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ClimateWire will not publish from Dec. 25 through Jan. 1. It will return on Monday, Jan. 4.

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SPOTLIGHT

1. GRID:

Some parts of the U.S. are protected against solar-caused blackouts; some aren't

If a "once in a century" massive solar flare impacts the Earth, triggering electromagnetic currents that threaten the power grid, the western part of North America is likely to escape unscathed, according to U.S. and Canadian grid experts. Those that rely on the grid east of the Rockies, however, may not have similar protection against potentially damaging, long-lived blackouts.

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