Mutagenesis during magnetic pole reversals.
"Robert J. Kolker" <[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...]> wrote in message news:<MELsb.191954$Fm2.177455@attbi_s04>...
If you were to explode a nuclear weapon, I would imagine that high
energy radiation (gamma rays and the like) can be transferred through
the atmosphere to some extent, and that the toxic effects from them
would not entirely be due contact from fallout. Nitrogen and Oxygen
have internal orbitals that are bonded with higher energy to the
nucleus than the outer bonding orbitals. (The 1s orbitals.)
EMP in the radio wave range is not mutagenic because of the lower
energy of that type of radiation (thus not harmful to biological
organisms unless they are so high in intensity that the organism is
heated like in a microwave).
Supposedly to provide an effective radiation shield from something
like a nuclear blast, you ultimately need several feet of concrete or
soil to absorb it and keep it from going through.
In theory, there is some Oxygen and Nitrogen between the upper
atmosphere and the earth's ground surface, that could provide
resistance to high energy radiation on the order of the ranges in the
gamma rays, x-rays, cosmic rays, high energy solar, etc, that would
It is possible that some high energy particles might spiral through
the van-allen radiation belts, but still fall to earth and collide
with the upper atmosphere near the poles. This would cause the
auroras. (It is commonly accepted that this is an explanation of the
At the same time, people in the far north may not be exposed to vast
amounts of mutagenic radiation higher in frequency than the common UV
ranges, to the point that they are severely exposed to mutagens. (As
far as I know. The levels might be significant. (data, links?))
With a total collapse/reversal of the earth's magnetic field, however,
it might be that the entire earth's outer atmosphere would still get
much more radiation, than the poles are now getting in those
relatively non-shielded areas, in comparison with that of the total
earth in present conditions.
The ultimate question is, is the amount of ionizing radiation that is
received at the earth's surface (and not the outer atmosphere) during
a pole reversal, enough to cause severe mutagenesis among the earth's
land biota? (Or sea biota as well?) Could at least some of
'punctuated equilibrium', be caused by large amounts of radiation and
mutagenisis, being introduced into the earth's land biota, during
these specific time periods when these magnetic reversals are
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