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Does the Earth Have a 100,000-Year Climate-Change Cycle?

GOOGLEEARTH In an analysis of the past 1.2 million years, UC Santa Barbara geologist Lorraine Lisiecki discovered a pattern that connects the regular changes of the Earth's orbital cycle to changes in the Earth's climate. The Earth's orbit around the sun changes shape every 100,000 years. The orbit becomes either more round or more elliptical at these intervals. The shape of the orbit is known as its "eccentricity." A related aspect is the 41,000-year cycle in the tilt of the Earth's axis.

Glaciation of the Earth also occurs every 100,000 years. Lisiecki found that the timing of changes in climate and eccentricity coincided. "The clear correlation between the timing of the change in orbit and the change in the Earth's climate is strong evidence of a link between the two," said Lisiecki. "It is unlikely that these events would not be related to one another."

Lisiecki performed her analysis of climate by examining ocean sediment cores. These cores come from 57 locations around the world. By analyzing sediments, scientists are able to chart the Earth's climate for millions of years in the past. Lisiecki's contribution is the linking of the climate record to the history of the Earth's orbit.

Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found a surprising correlation. She discovered that the largest glacial cycles occurred during the weakest changes in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit -- and vice versa. She found that the stronger changes in the Earth's orbit correlated to weaker changes in climate. "This may mean that the Earth's climate has internal instability in addition to sensitivity to changes in the orbit," said Lisiecki.

She concludes that the pattern of climate change over the past million years likely involves complicated interactions between different parts of the climate system, as well as three different orbital systems. The first two orbital systems are the orbit's eccentricity, and tilt. The third is "precession," or a change in the orientation of the rotation axis.

Casey Kazan via University of California - Santa Barbara


Okay... So where are we at?

Well I never went through shool, and still can I enlighten the reader that information given in this article is given away a long time ago by a mathematiker by name Milankovitch. These timecycles are thus called Milankovitch cycles.
So sad to tell you but, Santa Barbara geologist Lorraine Lisiecki discovered nothing.

Haha - Every 100,000 years or so the dominant specie on this planet gets replaced. Can't seem to handle so much change.
We're about due.

>> largest glacial cycles occurred during the weakest changes in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit >>

yes this is correct... All glaciation requires heat.

The natural Ice Age cycle follows the oscillating equilibrium between the salinity of the seas (heat-in store) and the ratio/amount of fresh water locked as ice, and of course all dependent/precipitated by the seawater evaporation rate at the time.

Earth today, has tripped a NEW Ice Age (ubiquitous marine oil-slick-pollution reducing the seawater evaporation rate, causing ocean heat-in), and it will be a doozie.... snowball Earth is a real possibility, because the hydrodynamic/thermodynamic equilibrium has been massively and artificially shifted towards heat-in.

Earth now awaits the consequences of the heat-out cycle.

Nothing can be done to avert this New Ice Age. Good Luck

The over-hot oceans are set to explode in a massive cloud of steam, creating a nuclear winter type scenario....... game over


To Tom Apr 2010

You are wrong Tom. Lorraine verified that which was only theorized.


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