Solar storm effects on humans

Solar storms

The sun continuously emits a stream of charged particles (“solar wind”) in all directions. The wind blows radially away from the sun, its speed and density are highly variable, and it contains a magnetic field that is also highly variable in magnitude and direction. When the sun is relatively calm, the only manifestation of solar wind may be the auroras (Northern or Southern Lights), caused by the excitation of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen by the wind’s energetic electrons (Lenz, 2004).

A geomagnetic storm, or solar storm, is caused by a solar wind shock wave that strikes Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in a worldwide temporary disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere, distinct from regular diurnal variations. This only occurs if the shock wave travels in a direction toward Earth. During a geomagnetic storm, “portions of the solar wind’s energy are transferred to the magnetosphere, causing Earth’s magnetic field to change rapidly in direction and intensity and energize the particle populations within it” (NOAA).

Geomagnetic storms comprise three major components: solar flares, solar proton events (SPEs) and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The largest geomagnetic storms tend to involve all three elements. About 8 minutes after a solar flare, a powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation reaches Earth. About an hour after a SPE, high-energy cosmic rays reach Earth. Within about two days of a CME, the compressed magnetic fields and charged plasma of its leading edge smash into Earth’s magnetic field like a battering ram (Marusek, 2007). The strength and frequency of geomagnetic storms correlates with the eleven-year sunspot cycle. As the sun rotates completely in about 27 days as seen from Earth, and great sunspot groups can stay active for several solar rotations, a 27-day pattern of geomagnetic storms can occur (NOAA; Marusek, 2007).

Geomagnetic storms are traditionally divided into three phases: the initial phase, the main phase and the recovery phase. During the initial phase (duration 2-8 hours) the magnetosphere is compressed, causing local intensity. During the main phase (duration 12-24 hours) there are erratic but general decreases in background field intensities, followed by the recovery phase (duration tens of hours up to a week). Geomagnetic storms are predictable and usually last for two to four days, but occasionally they last for many more days. We have an average of 35 stormy days a year with a higher concentration of stormy days in March-April and September-October (Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Health effects

There is a growing body of evidence that geomagnetic storms have brief but pervasive effects on human mental and physical health. These effects are far more significant than the well-known influence of the Full Moon and they are also stronger than the effects of meteorological factors (Dimitrova, 2005). The literature reviewed by Krivelyova and Robotti (2003) and Ward and Henshaw (2006) shows that geomagnetic storms have been related to mood disorders, anxiety, sleep disturbance, suicide, decreased functional activity of the central nervous system; double the frequency of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, violation of cardial rhythm and acute violation of brain blood circulation; and 30-80% increases in urgent hospitalization of patients in connection with suicides, mental disorders, myocardial infarction, defects of cerebrum vessels and arterial and venous diseases.

Krivelyova and Robotti’s (2003) literature review shows a harmful effect of solar activity on both sick and healthy people. Zakharov and Tyronov (2001, in Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003) stated: “It is commonly agreed that solar activity has adverse effects first of all on enfeebled and ill organisms. In our study we have traced that under conditions of nervous and emotional stresses (at work, in the street, and in cars) the effect may be larger for healthy people. The effect is most marked during the recovery phase of geomagnetic storms and accompanied by the inhibition of the central nervous system.”

Both environmental light and magnetic fields, which undergo diurnal and seasonal variations, influence the activity of the pineal gland. By altering the activity of this gland, geomagnetic storms cause imbalances and disruptions of the circadian rhythm of melatonin production, a factor that plays an important role in mood disturbances. A variety of behavioural changes and mood disorders have been strongly linked to abnormal melatonin patterns. In particular, patients suffering from depression have been shown to suffer decreased nocturnal melatonin levels. Depression in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is also associated with an unstable circadian pattern of melatonin secretion (literature reviewed by Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Although SAD is defined by a pattern of autumn and winter depression, unusually high geomagnetic activity levels seem to disturb people’s mood intermittently throughout the year. Further, a singular intense geomagnetic storm may continue to affect a person for several days after the storm has ended (Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Geomagnetic effects are greater at higher magnetic latitudes, extremely high as well as extremely low geomagnetic activity seems to have adverse health effects, and about 10 – 15% of the population is predisposed to ill health of geomagnetic variations. Although suppression of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland is a likely link between geomagnetic activity and human health, it is unlikely that all reported health effects of geomagnetic variation are due to a single mechanism (Palmer et al., 2006).

