Obliquity Pacing of the Late Pleistocene Glacial Terminations

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Obliquity Pacing of the Late Pleistocene Glacial Terminations

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dc.contributor.author Huybers, Peter John
dc.contributor.author Wunsch, Carl
dc.date.accessioned 2009-11-05T18:26:07Z
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.citation Huybers, Peter J., and Carl Wunsch. 2005. Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations. Nature 434: 491-494. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0028-0836 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3382978
dc.description.abstract The 100,000-year timescale in the glacial/interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene epoch (the past ,700,000 years) is commonly attributed to control by variations in the Earth’s orbit. This hypothesis has inspired models that depend on the Earth’s obliquity (,40,000 yr; ,40 kyr), orbital eccentricity (,100 kyr) and precessional (,20 kyr) fluctuations, with the emphasis usually on eccentricity and precessional forcing. According to a contrasting hypothesis, the glacial cycles arise primarily because of random internal climate variability. Taking these two perspectives together, there are currently more than thirty different models of the seven late-Pleistocene glacial cycles. Here we present a statistical test of the orbital forcing hypothesis, focusing on the rapid deglaciation events known as terminations. According to our analysis, the null hypothesis that glacial terminations are independent of obliquity can be rejected at the 5% significance level, whereas the corresponding null hypotheses for eccentricity and precession cannot be rejected. The simplest inference consistent with the test results is that the ice sheets terminated every second or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity, similar to the original proposal by Milankovitch. We also present simple stochastic and deterministic models that describe the timing of the late-Pleistocene glacial terminations purely in terms of obliquity forcing. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Earth and Planetary Sciences en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Nature Publishing Group en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature03401 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Obliquity Pacing of the Late Pleistocene Glacial Terminations en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Nature -London- en_US
dash.depositing.author Huybers, Peter John
dc.date.available 2009-11-05T18:26:07Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6902]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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