The solar wind and human birth rate: A possible relationship due to magnetic disturbances
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- Randall, W. Int J Biometeorol (1990) 34: 42. doi:10.1007/BF01045819
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Data obtained from the literature on the annual pattern of human conceptions and plasma melatonin at high latitudes indicated that simple annual rhythms do not exist. Instead, prominent semiannual rhythms are found, with equinoctial troughs and solsticial peaks. A prominent semiannual environmental event is the magnetic disturbance induced by the solar wind. The semiannual magnetic disturbances are worldwide, but most pronounced in the auroral zones where the corpuscular radiation enters the atmosphere. Magnetic indices that predominantly reflect these events were obtained from the literature and correlated with the melatonin and conception data. Significant and inverse correlations were found for Inuit conceptions and the melatonin data. The correlations obtained for 48 contiguous states of the United States indicated that only the extreme northern states exhibited this relationship. These data were compared with a previous correlational study in the United States which established that sunshine was correlated with conceptions in the middle latitude and southern states. An hypothesis of dual control by electromagnetic and magnetic energies is proposed: melatonin is a progonadal hormone in humans controlled by both factors, depending on their relative strength. Other studies are reviewed regarding the possible factors involved in determining the annual pattern of human conceptions. Demographic studies of geographic variation in temporal patterns of conceptions, with particular regard to variations of the magnetic fields on the earth's surface, may provide some insight into the efficacy of these different factors.