A seminal book by Milankovitch in 1941 proposed that the sequence of ice ages that has characterized long term changes in the Earth’s climate over the past hundreds of thousands of years was due to changes in the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth as a result of small variations in the Earth’s orientation and orbit with respect to the sun. Since then research has shown that Milankovitch cycles by themselves do not determine the timing of glacial and interglacial cycles and that we still lack a unified mechanism that links changes in Earth’s orbit to ice ages.
High-resolution Greenland ice core records reveal two warming events at the end of the last ice age involved warming of more than 10 °C. Furthermore the warming transition beginning 14,700 years ago occurred within only three years.
Global surface temperatures reconstructed over the last deglaciation show that temperature is correlated with but generally lags CO2 concentration. However, at the beginning of the deglaciation a global warming of about 0.3 °C preceded the initial increase in CO2 concentration suggesting that rising CO2 concentration amplified but did not initiate deglacial warming.
Evidence that methane emissions from natural gas production have been considerably underestimated by the EPA was recently reinforced by the initiation of an investigation into how the EPA estimates methane emissions by the EPA’s Inspector General. If it is found that emissions of methane from natural gas production are considerably greater than current estimates, the advantage that natural gas has over coal will be eroded and the advantage of switching to natural gas as a cleaner form of energy diminished.