Northern permafrost soils represent the largest terrestrial organic carbon pool on Earth. A study the northern circumpolar permafrost zones reveals that landscapes susceptible to abrupt thawing with the release of significant quantities of carbon dioxide and methane cover 20% of the northern permafrost region and store up to half its soil organic carbon.
A new analysis of Antarctic ice cores shows that at the beginning of the last deglaciation, the start of rising CO2 lagged rising temperature by about 800 years which is consistent with the Southern Hemisphere playing a dominant role in the rise in atmospheric CO2. The concomitant rise in methane appears to be governed by Northern Hemisphere processes.
In 1997 Raymo was the first to provide observations supporting the orbital forcing hypothesis for glacial/deglacial cycles that did not rely on orbital tuning. The research also suggested that ice sheet dynamics needed to be considered in addition to orbital forcing to explain the observed 100,000 year glacial/deglacial cycles.
Based on the trend that greenhouse gases are increasing rapidly whereas solar irradiance is changing much more slowly, the evidence reveals that the climate impact of changes in solar irradiance are much smaller in magnitude than the increase in warming due to greenhouse gases.