, Volume 155, Issue 1-4, pp 387-410
Date: 29 May 2010

Magnetic Polarity Transitions and Biospheric Effects

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This review addresses possible biospheric effects of geomagnetic polarity transitions. During a transition the magnetic field at the surface of the Earth decreases to about 10% of its current value. If the geomagnetic field is a shield against energetic particles of solar or cosmic origin then biospheric effects can be expected. We review the early speculations on the problem and discuss in more detail its current status. We conclude that no clear picture of a geomagnetic link, a causal relation between secular magnetic field variations and the evolution of life on our planet can be drawn.