Earth’s magnetic field and the disappearance of the Neanderthals
Earth’s magnetic field has decreased about 20 % over the past 150 years. As Earth is constantly subjected to cosmic radiation, the intensity depends on the strength of the magnetic field. Over geological timescales, there have been periods of collapse of the magnetic dipole moment, and therefore of the magnetic field, which can be associated with changes in the polarity of the dipole or with simple geomagnetic excursions (GEs). UV radiation can penetrate deeper into the atmosphere during these periods. The EU-funded REVA project will study this UV window during the Mono Lake-Laschamps GE events. This is important considering its globality and the possible implications for human evolution (contemporaneous with the disappearance of the Neanderthals).