Links Between Annual, Milankovitch and Continuum Temperature Variability

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Links Between Annual, Milankovitch and Continuum Temperature Variability

Citable link to this page


Title: Links Between Annual, Milankovitch and Continuum Temperature Variability
Author: Huybers, Peter John; Curry, William Thomas

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Huybers, Peter J., and William Curry. 2006. Links between annual, Milankovitch and continuum temperature variability. Nature 441: 329-332.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Climate variability exists at all timescales—and climatic processes are intimately coupled, so that understanding variability at any one timescale requires some understanding of the whole. Records of the Earth's surface temperature illustrate this interdependence, having a continuum of variability following a power-law scaling1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. But although specific modes of interannual variability are relatively well understood8, 9, the general controls on continuum variability are uncertain and usually described as purely stochastic processes10, 11, 12, 13. Here we show that power-law relationships of surface temperature variability scale with annual and Milankovitch-period (23,000- and 41,000-year) cycles. The annual cycle corresponds to scaling at monthly to decadal periods, while millennial and longer periods are tied to the Milankovitch cycles. Thus the annual, Milankovitch and continuum temperature variability together represent the response to deterministic insolation forcing. The identification of a deterministic control on the continuum provides insight into the mechanisms governing interannual and longer-period climate variability.
Published Version:
Other Sources:
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • FAS Scholarly Articles [8255]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

Search DASH

Advanced Search