Behavioural effects

Emotions provide information, perhaps unconsciously, to people about their environment. Further, people often attribute their feelings to the wrong source, leading to incorrect judgments and behaviour. For example, someone in a bad mood because of high geomagnetic activity levels may unconsciously attribute their feelings to other aspects of their situation. People in a bad mood tend to make more pessimistic judgments and choices, especially in relatively abstract matters about which they lack concrete information (literature reviewed by Hirshleifer & Shumway, 2001; Krivelyova & Robotti, 2003).

Sunspot cycle and behaviour

During World War I a Russian professor of Astronomy and Biological Physics, A. L. Tchijevsky, noticed that particularly severe battles followed solar flares. He consequently studied the histories of 72 countries from 500 BC to 1922 AD and found that 80% of the most significant human events, mostly of war and violence, occurred during periods of maximum sunspot activity, specifically, during the five years around the maximum in sunspot activity.  In addition to the higher likelihood of major battles, riots and migrations during this period, this time of maximum sunspot activity was also associated with the dissemination of different doctrines (political, religious, etc); the spreading of heresies, religious riots, pilgrimages, etc; the appearance of social, military and religious leaders and reformers; and the formation of political, military, religious and commercial corporations, associations, unions, leagues, sects, companies, etc. (Michalec, 1990; Mandeville, 2003).

During recent years scientific understanding of the relationship between solar activity and Earth climate, weather, agriculture and commodity markets has developed substantially. In contrast, the relationship between solar activity and human behaviour has been relatively neglected. “Modern humans, unlike the ancient cultures of Egypt, Sumer, Bhararti, Maya, and China, are highly reluctant to admit that their collective behavior is influenced strongly by the sun. They prefer to believe that reason rules their societies” (Mandeville, 2003). Mandeville (2003) showed that a strong association between maximum sunspot activity and significant human events, especially of war and violence, has persisted across the centuries up until the present time.  I (Aspects of Mind) can verify from my own record of sunspot numbers and significant human events that this association continued beyond the maximum peak of April 2014. 


Dimitrova, S. (2005). Investigations of some human physiological parameters in relation to geomagnetic variations of solar origin and meteorological factors. Recent Advances in Space Technologies, 2005. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on, 9-11 June 2005, 728–733.

Hirshleifer, D., & Shumway, T. (2001). Good day sunshine: Stock returns and the weather.

Krivelyova, A., & Robotti, C. (2003). Playing the field: Geomagnetic storms and the stock market. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Paper, 2003 (5b).

Lenz, D. (2004). Understanding and predicting space weather. The Industrial Physicist, 9 (6), 18-21.

Mandeville, M. W. (2003). Sunspot cycles and their influence on human history.

Marusek, J. A. (2007). Solar storm threat analysis. Impact, 2007, 1-29.

Michalec, A. (1990). Solar activity and human history.

NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center. A primer on space weather.

Palmer, S., Rycroft, M., & Cermack, M. (2006). Solar and geomagnetic activity, extremely low frequency magnetic and electric fields and human health at the Earth’s surface. Surveys in Geophysics, 27 (5), 557-595.

SIDC – Solar Influences Data Analysis Center.

Ward, J. P., & Henshaw, D. L. (2006). Geomagnetic fields, their fluctuations and health effects.

Important book published since this post was written

Dobler, Sacha (2020). Solar Behavior.
Excerpt from this book (Chapter 3): Geomagnetic activity and biological effects.


Space Weather Prediction Center. Solar Cycle Progression

Space Weather Prediction Center. Current Space Weather Conditions – Planetary K-Index

World Data Center for the International Sunspot Number

Mass human violence: Solar, Season and Lunar factors

Start of Wars and Revolutions: 11-year solar cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. War: American Civil (12 Apr 1861), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. War: WW1 (28 Jul 1914), S Cycle rising for 2 years but not at peak, Summer, NM
  3. Revolution: Russian (8 Mar 1917), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  4. War: Spanish Civil (17 Jul 1936), S Cycle rising for 3 years and near Peak, Summer, NM
  5. War: WW2 (1 Sep 1939), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM
  6. Revolution: Cuban (26 Jul 1953), S Cycle Trough, Summer, FM Day
  7. Revolution: Hungarian (23 Oct 1956), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  8. War: Six-Day (5 Jun 1967), start = Israel attacks Egypt’s airfields, nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, LQ/NM
  9. War: Yom Kippur (6 Oct 1973), start = Egypt crosses Suez Canal, nearing S Cycle Trough, Autumn, FQ
  10. War: Israel invades S Lebanon (6 Jun 1982), S Cycle Peak, Summer, FM Day
  11. War: Jews kill c. 3,000 gentiles in USA (11 Sep 2001), S Cycle Peak, Summer, LQ
  12. War: US invades Afghanistan (7 Oct 2001), S Cycle Peak, Autumn, FM
  13. War: Coalition forces invade Iraq (19 Mar 2003), S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM
  14. War: Coalition forces start bombing Libya (19 Mar 2011), nearing S Cycle Peak, Spring, FM Day
  15. War: Saudi Arabian-led bombing starts in Yemen (26 Mar 2015), S Cycle falling but still near Peak, Spring, NM


Solar cycle. Most (80%) of these events started in the area of the 11-year solar cycle peak. WW1 is a notable exception.

