Computer experiments now suggest the rise of the two great plateaus on either side of the Northern Hemisphere primed the planet for entering the current glacial cycle
, which began 2.
who is investigating the glacial cycle
by studying mineral deposits in Nevada.
The first is to provide a descriptive summary of work conducted since 2002 by our team of Chinese and American researchers on China's Western Loess Plateau (WLP), where we have documented a record of human occupation spanning more than 80 000 years and most of the last glacial cycle
Contrary to the theory of ocean floor stability, the diversity of species rose and fell in sync with the glacial cycle
Since the late 1800s, scientists have theorized that subtle shifts in Earth's orbit orchestrate the glacial cycle
A fundamental reason is furnished by the rapid, brief climatic changes that have occurred throughout the entire last glacial cycle
and, so it appears, in the Holocene as well (Bond et al.
Scientists who study the glacial cycle
have traditionally relied on climate records constructed by measuring the oxygen isotopes in seafloor sediments.
Our record would suggest that they [orbital changes] are not influencing the timing of the glacial cycles
," says USGS researcher Isaac J.
Having this information will be useful as scientists try to understand how quickly the major ocean currents shifted as glacial cycles
came and went," Rashid said.
A team of scientists led by the University of Adelaide has reconstructed a history of marine barriers, mountain building and glacial cycles
in New Zealand over millions of years, using the first complete genetic history of the moa.
Led by University of Las Vegas geoscientist Matthew Lachniet, the researchers showed that climate change in the Great Basin (and Nevada) matches the timing of orbitally-derived periods of glacial cycles
, in line with the theory forwarded by Serbian scientist Milutin Milankovitch more than 100 years ago.
The temperature at the base of the ice, and therefore the current dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet is the result of the interaction between the heat flow from the earth's interior and the temperature changes associated with glacial cycles
," explains corresponding author Irina Rogozhina (GFZ) who initiated IceGeoHeat.
One of the things we are learning is that so-called millennial scales, so called short-term climate variability, may actually play an important role in glacial cycles
Scientists know that the Antarctic ice sheet has grown and shrunk over geological history, and recent analysis of Antarctic ice cores reveals that during the last 800,000 years, the Earth experienced eight glacial cycles
, each with an ice age and warm period.
For example, we can see major oxygen-isotope cycles (reflecting global ice volume) spaced at about 2-meter intervals between 80 and 90 meters in the figure below; we know from work here and elsewhere that these reflect glacial cycles
controlled by changes in the obliquity of Earth's rotational axis that occur with a regular period of 41,000 years.