PREPRINT: Carlton B. Brown (2021), Influenza pandemic risk factors associated with solar cycle extremes, low solar and geomagnetic activity, cold-glacial climate change, and geographic origination (1500-2018).

Author: Carlton B. Brown (,

Download: Research Article (Pandemic_Influenza_Risk_Factors), Supplementary Materials (Supplementary_Materials_Pandemic_Influenza_Risk_Factors)

Abstract: There is no means of predicting when influenza pandemics could occur because risk factors are poorly understood. Risk factor assessment utilized numerous statistical methods, 10 multi-century solar activity, climate change datasets, and expert-confirmed influenza outbreaks. The mid-study coldest temperature was compared with glacial cycle peak temperatures (n=16 ice cores). There was a grand mean of 0.92 pandemics per 11-year sunspot number cycle (SE=0.15, n=25, 1700-) and a higher pandemic probability at cycle peaks and troughs +/-1-year (logistic regression, Peaks: P=0.01, OR=4.2. Troughs: P=0.03, OR=3.4). Multiple logistic regression confirmed peak+trough+/-1-year stages and positive cosmic ray intensity anomalies relative to its 1961-1990 mean as pandemic and epidemic predictors-triggers, respectively (Pr>|z|<0.05, 1700-). Simple logistic1 and linear2 regression identified colder Greenland and Northern Hemisphere temperatures, increased cosmic ray intensity, Arctic sea ice cover, and Greenland ice accumulation rate relative to their 1961-1990 means as outbreak1 and annual outbreak rate2 predictors (P<0.05, 1-11yr moving average1 and cycle mean2 anomalies, 1500-1, 1700-1,2). Greenland was at its coldest mid-study, 8 kiloyears after the glacial cycle peak temperature (mean -4.8°C, n=10 ice cores), or -21% of its prior Holocene interglacial increase. Four categories of risk factors were identified, including solar cycle extremes, low solar and geomagnetic activity, Arctic cold-glaciation linked to the glacial cycle stage, and geographic risk.

Keywords: influenza pandemic; zoonosis; risk factor; circadian system; cold stress; immunosuppression; low solar activity; geomagnetism; cosmic rays; cold climate change.

Preprint: this research article was peer-reviewed by a global public health journal and is “held up” with professional editors before resubmission.

Note: 2019 was perfect timing for a pandemic, if only you knew. There were predictable times and locations more frequently associated with influenza pandemics, which appear relevant to COVID-19. Since 1700 a statistically significant 76% of influenza pandemics and major regional epidemics occurred within a year of the peak or trough of the 11-year sunspot number cycle, including all 20th and 21st-century pandemics and the first avian H5N1 (1997) and H7N9 (2013) zoonoses. Human-to-human COVID-19 transmission was confirmed in 2019 during the 11-year sunspot number minimum and, more generally, during this current grand solar minimum period. An earlier version of these results was provided by email to WHO (Switzerland, 2018) and WHO center contacts in the UK, USA, and China (2018) in my attempt to raise a pandemic alarm. However, no reply was forthcoming on numerous occasions.

Risk factors thematically-putatively associated with immunological susceptibility and regional-scale induced immunosuppression were identified linked to solar-/geo-magnetic cycles, natural climate change, and geographical risks (i.e., China, Europe, North America). Zoonoses and regional-scale viral transmission putatively implicated the circadian system-, cosmic ray-induced ionization-, and cold stress-induced- immunosuppression, and climate-weather-optimized infectious aerosols. The circadian system (CS) controls the immuno-inflammatory systems, and respiratory viruses jack their replication cycles into the CS. Circadian system core clock cryptochrome repressors are magnetoreceptive, giving solar magnetic polarity changes and flux a putative bio-lever on viral disease. Geographical risk putatively implicated single nucleotide polymorphisms (i.e., genetic immune susceptibility) in patient-zero and associated family clusters (i.e., Han Chinese, Caucasian). China’s COVID-19 patient-zero location (i.e., tropical warm-humid) going into the Northern Hemisphere winter (i.e., high latitude regional-scale immunosuppression) putatively facilitated human susceptibility and aerosol transmission of the virus.


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