Galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles tend to channel at the poles, and Lockwood et. al looked for different chemicals that serve as a proxy for cosmic ray and SEP abundance. They found in times of low solar activity, more galactic cosmic rays reach the Earth, and there were fewer SEP events, according to ScienceNow. But in an odd twist, they also noted that the SEP events were more intense. This was especially true during transition times — just like the one we're thought to be in right now. So just as the sun is letting more particles cross its moat, it, too, is spewing out more harmful stuff.