1 Could have, The ski is falling, the ski is falling, said chicken samenow, could have,should have, must be a lib, 7/25/2014 6:27 PM GMT+0200 cliffe Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:02 PM GMT+0200 1 It would seem that all scientists and engineers are liberals, and all business and law practitioners are conservative. Let's hope the conservatives are smart enough to dig us out of the environmental hole the liberals have dug for us. Maybe a decrease in taxes for the top 1%? And an end to government regulations. ZZZMM Like Reply 7/25/2014 10:24 PM GMT+0200 Here's a better idea. Let's just end "government regulations" where they pertain to the well being of "conservatives" (I put that in quotes because the modern breed of this type of vermin is anything but conservative by the dictionary definition, and by your posts). I look forward to watching you all drink coal- industry polluted West Virginia water, take quack medical cures and get killed in accidents in vehicles which corporations just made however they wanted to, knowing there were no consequences. All because you thought the EPA, FDA and NTSB and other "big bad gubmint" agencies were such superfluous liberal nuisance. Hate to be wishing you all ill like this (I really do), but I'm increasingly convinced that letting you all self- exterminate through your spectacular ignorance and arrogance might be the best thing for all involved. B2O2 Like 2 As all Republicans and FOX News know, President Obama was responsible for this event. He is, after all, soft on solar flares. A John McCain or Ted Cruz would never let the sun mess with the earth. 7/25/2014 6:25 PM GMT+0200 trp Like Reply 7/25/2014 6:27 PM GMT+0200 Why is it Dems have to be so stupid? HeardItAllBefore1 Like Reply 7/25/2014 7:12 PM GMT+0200 Take your comment to someone who has passed eighth grade English and have them explain it to you. gsboy286
  • More Like 7/25/2014 7:30 PM GMT+0200 John Kerry was actually for solar flares before he was against them. tcu93 Like Reply 7/25/2014 10:27 PM GMT+0200 No no no trp. The CME was caused by Obamacare. Bill O'Reilly and company are fast at work preparing their convoluted explanation for how the sun decided to throw it out because... something something Benghazi Obamacare. B2O2 Like Reply 1 God help us if Al Gore gets wind of this. We will be inundated with heart wrenching photos of sun burned Polar Bears. Al of course wil offer to save the bears by selling you solar flare credits. 7/25/2014 6:12 PM GMT+0200 bluesdoc70 Like Reply The Washington Post SUBSCRIBE PostTV Politics Opinions Local Sports National World Business Tech Lifesty le Entertainment Jobs More w ay s to get u s Contact Us A bou t Us WP BrandConnect CapitalBusiness Capitol Deal Express Fashion Washington Find&Save Washington PostMaster Class ParadeMagazine El Tiempo Latino WashingtonPost Wine Club Partners Home delivery Digital Subscription Gift Subscription Mobile & Apps New sletter & Alerts Washington Post Live Reprints & Permissions Post Store Photo Store e-Replica Archive RSS Facebook Tw itter Help & Contact Info Reader Representative Digital Advertising New spaper Advertising New s Service & Syndicate In the community Careers PostPoints New spaper in Education Digital Publishing Guidelines 1996-2014 The Washington Post Terms of Service Privacy Policy Submissions and Discussion Policy RSS Terms of Service Ad Choices