EC Perspective: Accounting for 800,000 years of climate change

June 5, 2017

Correlation of temperature and CO2 for last 420,000 years from Vostok

Approximately 800,000 years ago something changed in the Earth’s climate system that led to the climate then following a series of approximately 100,000 year cycles. Small, predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit about the Sun act as triggers for the glacial and interglacial periods, but other factors such as ice sheet volume, CO2 concentration, and biological feedback mechanisms are also involved.

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