Season. These events typically (80%) started in Spring / Summer. None started during the coldest months (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb in N Hem).

Lunar phase. The vast majority (86%) of these events started during Full Moon phase (53%) or New Moon phase (33%). Although the 11 Sep 2001 attack on gentiles was two days after FM phase, this complicated false flag attack could easily have been behind schedule. If 9/11 is counted as a FM phase attack, 93% of these events are associated with FM (60%) or NM (33%) phases.


At the start of these wars and revolutions we see strong solar cycle, season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.

Terrorism (50+ deaths reported, except #4) and an attempted revolution: 11-year Solar Cycle, Season and Lunar Phase

  1. Terrorism: Bali bombings (12 Oct 2002), S Cycle Peak, Spring, NM
  2. Terrorism: Madrid train bombings (11 Mar 2004), S Cycle past peak, Winter (almost Spring), FM
  3. Terrorism: London bombings (7 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, NM
  4. Terrorism: London bombings (21 Jul 2005), S Cycle nearing Trough, Summer, FM Day
  5. ?Terrorism: Jim Stone report — Israel detonated nuclear bombs to cause tsunami and Fukushima explosion + meltdown (11 Mar 2011), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  6. ?Terrorism: Christopher Bollyn — ?Israel caused disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (8 Mar 2014), S Cycle Peak, Winter (almost Spring), NM
  7. Terrorism: Paris attacks (13 Nov 2015), S Cycle past peak, Autumn, NM
  8. Terrorism: Nice truck attack (14 Jul 2016), S Cycle nearing trough, Summer, FQ
  9. Attempted revolution: Venezuela military fails in uprising attempt (19 Apr 2019), S Cycle Trough, Spring, FM

Note: Incident #4 would have likely caused large-scale loss of life but only the bomb detonators exploded.


Solar cycle. These events were not associated with the 11-year solar cycle. Only a small percentage (33%) of them were in the area of a solar cycle peak.

Season. If the three events in early to mid-March (late Winter, nearly Spring in N hem) are counted as being in Spring, 89% of these events were in Spring / Summer and only 11% in Autumn / Winter.

Lunar phase. The vast majority (89%) of these events were in Full Moon phase (33%) or New Moon phase (56%).


In these incidents of terrorism we do not see a solar cycle effect. However we do see strong season and lunar (psychopathic lunatics?) effects.


These findings suggest that wars and revolutions are much more likely to start in the area of solar cycle peaks than in the area of solar cycle troughs.

Although the terrorism was not associated with a particular area of the solar cycle, all these events of mass human violence (start of war and revolution, terrorism) were strongly associated with season (Spring / Summer) and lunar phase (Full Moon or New Moon).

There is reason to consider the self-evident importance of lunar phase in planning and executing these violent events in relation to an ethnic group known as a moon people and psychopathic lunatics.

5 thoughts on “Solar storm effects on humans

    1. Thanks Anna. Yes, the subject of natural environment stressors (solar storms and also lunar phase + apogee-perigee cycle + season) is neglected in the popular media and the psychology / psychiatry academic literature. In fact the latter are hostile toward the idea of such effects, e.g. there are misleading articles by mental health professionals stating that there are no lunar effects on mental health. Fortunately there is more integrity on this subject among researchers in other fields, which is where I first learned about it. I never mentioned it on my blog, but I verified the published solar effects on mental health with my own research.

      As a clinical psychologist I know that the reasons for the mental health industry’s neglect of solar and other environmental influences are self-serving and political. The mental health industry emphasizes individual responsibility for personal well-being even when the stressors (organizational, societal, natural environment) are beyond personal control. Related to this is the excessive ‘pathologizing’ of personal symptoms and unnecessary prescription of drug ‘treatment’. Also, at least here in the British Isles, the psychology leadership is actively colluding in the anti-societal processes described by American psychologist Prof Kevin B MacDonald. Perhaps you are already familiar with his site, Occidental Observer.


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