Assuming that the magnetic field on Earth can suddenly flip, if really bad timing were to occur, wherein some of the biggest solar flares Earth has ever experienced rained down on the planet, could the bad timing have devestating effects on our plant and animial life?
For example, in the event of said magnetic flip, could the storms destroy the nature of any following atmosphere or say alter or change it slightly or even, say, destroy much of the possibility for life to continue on the planet? If the worst case scenario exceeds the ones described, could the ones described also be plausible given the stated conditions? If so, please elaborate :) - I'm trying to create a scene on a similar planet to our own wherein their magnetic field flips and solar flares more or less wipe out the vegetation on the planet such that it can't grow back but the planet still has an atmosphere. Even if life rejuvenated gradually, that would be okay in my scene. As well, an advanced civilization might still live on a planet without plants or animals, assuming they had the technology to create their own air, water and any necessary food.
Thank you if you know such information, and please don't hesitate to explain at length or provide references, if you like. :)